Tuesday, 27 August 2013


I must confess I never knew Everit myself, but whatever Everit took was clearly sufficient inspiration for the coaches and administration of the modern-day Essendon Football Club that they took it for their motto:


Not only have they been taking whatever they think Everit might be taking himself, they’ve boasted about taking whatever it takes all over their signage and advertising.  After disappearing for part of the year, you can see it below in one of the Essendon Football Club coach’s many press conferences about what Everit took, or didn’t take:

James Hird

To tell the truth (and, like Essendon Football Club’s coach James Hird, one should never let yourself and truth become a stranger for too long) I’m not exactly sure which press conference from 26 turbulent months is pictured above. It might have been the press conference when he said he wanted us to know all the facts. Or it might have been the one where he put on his pinstripe to say the release of the AFL’s facts was an “ambush,” making him “a victim of trial by media.” Or perhaps it was his from-the-heart after last Saturday’s game, when his words covered things like regret (for “certain aspects of what happened in 2012”) and remorse (in the future, “obviously”) and being 99% right (infamy, infmay, everyone’s got it in-for-me), while his body language said something different altogether.

So who might Everit be to have him made a motto for a football club trying to bring back the glory of older times?  Maybe he was the patient who left behind the mysterious Mexican Muscular Dystrophy drugs that proved so tempting for Essendon’s biochemists. Maybe he was on the drug that killed River Phoenix? Or maybe he once rode wingman for US Postal, or was the fellow who cleared out their bins after the pre-match injection session?

But whatever Everit was taking is not at all good for football. Or footballers. Or football coaches.

Because Whatever Everit Takes and whatever Essendon’s footballers took, or didn’t take—or took allegedly or allegedly didn’t take—in the end this has become all about the football coach.  About James Hird.

At this stage my New Zealand readers will be wondering who the hell he is, and why does Radio Sport care? (It’s not like the bastards bother to report the actual football here in NZ.) So who is he, this James Hird character? That’s easy. He’s the fellow who employed the spin doctor to make sure he became the story, while the facts did/didn’t get out there.  So let’s leave the last word to him:

"I think we can really grow from this as a football club."

Let’s see about that.

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