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The Roar

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Opinion

Relentless thirst for trade gossip robbed Demons, and fans, chance to drink in legendary GF triumph

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30th September, 2021
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I can remember my brother turning 18 – I was 14 – and the excitement of his party had my bowl cut and braces buzzing at a level I’d never experienced.

I was so wired that one of the zits on my chin just randomly exploded without any pressure being applied to it. I did think at the time that maybe the other passengers on the bus over-reacted to this…

For my year 9 chum and I, the week leading into the party itself had a sole focus on planning, strategy, and execution. We were going to drink the beers. Our first ever beers. And those Carlton Colds needed to covertly get from the esky in the backyard and into the hole we had dug at the base of the enormous shrub in the neighbour’s front yard.

So, when the night came, and we executed the plan to perfection – to the point of some showboatery via the Classic Tubes (600ml of warm froff) that we pilfered from the birthday boys present pile, which ultimately led to our three-day-spew-filled-demise – that triumphant feeling we experienced the next day, and for the following week, was one of my all-time life highs.

When we got to school on Monday, we were KINGS!! Those Classic Tube cans had become steins of Vodka, and by Friday, I had kissed an actual girl.

After a week of holding court and telling the tallest of stories, it was time to move on. We’d reached legend status in the eyes of our peers, we had reflected with great pride, and everyone came on the journey with us. The story was complete. It was worth the jug cord to the back of my knees as punishment.

But looking back, it was the week of story-telling that became our triumph.

And if the AFL held off trade week for an additional week, the Melbourne Demons would have their week to tell tall tales of breaking the 67-year curse, to bask in the glory of the nation’s spotlight pointing solely on them. They are LEGENDS and KINGS and they deserve our respect enough for us to listen.

Instead, we’ve got Speculation Week.

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It is a week of “I think” opening statements. Not facts, nor sources. Just straight up opinion on a 24/7 scale. And that can be dangerous: it has led to Aaron Naughton playing as a defender next year, $120k per year not being enough money for young men to move states and Tom Lynch somehow morphing into a key forward to steal game time from North Mebourne’s key forward prospects, one of which isn’t even at the club yet..

This is a week that holds more speculation than the opening dice roll of a game of Cluedo.

With Trade Week formally kicking off Monday the 4th of October and Free Agents able to sign with clubs Friday the 1st of October, it meant Speculation Week started via Trade Radio one day after the GF.

One day.

Even more bizarre was the AFL Trade Radio twitter account last week counting down the days to their opening day, rather than counting down the days until the AFL GF. I get the need for promotion, but Trade Week can’t be a priority over than the Grand Final… Can it!!??

Max Gawn

Max Gawn shares the premiership trophy with Dees fans. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Melbourne had hang-over Sunday to exclusively tell their story. Some great analysis was written. But from the moment Monday hit, to now, the AFL’s own website has written three articles on Melbourne and their premiership glory out of some seventy-plus stories.

There are Melbourne stories that deserve to be told.

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Neale Daniher should be leading this week’s news at night and papers by day.

Get more cameras and feature writers out to Ron Barrassi’s place.

Give us the families of the premiership winning team – from last weekend and 1964 – so we can learn more about them as people and how this level of success impacts their home communities.

Former captain of the club, Brad Green, played every one of his 254 games for Melbourne, one of which was a Grand Final loss in his debut season (2000). He saw the very worst of the club with the merry-go-round of coaches, the tanking debacle and then his own dismissal as captain, after being named Australian team captain for the tour of Ireland.

How could the club make such a bone head move against one of its most loyal leaders? And where is Brad now with the club and their most recent success? You want to know too, right?

Let’s hear the full story of Paul Roos and the level of planning that went into this result. It all started with him and a coaching transition plan that actually worked. In fact, no-one does coaching transition better than Roos. The Swans benefited too. His is a story I want to hear this week.

Simon Goodwin has ridden waves during his journey as footy lifer.

As a player, he won premierships, was selected as an All-Australian five times and led the Adelaide FC as captain. Yet on the flip side, he has also been dumped on his head as the player who every journo in the land wanted out of the league after he got caught betting on games, and then again last year, having every journo in the land speculating about his coaching future with Melbourne.

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The man is now the premiership coach of the team that broke a 67-year curse. It is a Disney worthy tale. And one I’m on the hook for.

The saddest part in all this is that I am a hypocrite. I completely get the thirst for the fake trades, the rumours, and the outrageous speculation. I refreshed twitter every 14 seconds when Hawthorn were in the game for Tom Mitchell. Oh, how I laughed at pick 15. And I’ve been invested in the Adam Cerra movement given my Hawks have the most cap space to splurge.

As an NBA fan, my favourite part of the year is Draft Day and the first day of Free Agency.

TRADES. GIVE ME ALL THE TRADES!!

I get the fan obsession with Trade Week and all that comes with it, I am that fan too, I just wish the league would respect that the seasons Premier deserves to have their moment last longer than one day.

As an aside, I wish my hangover from 1996 lasted only one day. To this day, I pee my pants whenever I see a Classic Tube.

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