Joni Mitchell fans… I know you clicked on the link just because of the title. Yes, I know the levers that move you. 🙂
Wait til I succumb to familial pressure and start quoting Taylor Swift… then we’re all in trouble.
Anyway, as much as I would like to talk about singers and songwriters, today I’m here to discuss those who have, or might depart the game we love. Just this week, we have waved goodbye to Lance Franklin, his retirement effective immediately, following his calf injury on the weekend. I heard a couple of AFL journalists state it was a ‘shock’ that Buddy called it a day. Obviously, they had not watched much of him this season – he was banged up and was having trouble with the footy below the knees. I was always taught that was the first thing to go, and it never comes back.
The shame here is that we don’t get to see the Lance Franklin farewell game and he doesnt have the opportunity to go out on his own terms. There will be no chairing off, no standing ovation, no one-last booming left foot goal to bring the crowd to their feet. In a sport where the old adage tells us there is always next week, there are now no more next weeks left for one of the modern greats.
We also received news that West Coast champion defender and former captain, Shannon Hurn, had decided he’d had enough. Hurn – the rightful 2018 All-Australian Captain…. no, I will not let it go – held the Eagles steady during their premiership season and will go down as one of the greatest Eagles of all time. What is it about that club and their amazing defenders? McKenna, Jakovich, Worsfold, Glass, McGovern, Hurn… all incredible players.
We will get a farewell game for Bunga Hurn, and looking at AFL lists, we will likely see a few more hang up the boots following this season. And the great news is, unlike Buddy Franklin, we will have one more chance to cheer some of them on as they depart the sport we love.
On the flip side, there are also those who won’t get that opportunity.
Oh, what the hell? A Mongrel paywall? Yep, I believe my work is worth twenty cents per day. If you don’t, that’s fine. Want to join us and access the members’ game reviews, as well as columns like the Wingman of the Year, Recruit of the Year, and other nonsensical stuff HB comes up with each week?