Infamous Moments V2 – Dipper, Tulip, and the ’87 Prelim

In the annals of the Melbourne Football Club history, few players are as beloved as Robert Flower.

Wearing red and blue from the age of 17 up until his retirement at age 32, Flower gave everything he had to the Dees – a star in the age where every team seemed to have one or two players that legitimately belonged in the Hall of Fame.

However, the Melbourne team Robert Flower played in was a far cry from the dominant teams of the fifties and sixties. When Flower debuted in 1973, the Demons were already without a flag for the past nine seasons after winning five in six years from 1955-1960, and adding another in 1964.

And despite his continued brilliance, Flower was unable to lift this one mighty team back into the premiership window.

Essendon fans will bristle at the mention of their recent drought when it comes to finals wins, but over the course of Flower’s tenure with the Dees, they didn’t just fail to win a final for 14 years, they didn’t even make the finals, at all. In fact, 1964, the year of their last flag at that stage, was the last time they competed in finals.

It was termed the ‘Norm Smith Curse’ and lasted 22 years before they graced September with their presence, it puts Essendon’s current woes to shame.

22 years without playing a final.

And so, it was that the 1987 season changed everything.


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