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Advice to new Bombers fan bishop

  • 02 August 2018


I have to admit I was disappointed. I know we have to walk the road that God puts before us, even if it's not the road we want to see. Still, my heart fell a little when you announced you would be supporting Essendon, Archbishop Comensoli*.

Essendon? The team of drug cheats? The team of #standbyhird conspiracy theorists? Why would anyone want to support them? 

Actually you didn't announce you would be supporting Essendon. The announcement said Essendon would be your 'team of redemption'. Now that's an interesting turn of phrase. One might even say it's a redeeming one.

What does it mean to join a wounded, broken organisation in its pain? What does it mean to volunteer to take on some of the burden of that pain yourself? You could have joined the 100,000 members of the Richmond Football Club and enjoyed a few (perhaps fleeting) moments of success. You could have stood in solidarity with Melbourne Football Club supporters as they continue their 54-year-long vigil at the gates of the promised land.

You could have signed on with any of the smaller clubs, who would have loved the attention you brought. But you decided to stand with Essendon. Broken, wounded Essendon.

Now that the choice has been made (and you realise it's irrevocable don't you? Melburnians don't ever, ever change football clubs) might I offer you some advice? From one AFL fan to another: Sit with the people.

The corporate masters of the game are going to court you. The Essendon Football Club's administrators will offer you a special place in the stands, and invite you to their corporate events. The football media will try to seduce you, to publish your tips each week in the newspaper and join the laughs on the Front Bar. The AFL will try to get you to launch its latest new AFLXYZ game involving two footballs and four sets of goalposts, which they're sure will be a winner with the kids.


"You have the light of a new dawn to guide you and the freedom to choose how you're going to face the journey ahead. Sit with the people."


Ignore the masters who think they control the game. If Essendon is a broken, wounded club it's because they tried too hard to play the game of the corporate masters. They sought a corporate approach to manufacturing success, and when they were accused of breaking the rules they followed the corporate playbook —