I'm a big Goodes fan. The way he handled himself last night as well, he knew when the siren went that he was retiring but he showed class and respect and didn't want to make it about him, giving a loyal club servant in Rhyce Shaw the due respect on his career.
I've followed Goodes career closely even as an opposition fan because as my passion for playing footy grew in my early teens he was becoming such a dynamic player and a joy to watch especially in his real prime. Will never forget the grand final battles of 2005 and 2006. The 2006 flag I thought was lost only seconds into the last quarter when from the centre bounce Goodes ran away with the clearance and goaled. Sydney had the momentum, it felt liked first goal of the last quarter would win and Sydney got it. I'm grateful that West Coast could cling on.
His decade from 2000 - 2010 made him somewhat of a trendsetter for the modern midfielder. Was around 6'4 and the 90 kg mark. Hard to tag because there was no-one like him in the game. His versatility and agility at that size couldn't be matched pound for pound. Thank god for Tyson Stenglein and Chris Judd who were able to go "head to head" in a tag (Stenglein) or attack fest (Judd) as such and try to hurt Adam on the counter attack.
There's been many highlights but one game in particular that will forever stick in mind, apart from battles against WC, is the 2012 GF. I've watched the game on replay a number of times over because from a neutral perspective, going for the Swans on that day, that was a classic Grand Final. Goodes on one knee from the 2nd quarter he refused to accept the sub vest and played on, just willing himself to get to contests and contribute. Couldn't influence play in the midfield and higher up the ground where he would have wanted, but as a deeper forward he was influential in not only kicking a goal himself through pure smarts in the last, but setting up goals for team mates (2 for Mitch Morton and 1 for K. Jack in the 2nd quarter immediately come to mind) again just with footy smarts and positioning. Hawthorn had no match up to control him.
Wasn't the best on ground but in terms of effectiveness while under duress, on field presence and leadership he was one of, if not the best for the Swans that day playing deep in a forward line that was height restricted with Reid the only other tall target through necessity. Morton was arguably a bottom 6 selected player that day but he can thank Goodes partly for his premiership medal by getting him involved in the game and assisting 2 quick goals as Sydney surged.
Not as influential consistently over the past couple of years and has made headlines for other reasons which I admire. Racism is a scourge in our game and he has campaigned a mission to remove it through certain acts. I've got no doubts that because of his stance against racism that he can impact the lives of others post retirement in a positive way, as he already does through working with the indigenous.
Its been a pleasure to watch you go about your business Adam, especially in your prime, and as a neutral lover of the game I say thank you for what you've given, and the AFL is indebted to you in a way that will have rewards for you in due time.
Read getgaff's post and try to learn. Don't try to justify your lack of perception and understanding in a backhanded pretence of praising Adam's amazing football ability. He is the distillation of moral courage.
The 2 finals this year have been a disappointment but one of the few shining lights to come out of it was the opportunity for Goodes to wind back the clock and play well in the midfield as if he was 25 again, not 35. That was a sight I had long given up hope of witnessing again.
OK, I'm in a better state of mind to post ITT now I think.
I'm just really sad that we've seen the last of Adam Goodes. I don't mean because I wish he had kept playing, we all think his body probably can't take another year of pounding (although I'd still back him to have his body in pristine condition for finals and big matches had he played on, that's just what he does). I'm sad that I'll never be able to see him galloping around in the 37 anymore. Sad that I won't be able to see him give those weird straight-armed high 5's that he enjoys offering teammates. Sad that I'll never see his flying marks. Sad that I'll never see him turn a game on his own when it's needed again. Sad that I'll never see his left foot snaps on goals that were as deadly as his right foot snaps. Sad that I'll never see him steam out of the square and kick goals that .01% of players ever have been able to. Sad that I'll never see the final playing link of what the club was 17 years ago when I first started supporting as an 8yo. That's part of why he means so much to me. The club as a whole holds a really special place in my life and I've only ever known the club with that athletic, humble and graceful superstar wearing the number 37. I certainly hope the number is retired. I suspect Adam himself wouldn't be in favour of it but I'd happily retire 37 (and 14, btw) right now if I was given the choice. But I digress...
It's been such a pleasure to watch the prodigiously talented young man turn into a bona fide superstar (who perhaps had some leadership still to develop) and then turn into the wise older stud who fearlessly leads the way on and off the field. No qualms with sticking his neck out on the line for something he believes in. No fear of the consequences when he believes he is doing the right thing. No apprehension for the pitfalls of losing when the glory of winning is still attainable. And even though I'm a little glum now, seeing the side run out without him in the group will just be bizarre. I don't even know how I'll handle it.
It's been down right depressing seeing him booed and jeered, taunted and racially scolded into retirement but I'm glad he has gone out his own way. He doesn't feel beholden to tell everyone what he's doing and he wants not to be in the spotlight. I just know that at the first home game next season, there better be a glorious celebration of him or I'll be disgusted. He'll be celebrated at the Skilton Medal but I cannot wait for his lap of honour at the SCG next year. And it better not be before the game while some people are still making their way to their seats. Advertise properly that it is going to be at halftime and cancel Auskick for the day. Sorry, kids. A statue at the SCG to be unveiled. A motorcade. Bring all the club greats to the SCG for the day. Hell, invite every player to have ever played with Goodes to attend. What a sight that'd be! Get them all there to celebrate this wonderful champion and the remarkable effect he's had on this club and the people of our club.
I've always been pretty cynical when it comes to meeting famous people or celebrities. I mean, they're just people, right? So if ever I see a celebrity walking in the street or ordering a coffee, it doesn't bother or excite me that much at all. But when I saw Adam Goodes in a bar one night a few years ago - granted I had had a few drinks and was perhaps more excitable than normal - I couldn't contain myself. I was a bucket of nerves. I had to approach him though. Here was a man who has meant so much to me and so much to the club I love. Selfish as it is, I had to go up to him, take a bit of his time and show him my appreciation for him. I approached, tapped him on the shoulder as he was waiting for his drinks at the bar and I can still remember exactly what I said to him. I said: "hello, I've been a member of the Swans since I was 8 years old and I just had to come over and tell you what an honour it is to meet you". He looked me in the eye, smiled a half-drunken smile, asked me my name, shook my hand, hugged me and then started dancing to the shitty club music blasting. I was in shock. I couldn't have wanted or expected more.
I'm left with so many memories of him. I won't even go into what he's done off the field as an ambassador and advocate at this stage, he won't stop being those things. I'd prefer to keep it on the field. In random order, his 2003 season of brilliance in the ruck, his goal off his left foot in the '05 GF, his goal out of the middle in the '06 GF, his goal late in the '12 GF on a busted knee, his throwing his body around late in the '12 GF on a busted knee, his goal out of the middle against Essendon in 2011, his mark over Bachar Houli at the MCG against Richmond in 2011, his game against Richmond in MOL's 300th game in which he was BOG, his mark against Brisbane at the Gabba in '03, his 8 goal game against Freo to win us the game at the SCG in '08, time after time after time of standing up in big matches and finals when others wilted, the minutes applause for him at the SCG this year against Adelaide, his 4 goal game against Essendon in 2013 after the Collingwood Indigenous round incident, that Collingwood game itself in which he was by far BOG, his BOG game in Geelong against the Cats to break their winning streak at home after McVeigh's daughter died, his game in Adelaide against the Crows in 2005 when he nearly dragged us to victory on his own, every time he's played at the SCG and been introduced with rapturous applause. I could definitely think of more, but you get the point.
As I said before, I'm so grateful that Adam Goodes was drafted to the Sydney Swans and played out his entire career with us. As a footballer and a man, he is one of a kind. I've heard Charles Barkley talk about NBA superstar from the 90's Hakeem Olajuwon quite often and he had a great way of describing him. He would say that Hakeem was one of the very few players in the league he considered to be an honourable man. A brilliant superstar of a player. But an honourable man first and foremost. Applicable to Goodes too, I feel.
That's hard , because as a little fella I had Skilts, then Bedford, then Kelly. Skilton was a freak who just had no fear =Kirk +2+ Bolton. Nash and Pratt must have been something else (read the Nash book, what a legend ) Bobby played in shit teams except for 70 and always stood out, Adam played in great teams and stood out. F, I don't know, all I know is that I have been so lucky to see so many great players wear the red &white.
don't really need to say anything about goodesy on field, everyone knows what a champ he's been. If it weren't for goodes we would still be trying to break the longest drought in premiership history. For that, and the years of unwavering and amazing service and loyalty to the club, i am forever in debt.
whiile I've only encountered the guy handful of times, i can safely say that a more humble and polite man i've never met. He truly is an ornament to not only the AFL, but Australia. Because of his work in the community (which i have seen first hand) and his leadership in raising awareness involving indigenous struggles i can safely say that i am a better person because of adam goodes being in this world.
thank you adam, for all the games you've won us, the goals you've kicked, the memories you've given.
thank you adam, for what you do for this country, and what you continue to give this country.
just thank you adam.
I've watched some of the footy shows tonight & when they show some of his highlights, I tear up knowing that I will never see someone so graceful play in our colours again for such a long period.
A sobering lesson for us all when watching our youngsters take their fiirst steps to carving out a career as a Blood. I can't help but think that Towers just may become the next LRT, that awkward player with flaws but honest as the day is long, or Rose may become the next Jude Bolton.
Without the great man out there to watch in the future, one can only cling to the hope that some of these boys will one day force me to shed a tear upon their retirement as triple p'ship players in some 12 years or so.
Possible, although it may not be a stand, just the way that it is. For the record I would refrain from voting as I always have with stands/etc. However if they want a Goodes stand, I am all for it, just not sure how you differentiate between say Kelly, Goodes, Skilton, etc. Almost rather them name a changeroom or something like that, quite small, but a nice tribute.
Goodes is an absolute champion of the game. Right up there with the best, and I wish him well in retirement. Would love to give him a standing ovation at the 'G on GF day, but if his preference is not to attend, its understandable. Although I would hate to see the mean spirited and moronic win this one.
PS I still miss his mate, Michael O'Loughlin. One of the most fearsome players I have seen in my time. Always loved watching him too.
My thoughts on the whole Goodes farewell to the game debate:
Why should he say farewell at the Brownlow for the benefit of the AFL when they were too slow to act to the booing???
Why should he do a lap of the MCG on Grand Final Day to say farewell when the likelihood is the two support bases there that day were the worst clubs with the booing???
If he wants to say farewell (and it is his decision after all) wouldn't he rather say farewell to those supporters who stuck by him, his own and at the SCG.
This isn't something to be owned by the AFL or Victoria but by Adam, the Swans and Sydney as a city.