The great man returns


James HirdImage via Wikipedia

I'm sitting at work diligently doing my stuff. I'm writing emails and thinking about the things that need to get done and the people I need to speak to. I'm in a motivated mood, but at the back of my mind is the news that thrills all Essendon supporters: James Hird, the Messiah in waiting, is poised to return to the club.

Then news filters through: a press conference at 10. That can only mean one thing, as I feel the excitement build as I continue working. I'm discussing a curly issue with one of the managers here when I glance at my watch and see it is a couple of minutes to ten. I cut our conversation short and hurry back to my desk. I plug in the earphones and tune into the webcast, and sit entralled, the world around me forgotten, as the great man is confirmed as our new coach. He speaks, his words like honey to my ears, his passion and commitment on show, his intelligence and innate leadership clear for all to see.

I am officially excited now. I feel a buzz. I love this football club, have done since I was a small boy. I share the passion that Hirdy has, when he speaks like that he is one of us, a fan, and in his case now, a servant of the club we all love. We have lost our way in recent years and fallen from our ore-eminent position. As much as anything I think it is that which has Hird returning home – he could not watch without acting.

Sitting there this seemed to be the club I remembered, powerful, proud, ambitious. The mojo was back. That was a feeling shared by thousands of excited Essendon supporters across the web. Hird is a man adored, revered even, for his feats on the ground and for the exceptional man that he is. He is ours and he has come back to save us.

Well that's hyperbole, but that was the general feeling. In popular sentiment there is nothing beyond James Hird, no feat too great, no hill too high. There is a huge risk in this appointment as an untried coach, yet I share this confidence. I have seen him do so much that I find it hard to doubt him. In any case, the benefits are immediate – the club surges, hope returns, excitement fills the heart of every true Essendon man.

I read the comments and the press torn from my work. Speculation remained as to who would assist him. The dream team was mooted, enough to make me giggle with delight. Couyld it be? Really?

Then there seemed more substance to one of the later rumours. Bomber Thompson, the coach of the mighty Cats – winner of two of the last three flags – was said to be resigning so that he could return to the club he himself captained to premiership glory long ago. This was too much. This was too good. This was supreme, sublime, wonderful, the coup of the century on top of the appintment of the century. Is it?

As I write this I do not know. Right now it's very good, but if there is any truth to this then I can say honestly that this day, September 28, is one of my happier days in recent memory.

Woo hoo! Go Bombers!

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