I DIDN’T think twice about playing in my third EJ Whitten Legends game on Tuesday.
I love it.
It’s a highlight on the AFL calendar every year and it was awesome running out on Etihad Stadium again.
Now in its 19th year, players from the past come together in EJ’s name.
But it’s not just about a footy game to honour his legacy.
It’s important to create awareness about prostate cancer.
There were 26,000 fans who came to watch us old-timers run around and in an amazing stat, it was the fourth highest rating TV game of the year.
That’s pretty amazing.
I reckon it shows everyone still loves how footy used to be played.
I wish had some good stories about the afterparty but I’m banned from Crown.
Anyway, I lined up at full forward for the Vics, alongside Matty Lloyd and Dave Hughes.
Hughesy gave me a tap on the shoulder before the game and said “when you’re having a shot, I’ll run past for a handball.
“I won’t miss.”
I was having none of that.
The All Stars got off to a good start thanks to captain-coach Shane Crawford and TV breakfast star Karl Stefanovic.
It’s fair to say he was out of his depth but it was a great effort for him to donate his time to such a great cause.
As always, there were plenty of highlights, but one soccer goal out of mid-air in the second quarter was clearly the highlight of the game — maybe even the year.
I kicked it, by the way.
Our coach, Rexy Hunt, gave us a real cook at half-time.
He was pretty keen to win.
Of course, not to be upstaged, the ‘Wiz’ Warwick Capper chimed in with some inspirational words.
So he tells us, anyway.
I don’t think anyone was listening, which he was pretty flat about.
He said “not many blokes kick 100 goals in a year, hey Fev?”
Thanks for the reminder.
The second half is when things start to get a bit more serious.
A few blokes start going for the Richie Vandenberg medal for trying too hard.
It’s not a medal you want to win.
This year it even got physical, with Campbell Brown getting reported for whacking another one of his old teammates in Michael Osborne.
I think Browny is the only player in the game’s history to get reported.
I’m sure the tribunal will throw that one out, mate.
There was a bit of a battle up forward between myself and Lloyd and we both ended up kicking four goals.
Lloydy only plays these games to win best on ground, so he was pretty happy he did.
In the end, we got up by nine points, much to the delight of the home crowd.
They had a ripping time, which is the main thing.
There were chants, a Mexican wave that went for a good 10 minutes and a bundle of laughs.
Most importantly, a lot of money was raised for a great cause.
I’m looking forward to next year already