Jezza – glory, fame, fun and love
The sale of Carlton great Alex Jesaulenko's memorabilia hit the headlines during the week when one of the big ticket items had to be withdrawn from sale, but in the wake of the federal election one auction item is a reminder that sometimes our politicians don't mind the cover of a good footy scandal. Lot nine in the Leski auction is a collection of Jezza's letters from his time at Carlton, including a speech he made when resigning as the Blues captain-coach having led the club to the 1979 premiership, with internal politics relating to the attempted recruitment of Graham Teasdale the cause of that split. In the wake of the controversy, then prime minister and Blues fan Malcolm Fraser wrote to Jesaulenko on December 21 with this observation: "Dear Alex, I notice you have been helping to keep politics off the front pages recently. For that, my thanks."
The auction of the memorabilia on September 26 features many such gems, all lovingly curated by Jesaulenko's late wife Annie, who died on New Year's Eve. Her care and dedication to maintaining the collection shines through in the catalogue, with some amazing pieces of football history among the lots being offered. Take for example the very-1970s wooden cabinets which Jezza received as reward for breaking the club record of 97 goals – he kicked 123 – in 1979. No retro op-shop for these beauties, which come with a plaque extolling Jezza's feat and a price tag of up to $5000. Pssst can't help wondering how he lugged them home from trophy night. There's also the mystery of how Jezza smashed the top off his AFL Team of the Century award. Valued by the auctioneer at $3000-$5000 and inexplicably featuring Polly Farmer's signature underneath the wooden base, it's believed to be the first time one of the men honoured as the best footballers from 1897 to 1996 has put up his trophy for sale. And while that gong might be Jezza's crowning achievement of a glittering career, for those wanting to spend a little less you could fork out the $500-$700 being asked for Jezza's "Wacker award" – a trophy made by a Buninyong silversmith for the Mel-bourne Times and presented to a beaming Jezza in 1978. Needless to say every Carlton wacker worth their salt have probably checked their own cupboards this week in search of the "lost" 1970 grand final jumper. Originally listed as lot 13 in the auction and valued at up to $100,000, Jezza and his family have been unable to locate the original that he wore when he took the acclaimed "mark of the century". The No. 25 that had been on display at the National Sporting Museum was thought to have been worn between 1970 and 1975 and was to be offered for sale, however on closer inspection it became apparent that the CFC logo on that jumper differed from the one Jezza wore in the classic grand final win over Collingwood. "The only person who would know definitively what happened to the jumper has died," Jesaulenko said in a statement on Friday. "To me it was only ever a jumper, one of many I wore during my sporting career. What upsets me is the thought that Annie would be so distressed. But as I've said to my kids, it may turn up and until it does we move on." With their personal loss, it's no doubt been a difficult time for the 68-year-old and his three children. If nothing else, this collection should remind us that sporting fame is fleeting, but true love endures forever.
7 matches in the next 21 days before the next international break will be a major test of Manuel Pellegrini's Manchester City outfit in the English Premier League. And AFL players reckon the six-day break is hard?
0 wins so far this season for Australian triathlon star Pete Jacobs, who admits the whips are cracking with a month left until his Hawaiian Ironman world title defence.The 32-year-old says the pressure is building ahead of the October 12 championship at Kona. Today he's looking to break through at the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast race.
5 candidates have been interviewed for the vacant Brisbane Lions coaching position. Expect an appointment before the end of the month.
What they should do...
... is stop AFL commentators saying "you can't take injured players into finals". Where does this supposed no-brainer come from? And why do they keep peddling it? Tell me one final where it is a widely held view that injured players cost a team the result? Yet off the top of their head most people can give you four examples of injured players that have played pearlers in finals. Nigel Lappin in the 2002 grand final and Steve Johnson in 2011 are just two that spring to mind. Jude Bolton played 2005 with a busted shoulder and 2012 with a wrecked knee. Ditto Adam Goodes and his knee in 2012. Both were influential. I'm sure there are countless others. I know it makes for a nice cliche, but let's get serious, it's rubbish. - Sam, Coogee