To be frank I love the last Saturday in September. But frankly, what I like more is when the mighty Hawthorn Hawks step up to the plate and deliver seat at another grand final.
Your nerves as a fan can only touch on what it would be like as a player, strapping on your boots to win the flag, for yourself, your team mates, your club and the legion of supporters that span from Tasmania to the tablelands, territories and beyond.
Thanks to my old man I’ve been a Hawks supporter since I was a young lad living in Victoria. Why he started following them is a mystery to me because in his younger days, they were known as the Mayflowers and the Easybeats, a far cry from league’s toughest team of today. But my support was rewarded early on and consistently over the next six decades, with Hawthorn being maybe the only team able to claim premiership wins in each decade since the 1960s.
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I do remember as a young lad, having listened to my old man bang on about being such a legend footballer himself and loving Hawthorn so much that maybe I got confused and put the two together and all of the sudden I remember my father becoming a multi-premiership winning, Brownlow Medal awarded footballing legend.
It was about fourth grade when I woke up and realised the errors of my beliefs, having told all my friends, teachers and anyone who cared to listen about what a ball-tearing legend my father was, only to realise that, he was only a legend in his own lunchbox and enjoyed watching the footy at the pub. So rather than confess the errant facts in my story, we skipped town and moved to Queensland, leaving everyone in awe and confused about why they had never seen my amazing dad on TV.
Today is a special day. If the Hawks win it will be their 11th flag win – all won during my lifetime. And I am proud Hawk…as they say ‘Always Hawthorn’. Just like my dad I have raised my kids and grandkids to be loyal Hawks supporters, as one-eyed as me, even though they live in Queensland today. They were given bibs and onesies and Hawkers footballs for their early birthdays. The youngest ones have teddy bears called Buddy Franklin and the oldest ones enjoy a beer with me on grand final day every time we make it. This year will be the second year in a row that the Hawks have made the final. Four’n’twenties and VB left a bitter taste in my mouth last year when they lost by less than a kick in the last few minutes. I feel this year might once again be the year with a little more guts and determination after last years heartbreak.
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Whether it be the Easybeats, the Mayflowers, or the mighty Hawks, 22 players will line up today and put their bodies on the line with passion for a shot at history for a club that has done it the hard way and continues to win. CARN THE MIGHTY HAWKERS.
Given their dominance, most people have a memory of Hawthorn… what is yours? Is it Jason Dunstall’s bag-full in 86, Dermott Brereton playing with a punctured lung in ’89, The record breaking win against Melbourne in 88, or Dipper, just being Dipper?
And if you don’t have a Hawks memory… tell us your favourite Grand Final memory…