Being the son of a deity is no easy cross to bear, just ask …well you know who. It goes without saying that an over-achieving father can beget a singular burden on his son. One option for the offspring, when omnipotence is the yardstick, is simply to walk away.
Without creating all that lies beneath the firmament, Don Bradman assumed god-like status in Australia. So to dodge the universal hankering for a second coming the Don’s son changed his surname to Bradfield. Only in recent times has John Bradman felt comfortable enough to change it back again.
Where Aussie Rules is the winter religion, Gary Ablett earned the nickname of ‘God’ for his mercurial deeds on the field. Like Bradman, he was ‘half the side’ when he played. With the build of a middleweight and a bustling gait he could control the midfield or kick a swag of goals (and often did both on the same day). In possibly the greatest game ever played, the ‘89 Grand Final, he kicked nine goals only for Geelong to fall a whisker short. These days the old Cat fights his battles with the black dog and other demons.
Long-suffering Geelong fans must be pleased that the weight of expectation did not deter the ‘sons of God’ and now they have two new messiahs to believe in. Gary Ablett Jnr was best on ground last Saturday night with 28 possessions while younger brother Nathan came of age kicking five from full forward as the Cats thrashed Carlton by 78 points.
West Coast, described as ‘evil’ by columnist Robert Walls, met their new mascot, the ‘West Coke Eagle’, at Sydney airport courtesy of The Chaser comedy show. The oversized bird speckled with white powder on its orange beak cracked-up a number of players but only drew a wry smile from coach ‘Woosher’ Worsfold. Nothing stops the Eagles juggernaut though and while the Magpie faithful may feel their team was crucified by shoddy umpiring, Collingwood supremo Mick Malthouse blamed ‘missing targets’ for leaving Subiaco without the four points.
Last Thursday night the Lions exposed the Saints shortcomings with a comfortable 8 goal win at the Gabba. Port added to the Kangaroos misery with a narrow win at home while the Adelaide Crows shattered some Bulldog dreams winning in a canter. Essendon proved that Round 1 was no fluke by fending off the Dockers by 10 points while Hawthorn over-ran injury hit Melbourne in the 3rd quarter and then withstood a late charge in the last. Sydney rebounded from its first round loss to see off the Tigers at the MCG by 2 goals.
Tips for Round 3: Collingwood to bounce back over the hapless Tigers, Essendon to flog Carlton, Adelaide to take the wind out of Port’s sails, the Saints to exploit the Bulldogs lack of height, Fremantle to surprise West Coast, Geelong over the old rivals Melbourne, the Kangaroos to break through against Hawthorn and finally Sydney to send the Lions to the bottom of the harbour.