Everyone told me that, as a Bulldogs’ supporter and life member of the club, grand final week was going to be one of the most memorable of my life – and they were so right … but maybe not for the reasons that unfolded as the week went on.
After securing my priority two grand final seats in the ballot, things were looking rosy – my knee problem just a minor diversion to a packed schedule. I had the Werribee Football Club presentation night to MC on the Thursday night, the annual sports lunch for Williamstown CYMS Football Club on the Friday, then the big day at the ‘G’, followed by hosting the family day at Whitten Oval on the Sunday – completing what I hoped would be an historic week.
It was an historic week alright, but I did not attend any of the four aforementioned functions. I spent the entire time at Epworth’s Freemasons Hospital.
To say it gave me a different perspective on the Bulldogs’ remarkable victory is a massive understatement.
It hurt not to be at the MCG to witness something I have dreamt about for my entire life … but it meant I saw it from a wider perspective, and was able to appreciate the depth of this win, not just for me, but for all Bulldog supporters, football fans in general, and the western suburbs.
This win will change lives, and not just those directly involved. It most certainly should change the way people of the west see themselves, and their football club. This is an opportunity to rise above the downtrodden battler tag and become a pacesetter, acting like the classy winners our football club was before, during and after the grand final.
The 2016 Premiership Cup is the platform of the future, something to build on – it is not something to use for squaring past grievances. That time is now gone.
It is still time to savour the moment, enjoy the magnitude of this achievement, and hope like hell we can do it again soon. The reality is nothing is guaranteed, so go for it.
If you have any news or events, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org – Kevin Hillier