The fact is that the average man’s love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth. He is not actually happy when free; he is uncomfortable, a bit alarmed, and intolerably lonely. Liberty is not a thing for the great masses of men. It is the exclusive possession of a small and disreputable minority, like knowledge, courage and honor. It takes a special sort of man to understand and enjoy liberty — and he is usually an outlaw in democratic societies.

 

Note – if you’re not a Melbournian (or a Strayan at the very least), you may as well bugger off to some other corner of the interwebs.

This post contains stuff that will be lost on anyone whose life doesn’t centre around the Mighty Maggies – if you attempt to glean wisdom from this post without knowing about what we proper Aussies call ‘footy’, you may as well be trying to decipher the Enuma Elish or the Upanishads, using a Russian-> French dictionary.

 

OK, folks – we’ve got rid of the Yanks, Poms, Frogs, Krauts, Nips, Bubbles, Kinezi… pretty much anybody who has not heard the crowd roar ‘BALL!’ at the G.

So let’s get our Maggie-love on…

Here’s the thing. I am an admirer of excellence in pretty much anything. Roger Craig: excellent running back. Joe Montana: excellent quarterback. Lawrence Taylor (or Mike Singletary): excellent linebackers (and linebackers are the toughtest motherfuckers in NFL, bar none). Kyle Bass and Marc Faber: excellent analysts.

But Dane Swan? Get the fuck out.

If there is such a thing as the perfect footy player, Swannie is it.

Swannie’s not ‘silky’ (as Steele Sidebottom tries to be, and fails: kick the fucking thing rather than trying to look stylish as you do it, you stupid cock).

Swannie’s not pretty – his Mum might tell him he is, but be honest Mrs Swan… be happy that he seems to be a nice kid, so you did a pretty good job.

If you lined up 20 AFL players, Swannie would look like the journeyman: he looks a little bit dumpy, he’s not very tall, and he’s not ‘chiselled’. He’s not physically imposing: he looks like a veteran forward pocket who might have played 100 games, but who’s not a ‘first 20’ guy.

And yet he has amazing footspeed, great endurance, and a preternatural ability to read the play and get the pill. And his disposals are unpretentious and effective.

All done without the histrionics that have become the rage – a lot of mid-sized AFL players carry on like Lleyton fucking Hewitt whenever they do their job (kicking the ball through the sticks is your fucking job, yo).

And of course Swannie has finally become non-unsung: last year the prissy little 7-stone faggots who become umpires (fuck I hate them) finally had to acknowledge that Swan is the ultimate ball-getting ‘gut-runner’ who burns off the opposition’s best tagger, week after week.

If the faggotty ‘distance runner’ types who become umpires had ever actually fucking played footy, Swan would have won the last three Brownlows. (Chris Judd is an excellent footy player, but Swan’s stats – in a better team – were better than Judd’s).

 

OK, thus far, it’s pretty much wisdom-free: an encomium to the Magpie’s prime playmaker (Pendlebury is good, but he’s not Swan).