I was at Don Chipp’s funeral today – more on that later. Meanwhile – as perhaps befits Don’s status as a former Fitzroy player (albeit only 3 or so senior games and a lifetime as a very strong Carlton fan) – this post is about the Lions final game for the season.
I appreciate that there is little room for sentiment in modern footy, but I think it is a real shame that Aker didn’t get to play a final game for the Lions, especially at the Gabba.
I have a strong inbuilt aversion for lairs, loudmouths and showboats, but in recent years I found myself drawn against my instincts to feeling great admiration for Jason Akermanis – not to mention other mouther-offerers like Anthony Mundine.
I think it boils down to recognising that people that ‘talk it up’ are a major pain in the neck if they just poonce around, but are doubly admirable if they manage to walk the talk, which Jason (and Anthony Mundine) have done in spades. I have a big admiration for Leigh Matthews and Michael Voss (who simply has to play another season), and I don’t know all the internal stuff that went down so I don’t dispute that the right decision was probably made not to play Aker for the last few games of the season, but ……..whatever happened to that great old ‘principle’ of “bugger that, he deserves special recognition anyway, because he’s a special bloke who’s made a unique contribution”.
As I said, I don’t know anything about any of any the internal issues, and I have never met any of the people involved. Despite all that, I just think it’s a really big shame, and it would have been really good for the club if they could have found a way to give Aker a last game at the Gabba as a Lion. I know nobody is bigger than the club/team and all that, but maybe support for the team is bigger than just the Club (as in ‘don’t totally dismiss how the fans feel’)
Anyway, well done and goodbye to Brad Scott and Jason Akermanis – you are both feisty fabulous and successful competitors in a very demanding competition who’ve done Brisbane proud (and don’t retire just yet Vossy).