Look, Hawks fans, we're not exactly spoilt for choice here.
We assume the majority of the brown and gold faithful will have a hard time working out who they will be cheering on in the Grand Final this Saturday night.
Maybe you're just going to opt to barrack for nobody.
But if you're looking to align yourself with someone this weekend for those two hours, and strictly just those two hours, then we're here to help.
Here's the argument for why you, as a Hawk, should go for a) Richmond or b) Geelong.
The argument for:
Brush your teeth morning and night, use your manners, use the term “that’s what I’m talking about!” regularly throughout the day and dislike Geelong. That’s essentially the upbringing of a Hawthorn supporter in a nutshell. So, imagine going against one of these foundational learnings on Grand Final day! Of all days!
Yes, we acknowledge Richmond isn’t an overly strong alternative, it really isn’t. But Geelong is just on another level.
Maybe your dismay at cheering on those fellas from Punt Rd can be eased by your loyalties to a Clarkson disciple. Damien Hardwick was a Hawk assistant coach for five years, through which time he helped us topple the Cats in ‘08. We’re not sure if these links as former students of the Clarkson school of thought have some sort of expiry date, but that’s something, isn’t it?!
As soon as the GF is over, Craig McRae, a current Tigers assistant coach, will trade his yellow and blacks for brown and golds, so it would be nice to have him arrive on the back of some premiership success.
Look, we’re not trying to say the argument is overwhelming. It’s a tough place we find ourselves in.
The argument against:
The gloat of a Tigers supporter arguably goes unmatched in comparison to any other fanbase in the country - maybe even the world. That yellow and black snarl would gain an extra menace if the Tigers were to add themselves to the stable of clubs who have won three-plus premierships in the 21st century. Can anyone handle this? Even the thought that this Tiger team could be remotely likened to our golden years of ‘08, ‘13, ‘14 and ‘15 is enough to give a slight shudder.
Then, imagine if the Tigers get up and they call out Dustin Martin as the Norm Smith Medallist! It would see Dusty move out of the double Norm club (g’day, Hodgey and Ayresy!) and into air not yet experienced by a human. The argument for Dusty being the greatest finals player ever would grow a few more legs and we have a vested interest in that not happening!
The argument for:
As a Hawthorn supporter, it is almost unfathomable to ever consider going for Geelong. In any normal season, the Cats would arguably be right down the bottom of any Hawks supporter’s list (with the exception of, maybe, Essendon). But this is 2020, and nothing is normal.
When deciding between the options of watching Geelong win or watching the Tigers build a dynasty (and having to bypass Punt Road for the next 12 months out of fear of hearing the inevitable ‘three-peat’ speculation), Hawthorn fans could be forgiven for developing a sneaky soft spot for the blue and white hoops come Saturday night.
The thing about the Cats is, we, as proud Hawthorn supporters, have a healthy respect for them. We love to beat them, and boy do we love to see them lose, but we respect the way they go about it. The way they’ve been able to thwart the system and stay competitive for such a long period of time, and the way their players so proudly play for the jumper. Noone could argue with the fact that it would be very fitting to see Gary Ablett Jnr bow out with another medallion around his neck.
There’s Hawthorn pedigree in there too; star midfielder Sam Menegola got his first taste of the AFL system while on Hawthorn’s list in 2011, Coach Chris Scott’s twin brother played 22 games for the Hawks in 1997, and several members of the Ablett clan have ties to the brown and gold.
But connections and respect aside, there’s one definitive reason why you might choose to support Geelong. The Hawks are the only team to go back to back (to back) in the 2010s, and we plan to keep it that way!
So... Carn the Catters!!
(You might need to say those last three words a few more times before they begin to feel less dirty).
The argument against:
Well.. We probably laid out the crux of our argument against Geelong while simultaneously trying to argue for them. It’s GEELONG. Our ARCH RIVAL. Think of ‘89! Of ‘08! Of the Kennett curse! Of the 2013 preliminary final (thank you, Silk)!
The message has been engrained in our psyche over the last 31 years: anyone but Geelong.
The blokes who broke Dermie’s ribs, who punctured Dipper’s lung. The supporters who laughs boastfully in our faces when the curse dragged on for five whole seasons.
The team against whom we’ve come so painfully close against on so many occasions, only to depart the MCG with ears covered, trying to block out the dreadful sound of their supporters singing about being ‘the greatest team of all’.
Not to mention, if the Cats salute on Saturday, they will be lifting their fourth cup aloft since the turn of the century. Only one other team has achieved such a feat, and we’d like that statistic to remain in tact.
For all of us self-respecting Hawks fans – we're not Cat people, we’ve never been Cat people, and we won’t suddenly discover a new-found affection for Cats this weekend.
So there you have it; we have absolutely no idea who you should barrack for!
Perhaps instead of throwing your support behind any one team on Saturday, why not use the Grand Final as an opportunity to reflect on everything we have achieved as a football community amid trying circumstances in 2020.
Thank you to all of our wonderful members and supporters for the year that was.
And all jokes aside; we wish all the very best to two very deserving teams in the Cats and Tigers as they go to battle in the 2020 big dance.
May the best team win!