The Premiership of 2021… as Grand as grand can be

October 10, 2021 by
Filed under: NSW Demons 

Premiership #13

Nigel Dawe

FOR someone who has spent pretty much their entire life putting pen to paper, trawling facts, and following the same football team; I don’t think I’ve ever had a more delightful conundrum, than the one regarding how I should best kick off this Melbourne Demons ‘premiership-winning’ segment.

Initially, I thought I’d lead with cloud 9, then I considered seventh heaven to be more apt, but I’ve decided to go with, albeit bask in the given – how about – Premiership #13… for the team we love, the team of the red and the blue!

For countless years, I’ve imagined how seeing and savouring a Dees premiership would feel, having seen so many other clubs ‘go all the way’ and break their respective droughts… to now be able to say, that I have finally seen us win ‘the big dance’, I have to further say – it was more sublime, unbelievable and transporting than anything I could have ever remotely imagined.

Above all, it’s not that we did it, it was ‘the way’ we did it, to come from 19 points down halfway through the ‘premiership quarter’ to finally win by 74 points (the eighth biggest win in grand final history) by booting 16 of the last 17 goals, was the most emphatic and enjoyable way to end our 57-year premiership drought.

Add in the record-equaling tally of 39 possessions in a grand final by one C. Petracca, and you have the makings of the most incredible chapter in our club’s history. ‘That goal’ by our deserved Norm Smith medalist, for mine, is perhaps the most iconic thing I’ve seen a Demons player do since Shaun Smith launched himself back in 1995, to take his ‘mark of the century’ against the Bears at the Gabba under lights.

Not to mention the moment Max Gawn and Simon Goodwin lifted the cup as euphoric one, amidst the fluttering, iridescent specks of red and blue tinsel; such moments become indelibly etched in your mind, it’ll be something I return to over and over again for the ‘rest’ of my days. I remember turning to a mate of mine, Chris after witnessing it, saying: “I don’t care if we win the wooden spoon every year from now to eternity, no one can ever take this realised dream off us now.’

For the Melbourne Football Club, the oldest football club in the world (and perhaps the only one that outright created the sport it plays) there was a sense of not just restored pride, but ‘radical’ deliverance: the meaning of the word radical, is to return something back to its roots or origins.

Thus, the entire sport of Australian Rules has been transported, and lifted directly back to the glorious sepia days of our club founder – Tom Wills, whose spirit is surely soaring, along with everyone remotely associated with the Melbourne Football Club, in response to such a grand old win.

Premiership celebrations in NSW
'That winning feeling: Chris Osborn and Nigel Dawe'


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