Friday, 18 June 2004


Dermot Brereton is certainly more qualified to talk about it than I am, poncy tennis-playing weener that I am, but "aggressive hardness" is a pathetic synonym for courage. For mine, he's right on the money; at the top level, football is as much about courage as it is about skill and athletic ability.

However, his example of the Hawthorn-Essendon dust-up from a couple of weeks ago is rubbish. A brawl is not a test of courage. Courage in football is the midfielder who keeps his head over the ball as Michael Voss' hip'n'shoulder bears down on him, or the half-back flanker dropping back into the gap in front of a leading Tony Lockett, or Jonathon Brown (or, more recently, Nick Riewoldt) running back with the flight of the ball into a pack.

If the Brisbane Lions are intimidating, its not because they are bigger than everyone else, its because the opposition knows that, when they go in after a loose ball with a Lions player, the Lions player will not lift their head. You don't see the Lions brawling.

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