7 May 2016, SCG, Sydney, Australia
Titus O'Reilly is a footy satirist who has followed the Demons since 1809. He delivered this speech at a Sydney Swans Redbacks coterie function, that he was lured to by the prospect of an open bar. The Swans were playing Essendon that day.
Thank you ladies and gentlemen. I feel in good company being amongst footy fans.
What a great club you have in the Swans, so well run.
I’ll give you an example of how well run it is.
They saw that you play Essendon today and thought, these people are going to need a couple of hours of drinking to face that, so here we all are.
It must be nice to have your membership money go to a well-run club. Each year I can claim my Demons membership as a charity donation when I do my tax.
I actually felt quite nervous coming here and speaking to you this afternoon.
It’s hard to follow the comedic performance Collingwood put on for you all back in Round One.
Wasn’t that something? I bet you all felt very sorry for them and didn’t gloat at all.
They’re a club that’s caused you a lot of problems in recent years.
Not on the field of course.
Collingwood haven’t caused anyone trouble on the field in some while.
I mean how good was Eddie’s decision to take the Collingwood coaching position off Mick Malthouse and hand it to Nathan Buckley.
Collingwood have been lower on the ladder every year since and Malthouse going to Carlton has probably set them back a decade.
Talk about killing two birds with one stone.
I can’t remember a single decision that has made so many people as happy as that coaching change has.
At least not since no fault divorces were introduced in Australia.
Really, we should all be thanking Eddie.
Especially given you guys managed to also palm off Jesse White onto them.
That was just cruel.
They already had Travis Cloke and you gave them another forward that can’t kick goals.
Still, Collingwood have caused you a lot of problems.
You may remember Eddie McGuire’s disastrous attempt to promote musicals.
And as you know, they’re a big reason you lost your Cost of Living Allowance.
That’s when a bunch of Victorian clubs got upset that you were correctly following an AFL policy.
There’s nothing more upsetting than when a club follows the rules.
So the AFL took away your COLA and that made the VFL people very happy.
Oh, except then the AFL went further and slapped you with that trading ban.
That really taught you a lesson for obeying their rules.
Remember, this is a sporting body that fined Melbourne for being found not guilty of tanking.
Now we still don’t really know the reasons why the AFL imposed that trade ban.
In all honesty, they can’t really come out and say they did it just to stop Eddie bothering them, even if that’s a perfectly understandable reason.
I mean, if someone said to me, ‘I’m doing this so Eddie stops contacting me every single day’ you’d understand.
Anyway, you guys seem to still find great players despite the ban.
I actually thought the lockout laws would cause you more problems.
At the very least, I expected the lockout laws to void a few of your existing contracts.
But despite all that you’ve got players like Tom Papley, Callum Mills, Tom Mitchell, Isaac Heeney, the list goes on and on.
The next move might be to just ban you from having players altogether.
What’s worse about the ban and the stripping of COLA is that hasn’t actually stopped the Victorian teams from complaining.
Now they’re complaining about zones.
They’re furious because the Giants have won a few games. This is a side that lost to Melbourne not that long ago.
Suddenly, the Riverina is being fought over like it’s the holy land.
It’s the heat that comes on any interstate team when they’re good. It’s lucky the Gold Coast are an absolute mess. No one is complaining about them.
Not even their six members.
I feel a bit sorry for the Giants, after all the AFL makes them regularly visit Canberra.
Surely that more than offsets any benefits they get in recruiting.
What we should look at instead is how many Victorian teams keep shooting themselves in the foot.
As a supporter of a Victorian club, I can tell you, they make enough mistakes to keep themselves out of the finals, let alone what anyone else is doing.
The problem with a lot of clubs is they’re run almost as badly as the Shane Warne foundation.
I was shattered when Warnie shut down his foundation. I don’t know how to donate to his parties now.
Anyway, speaking of badly run organisations brings us to today’s opponent, the Essendon Football Club.
Essendon are like the band Nickelback. They're terrible and the majority of people can't stand them but they still have a massive following.
The Bombers have been more a legal defence fund over the last three years than a football club.
That’s who have been the big winners out of this, lawyers.
Every year on James Hird’s birthday, lawyers light a candle to him.
Essendon members can actually choose when they sign up whether to sponsor a barrister or a Queens Counsel. It’s a lovely touch.
The Bombers, may not have the Riverina as a recruiting problem but they do have Melbourne University law school.
Today, you’ll get to see what happens to a team that has had its twelve best players banned from playing.
Yet they’ve still got one more win than Fremantle.
That’s also one more win than James Hird has had in court over the last few years.
This week he lost a case to get Essendon’s insurer to cover his legal coasts.
It’s the first time I’ve ever barracked for an insurance company in a court case.
Poor James. If the Victorian teams really wanted to stop the Giants they should try and get Hird to coach them.
It's sad that you can be run out of a club just because your players have been injected hundreds of time with unknown substances.
I’m going to go out on a limb here today and tip you guys to win.
It’s not just because I’m here at this event, it’s because I saw Essendon play Carlton last week.
It’s OK, I’m receiving counselling.
Did anyone here see it?
It was arguably the worst game of football I’ve seen and I’m a Melbourne supporter.
The whole second quarter had not one single goal scored.
I would have been quite happy to have died during that game. I actively wished for it.
Yet no matter how much I wished for it, death did not come.
I must say in finishing, you really are very lucky to have such a well-run club, to have seen Premierships and great players like Tony Lockett, Adam Goodes and Paul Kelly.
I know it hasn’t always been that way.
Because the opposite is worse. So much worse.
I’m a Melbourne supporter and barracking for them has taken a decade off my life.
The only good news for me, is that means ten less years of having to watch them.
Good luck to your team today and thank you.