That time of year again

December 5, 2019 by
Filed under: NSW Demons 

Nigel Dawe

When it comes to footy, I don’t think you can ever really say that there is such a thing as an ‘off-season’, for as long as I can remember I’ve occupied, if not outright preoccupied myself with the turns and intricacies of this game (that being from a very staunch, mono-optical Melbourne perspective) right throughout the year.

One summer, many moons ago, when I lived in Sydney, I recall traipsing into the State library on my uni holidays to trawl through boxes of old Melbourne newspapers on micro-film, namely those from all of our premiership seasons. In the quiet bowels of the library one afternoon, I even came within a whisker of being asked to leave when I let out a heart-felt ‘Go Demons-You-beauty!’ after making the ‘discovery’ that one reporter in ‘The Age’ from the very Monday after our 1876 premiership win over Carlton, referred at one stage to a group of Melbourne players as ‘working like demons’.

I kid you not, so near on 60 years before our first supercoach Checker Hughes ranted his now infamous moniker-forming ‘lift your heads and start playing like demons’ line, there in sepia black and white (for surely the first time in the club’s history) was a direct connection to Lucifer’s fire-breathing cohorts and our goal-hungry lads; thus my excitement!

And so, it’s official, I’m on-board, I’ve signed up once again, year 34 on the trot as a member of the mighty Melbourne Demons.

I remember waxing lyrical and getting all Nostradamus about what we could do as a team at around this time last year, referencing and sprouting various club related omens.

But this year it’s different (in terms of signs) although a little similar, as today – of all days, the day I renewed my membership – I watched a documentary on 7mate about the 2000 Super Bowl winning American football team, the St Louis Rams. For those who don’t know much about the code of footy played on the other side of the Pacific, the Rams were considered the worst team of the decade, right up until the actual season ‘before’ their ultimate come-from-the-clouds triumph.

The moral of this story, like that of the English football team Leicester City, and the Luke Beveridge-led Dogs of 2016 in our very own code, is that a team’s fortunes (however slim or historically scant) at any given time can turn on a 5 cent piece, with the aid of sheer belief, brute will and commitment, not to mention a touch of the divinely inexplicable.

With that in mind, I think our premiership drought is nearing an end, I don’t know about you, but we’re due, and I can actually see that dais on the last Saturday in September crammed with lads clad in red and blue guernseys singing a Grand old flag (like it’s never been sung before), clutching that gleaming silver and gold bit of gear… it’s what has me reaching for my wallet without fail to buy my membership, round about now, each and every year!


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