Wednesday, October 09, 2013

The 2013 Peter Crimmins Medal

On Saturday night the girls and I, and Shane, dressed up for Hawthorn’s “night of nights” as a wonderful way to cap of a brilliant AFL footy season. The Peter Crimmins Medal is the award for the Best and Fairest for the club across the year, and always a much envied night to not go to. A drunken celebratory discussion on the Sunday after the Grand Final win had us booking a table, and going along.

On the night I met up with Jenny, and Annie and Josie at a bar along Southbank, before we made our way to the Crown complex, and up the escalator to the Palladium Room. I have never been up here before, but it's here that the Brownlow Medal is also held.

We were served champagne as we waited to go in, found Amy and Shane, and when it was time we entered the main room and found our table.

Once seated it wasn't long before things got started. The Premiership win was clearly the toast of the night. The players on the list who were not part of the GF team were each introduced to the room, before the 2013 Premiership team was introduced, one by one.

Captain Hodge, with a voice as shaky as mine still is, spoke to the room, and talked about the process of reviewing the great game, and the win. We then got a screening of many of the amazing highlights across the screens in the room, and we got to cheer and enjoy the highlights again. Then the room erupted into the team song.

The President, and then our coach, Clarkson spoke, as entree was delivered to the table. Clarko was, as always, humble and life-affirming in his speech to the room, reminding us that life and those we love should always come first. The footy is important to the team, but that there are more important things.

Clarko then paid tribute to the great Lance Franklin, who's intention to move to another club had been made clear during the week. A highlights package of his incredible 9 years as a Hawk was played, to Green Day's Time Of Your Lives. Moments like that late kick in the 2007 Elimination Final against Adelaide. His 100 goals in 2008, those goals against Essendon in 2012, his hurdle goal against Collingwood this many special moments we have all enjoyed, and loved having his part of it. A Buddy fitting goodbye.

There was the full year in review as mains were served, and the vote count commenced. Then the three retirees, two who announced on the night, were given tributes and then spoke to the room. An emotional Hodge talked about Brent Guerra's career spanning three clubs and 251 games, and his two Premierships with the Hawks. Mitchell talked about the amazing journey of Bailey, and those three knee reconstructions and rehab processes, before Bailey spoke to the room. Sewell paid tribute to our hard man in Osbourne, before Ozzie also said farewell to the room and the Hawthorn faithful.

The count got interesting as several players were polling well toward the end, before Gibson powered on with such an impressive year. Roughead a worthy second, with Mitchell a consistent performance with third.

Gibbo's speech was worth going along to the dinner alone. Such a much loved Hawk!

Once the formalities were over, the band kicked in and the dance floor filled.

Such a great night, and an amazing way to top off a great footy year. We talked around our table about doing this event annually, and frankly I am surprised we haven't done it sooner!

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