Amidst growing professionalism, the football landscape has become littered with cold clichés. Interviews with established players generally provide us with the 5 to 10 football phrases of the moment, that are at that point in time slowly and quite boringly revolving around on the football rotisserie, which at this point in time I don’t have much of an appetite to feast on.
Frankly, I would prefer if with my annual membership pack a player (senior or even rookie listed) personally came around to my home and took a small leak in my trouser pocket if it meant we could have something real for that season. As fans we are currently hearing the “inside our four walls we’re really confident things are going to turn around quickly” as a clause to get out of answering a question with any substance or just admitting that things simply aren’t going that great. “Our best is very good, but our worst is very poor,” this one is interesting. Combining the facts that you’re a professional football organisation, talent scouts have scoured the country (and now even other countries) high and low to find you, you practice football most days because it is your job and you receive monetary compensation to do so, sure let’s hope your best is reasonable. The fans want more! Bob Murphy has sky rocketed in the popularity stakes, why? Not only because he’s a likeable guy with Irish charm but because when he opens his mouth and speaks he provides us with the insight of what it’s actually like to be an AFL footballer, or maybe even what it’s like to be a human who happens to be an AFL footballer.
Luke Dunstan’s outpouring of emotion after the final siren on Sunday against the Kangaroos was a refreshing change of pace; a breath of fresh air. Why? Because it was real, it was raw. Take this event on face value without reading further into it. We don’t know about Luke’s private life (that’s one for the four walls, insert slant eyed half smile emoji). As fans that haven’t experienced the ultimate success you feel desperate and willing, sometimes you sit in your seat, deflated by what you’re watching as your team gets overrun. You feel like you couldn’t care anymore, you almost feel like you care more than those who are actually wearing the jumper. You watch Sam Gilbert’s uncomfortable looking ball drop and think that maybe after 10 years it wouldn’t be so awkward…the emotions rise…shout out to Sam Gilbert for being a good sport and taking a selfie with me on Fitzroy Street last year, and then even doing a follow up because the angle on the first one was all wrong.
Leaving the ground on Sunday Saint’s fans were emotional (savage, brutal, frustrated, violent, disenchanted, all of the above). The greatest comfort for me however was found in Luke Dunstan’s public display of emotion, it showed that I support a guy who cares about what he’s doing and what he’s trying to achieve and that he’s trying bloody hard to do it. Luke’s performance was fine, I can’t speak on his behalf, but if I may I dare say he was upset about the fact the team didn’t win, not because he probably won’t get a Brownlow vote.
It would be pathetically obvious to jump online, locate a generic meme creator, get a picture of Luke Dunstan vs Kangaroos, add to the mix Nick Riewoldt v Brisbane Lions, Max Hudghton v Western Bulldogs and show the world how much of a real man you are because water didn’t leak from your eyes because you don’t care about anything (maybe I should give people more credit, but right now I’m not going to). We’re all hearing the big big sound from the West of the town, that allegedly this GWS side is going to take the AFL by storm and no other team will ever win a premiership ever again, but after a few gutsy displays come round 7, 2016, I’m on board this passionate Saints outfit. KNOCK KNOCK…just kidding.