For many Footy philosophers, Ross Lyon embodies Nietzsche’s concept of the “Overman” who questions old, established AFL Christian values in his bid to create a new morality that drives the teams he coaches to dour, wholesome yet accountable football choices. Lyon becomes – as Overman – a free spirit whose main earthly role is to re-think coaching morality in strategising everyday contests and game plans. Prior to this clash he prophesied that his Dockers needed to keep the Hawks to 12 goals to apply scoreboard and mental pressure. In the spotlight were his forwards after their Grand Final discarding woefulness in front of goal cost them the big cup. Both sides are hit by injury – Fyfe and Michael Barlow – and suspension – Zac Dawson miss for Freo, while Hodge and pre-match McEvoy are missing.
Pre-game at the MCG, the Hawk premiership flag is unfurled by number one ticket holders Peter Hudson and Dulcie Kennedy. The game is philosophically, a great contrast to the Grand Final as the Hawks open up with 6 goals in the first, then 6 more in the second quarter to lead by 57 at half time. Freo have been opened up by Hawthorn’s short kicking possession game along with their small forwards Populio, Bruest and Rioli who all kick multiple goals. Up back and undermanned Demon journeyman and revolving door player Kyle Cheney has his biggest game for the brown and gold, along with club cult figure Matt Spangher and the irrepressible life force of Josh Gibson. Spangher is particularly loved, cheered for early mark, run, kick, handball, punch, body and tackle. When he’s subbed late in the 3rd after his manful game for two gamer Angus Litherland, the Hawks members boo in despair.
Freo get a few junk goals at the death but it’s a belting that challenges an Overman response from Lyon. He delivers in alignment with Frederich’s vision.
The Overman is not an impossible goal or ideal
Ross has experienced 4 Grand Final appearances for no reward. This disappointment would have consumed a lesser man however he continues in his life quest with both dignity and poise intact as an object lesson to other aspirants returning from disappointment such as Mick Malthouse. Post game he alludes to other more pressing hurts in his football past and the lessons that come in pausing before moving again to the hunt for re-attainment in the knowledge that life throws up the privilege of second and ongoing chances.
The Overman is not the figure of the Self-interested Individual.
A surface reading suggests overwise given his journeyman coaching status. But Lyon with his multiple goals is true to Nietzsche as he purges his celestially defined morality for one based on flood, tagging and mental pressure. Despite jumping ship from St Kilda to Fremantle after they’d knifed coach Mark Harvey in 2011 amid accusations toward Lyon of deceit, secret negotiations without his own managers knowledge and greed, the antithesis suggests the race for moral goodness of September was run at the Saints, the quest for a higher life guide over.
Who could blame Ross for bailing in the light of a number of indiscretions, looming failure at Moorabin and a sense of degeneracy including the leaked shot of Captain Nick Reiwoldt’s member, the St Kilda schoolgirl fiasco, an ageing list of warriors unable to recommit to a code in their image and the failure to make the finals. The reward has been one Freo Grand Final appearance with the holy grail surely a matter of time.
The fascinating journey continues…..
Hawthorn 21 11 137 d Fremantle 11 13 79