Why I hate Essendon

Some people hate Hawthorn and their robotic success. Most people hate Collingwood and their rabble army of boguns. I hate Essendon and all that they stand for.

In my early days of football worship, Essendon’s baby Bombers won a premiership. Every Tom, Dick and Barry who had a passing interest in football jumped on. Not real football people; pretenders. The sorts who will tell you why Timmy Watson is the best midfielder in the comp, yet have nothing but vitriol for Buddha Hocking and Greg Williams.

And the cocky bastards strutted around with a bullshit sense of entitlement. That premierships came to them, not through virtue or hard work, but mere existence. They didn’t know football, and they certainly didn’t know hardship.

They filled my classrooms, corridors and playgrounds for years.

Denis Pagan stuck it up them. He hates Essendon too. He told our boys tales of eras gone by.

Of Les Foote’s 1950 team, who made North’s first Grand Final, against the middle-class teetotallers from up the road. At the first bounce, 18 North Melbourne players swung roundhouses and sent the opposition to the deck. (Essendon won by 4 goals.)

Of Essendon blocking North Melbourne’s VFL admission in 1897 and 1907. Of supporting our entry in 1925, on condition of giving them our best recruiting grounds.

Pagan’s North Melbourne had a great record against the Dons. And Carey always saved his best for them.

In one encounter, several of Essendon’s supposed hard men tried to ruffle Carey before the opening bounce. He played ferociously, kicked a swag of goals and lead the Roos to another victory.

I recall listening to one of the best matches of football I’ve ever encountered. North kicked twelve goals to two in the first quarter against a dominant 2001 Essendon team. In one of football’s greatest comeback, the arrogant pricks reeled us in.

And then I discovered the events of 1921.

North set-up a merger with Essendon League Football Club who needed a new home ground. The innovators at Arden St had figured the newly merged entity would gain access to the VFL via the back door. Once the North superstars signed with Essendon – including star ruckman Syd Barker – Essendon reneged and found another oval.

A generation of quality players were lost, and North’s subsequent entry into the VFL in 1925 was a shadow of what it could’ve been.

Essendon supporters will not ponder these events while drinking their Coke Zero and discussing whether Jobe Watson is hotter than his father.

But I will.



Filed under Features, History, Off Field, On Field

18 responses to “Why I hate Essendon

  1. all true professor, but recall (and savour) 1999, the one that shouldn’t have been ours, and the delight in revving up the essendon supporters already queuing up on the friday night for their GF tickets, being smug about the following day against Carlton,and well, the rest, as we know is history.

    i guess the other thing to recall that in modern times, how spectacularly unsuccessful essendon were (and dons fans really don’t like to go there, OK two flags either end of a decade, nothing in between, nothing since, and the baby bombers, squandered, the dream team, squandered.

  2. Natasha

    You hit the nail on the head, Rev. I grew up, and still live in, the area around Essendon…. it was horrible growing up, supporting a team that wasn’t them. Their supporters were (and still are) so arrogant, and full of crap. They hide when they lose (or blame the umpires, injuries and such), and when they win you never hear the end of it. And the behaviour of some of them after the game yesterday, where they threw bottles at Brady Rawlings, goes to show that Collingwood aren’t exactly the ferals out there.

    • TVOR

      At least with Essendon supporters it is more likely coke zero being flung than long necks of VB by Eddie’s army. 🙂

      As for you Rev, I have to admit that I too took a huge amount of satisfaction from North trouncing Essendon on the weekend, even as a non-North supporter. The way that Essendon handled themselves last year with the systematic destabilisation of Matty Knights in the media by the ‘independent’ footy commentator Hird, and the hypocrisy by Bomber Thompson in his defection from Geelong was a disgrace. It was saddening to see these two ‘gentlemen’ of the game lower themselves … and for what?

      The supporters that started cockily predicting a top 4 finish and a genuine shot at the flag have gone eerily quiet in recent weeks. Great win by North, and it’s nice to see that not one supporter has started proclaiming North’s premiership chances after a few decent results.

      • Natasha

        Oh goodness, premiership talk can remain inside our heads and in our dreams for now…. who on earth would want to look like a fool, the way that those who cockily predicted a top four finish, look now?! Good call Tvor 🙂

  3. 2014 for a tilt, but premierships are the products of a perfect storm, one being an injury free deep list, the other the hunger. Think 1997 no carey, no mckernan, think 1998 thought we had it in the bag (a la Geelong in 2008) Hawthorn in 2009.

    i’m just enjoying the footy, and there is a lot to enjoy, Wells (i’d be slipping a few bucks on the brownlow for him now), Edwards working hard, Pederson, LEigh Adams,(who i reckon is a real unsung hero), Greenwood, bastinac, ziebell, petrie (one of the games more valuable players)

  4. Terry S

    as a tiger we always disliked them but theirsupporters are the pits, at least the magpies know this mob bandwagon jumpers beyond belief well done roos

  5. Gus

    Great piece as usual. Nice to see us beat the cocky bastards on the weekend. That win sets us up nicely to gain points on our main finals rivals as Hawthorn, melbourne, Essendon and richmond all play each other this week and we play Port (disaster if we lose)

  6. Proud Bomber

    Rather than being clearly envious of the great Essendon Football Club you North Melbourne supporters should spend more time purchasing memberships and attending matches. I suppose you will hate the EFC even more once your team no longer exists or is forced to move to Tasmania or some other part of the planet.

    • Crazy Bomber

      This couldn’t be worded any better. If North Melbourne supporters stopped for one second with hate for other clubs, and instead practiced Love for their own club, then perhaps they wouldn’t be/have been/will forever be a basketcase and financial ruin. On borrowed time.

      • theholyboot

        North supporters are fantastic and as loyal as they come! Just few in number. A more worthy figure for debate would be % of fans who are members. Don’t get your backs up Bombers…don’t footy clubs love to be hated? Sure know I’m sick of sympathy support for Richmond!

  7. theholyboot

    Hahahaha…love this! As a Richmond supporter, maintained that Essendon and Carlton fans are the worst for all the same reasons! Both have not experienced much pain, and don’t know how to handle recent slumps. Worse than Collingwood and yes… Richmond fans. They remind me of Adelaide supporters in a way…can’t back my comments up too well, other than to say that Essendon fans are the most likely to attend the footy wearing an Akubra and a drize-a-bone! Case closed!

  8. robert

    sour grapes you roo supporters whinge whinge whinge just like carlton and collingwood inbreds and when your players are finishiing their carees they go rooting theirs mates wives – – – – – hhhmmm does wayne wanker carey ring a bell

  9. 1. Hard to bag a side with 45k paid up members when North narrowly avoid extinction each season.
    2. 2000 elimination final.
    3. Hamish Mac in round 1.
    4. Spend more time patting your own side on the back for their achievements and less time taking unnecessary pot shots at other, more successful sides

  10. Tom

    U no Wat fuck u get a life u mother fuckin peice of shit

    • I can spell

      Did anyone ever teach you how it goes? “I” before “e” except after “c”. It’s “piece of shit”. If you’re (notice “you’re”, short for “you are”, and not “your”) going to insult someone, at least spell it the right way, or risk looking foolish! Too (yes, with two “o”s) late. You already made an ass of yourself.

  11. Michael McGeary

    Lol north Melbourne and their one way rivalry with essendon.

  12. Pingback: Footy Almanac 2011 | AFL Footy Tipping

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