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The lessons of life … from Round One

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Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today? The grass is always greener on the other side. Patience is a virtue.

Three sayings which are all true but all need context to fully understand.

Football clubs used to follow the first two sayings religiously. Clubs would pick their best 22 for round one and live with the consequences later.

You’d constantly hear coaches saying “he’ll be right for round one.” But why is round one more important than round 18? Games are still worth four points. Lose a player with an injury in round one and you’ll regret having him sidelined in round four.

So, yes, Collingwood would love to have had Dale Thomas on the field for round one. He’s clearly better than their 22nd ranked player and would have had some sort of impact. But he wasn’t fit, so he didn’t play.

AFL vs soccer

Neither did Clinton Young, or Andrew Krakouer or Luke Ball.

And Collingwood isn’t the only club holding players back.

Simon Black, Luke Hodge and Steve Johnson are all Norm Smith medallists. But they weren’t ready to play, so they’re sitting out the opening game of the year.

It’s a valuable lesson in life.

Nope, not jealous at all...

Nope, not jealous at all…

To the beach!

Last week I spent five days on the Gold Coast for a holiday before the madness of the footy season began.

One night, we were talking to a lady from Darwin. She asked whether we’d swum with the dolphins or seals at SeaWorld. No, we hadn’t.

Had we been to the horse show at the local restaurant? No we hadn’t.

Had we done all of the other outrageously expensive things available on the Gold Coast? No, we hadn’t.

What had we done? Well, we’d been to the theme parks, enjoyed the beach, pool and other local attractions. Basically, we’d lived within our means.

“I’m not worrying about that,” she replied.



“I’ll regret it when the credit card bill arrives. But right now, I’m just enjoying myself. Now I’m getting another cocktail. They’re $14 each but they’re nice.”

Take your time

The football season is a marathon, not a sprint. My club, Essendon, discovered that last year when we dominated the first half of the season but failed to make the finals.

Being the best now doesn’t mean you’ll be the best when it matters. Being the smartest in primary school doesn’t mean you’ll get a great job. Burn out happens all the time.

A friend of mine loves the phrase “success is a journey, it’s not a destination.”


We are all on a journey that hopefully leads to happiness and success. But unless we all follow the path of simplicity and make rational decisions about our life, we’ll spend more time at the same destination – disaster.

Footy has a way of teaching life lessons. From racism and sexism to cheating and scandal, clubs mirror life. If we follow the lessons from off the field, we should also consider what we’re looking at on the field.

Seeing stars sitting in the grandstand is a reminder that some things can wait until tomorrow, the grass isn’t necessarily greener but patience is still very much a virtue.

(Blogger’s note – a special thanks to Craig O’Donoghue for writing this piece…)


The best of the rest

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There have been a number of responses to the media ban post of last week. It seems as if every sports fan has a tale to tell, so I’ve grabbed the top 6, put them in order from ‘relatively stupid’ to ‘mind boggling unlucky’ … so to speak, and added my own take on things.

To reiterate, some of last week’s tales may come across more vehemently than what they should. Maybe I should use more exclamation marks. <– Even then. Just know that while the broken bans are remembered, they aren’t the end of the world and haven’t broken any friendships … yet. Strained? Yes. I mean, Yes!

6.  2010 NBA HUGE regular season game– Cleveland @ Boston

Huge meeting of the year between the potential East finalists, and much anticipated matchup. All the boys were over to watch this game followed by Friday night football. In the process of placing punts for the Friday night football I become aware of my centrebet online balance.

It takes a few minutes of watching the game to realise I’d stymied myself with a silly silly mistake. I had actually also placed punts earlier in the day on the result of the NBA game. Had I got those wagers correct, my centrebet balance would have been significantly higher than what I had seen moments earlier.

Mistake – Not hiding the centrebet balance on the home page.

Lesson – Losing the bets and knowing the result that you don’t want makes for a cracking evening !!

Blogger’s note – good work by this man, as we had no idea this game was spoilt until it was over.

This brings up another wrinkle in the broken media ban – you have to act like everything is normal. If you tell people you know the result, they will watch you like a hawk and you will give it away.

The amount of times I’ve had to sit on a couch and pretend to support my Lakers or Bombers when someone had ruined it… let’s move on.

5.  2002 AFL Brownlow Medal. Again, major delay in Perth. Two hours behind. Two hour delay.

At the half way point of the count, the leaderboard reads:

14 Michael Voss
12 Shane Crawford
11 Andrew McLeod, Travis Johnstone
8 Simon Black, Nathan Buckley
7 Adem Yze, Ben Cousins
6 Josh Francou, Luke Darcy.

(Blogger’s note – I am almost positive he remembered this off the top of his head. And you thought I was obsessed!?) Read the rest of this entry