The Drum has been having some fun with a couple of regulars about the relative merit of various football codes. The question was asked what team is actually followed here at the Drum. That is obviously the North Melbourne Kangaroos aka the Shinboners so called (as the story goes) because being a working class team, a significant number of the players worked at the local slaughterhouse and the district butcher shops would load coloured shinbones in their windows on match days. Although some may suggest it was of the habit of North Players running the heel of their boot down the other players shins in the rough n tumble. Also it has been said that after a Nuclear war only the shinboners and cockroaches would survive…nothing seemed more true after the Bali Bombs.
Not many people may know but North has a very intimate if tragic connection to Indonesia. A number of North Players were seriously injured and horribly burned in the Bali Bombings. One of the finest examples of courage and determination was a North player by the name of Jason McCartney. Jason’s example and spirit highlights the dark but vast gulf between the cowardice and the failure of the bombers in contrast to very best of the human condition.
Given the Last Rites at Prince Alfred Hospital with 3rd degree burns over the majority of his body, Jason came back and vowed to himself that he would not let the bastards win. He committed himself to playing one more game of football at the highest level in the land and did just that.
The following clip is some highlights of that game and the post – match interview with Jason and his father. A couple of points that may not be obvious and some points that were only known later. Firstly, look for the full body burn suit, the man is still wearing after eight months. It is not hard to imagine but impossible to comprehend the pain every move (not to mention even knock) must be causing. As Jason says himself, he only wanted to play one last game to prove he could. The Drum would add what better way to highlight the gulf between humans and the bombers. He went on to say at the end of the game, that he had to now retire as the mental and physical courage it took to get this far had drained him completely.
Unfortunately, the Drum was not there for this match but did watch it live. As you will see it was perhaps one of the most emotional games of sport one can imagine and many a grown man shed a tear that day. Rarely do we get to watch such a triumph of the human spirit.
Rumour has it, the interviewer asked at the end “if now you have achieved your aim of playing one last time, what other goals or dreams do you have?” To which Jason is to have said to replied “I am not sure, but five minutes in a locked room with the bombers would be nice” Perhaps not true but a nice mental picture.
Anyway here is the video..My next post shall be on another ‘Rules’ footballer who dedicated his time to arranging for Jakarta’s youth to play the sport only to fall victim to another bunch of cowards in Jakarta.