Hey Jobe, don’t make it bad… Take a sad song, and make it better..
By The Solution
If you are old enough to remember football in the 80s, you will remember that there was one number that dominated the Essendon duffle coat scene – the number thirty two. It was the number of Tim Watson, a before-his-time 6 foot plus powerhouse, a running and goal kicking machine. A man child who played (and dominated) his first game at 15, he was the hero of kids, the darling of Grandmothers, and everybody in between loved him.
He was another thing too – humble and wise beyond his years. A credit to his family and his country upbringing, he handled the burden of fame and the responsibility of being a superstar with aplomb.
Jobe may have looked and sounded almost exactly like Tim, but in terms of playing style, the similarities ended there. His Dad could run like the wind; Jobe ran like a man who was about to break wind. His Dad was a powerful and deadly accurate kick who would run away from a pack to devastate his opposition; Jobe’s forte was extracting the ball from a pack, and acting as a facilitator for others.
In fact Jobe played far more like his mentor Greg Williams than Tim. When it’s all said and done he was a fantastic player, and thoroughly deserved to win – and retain – his Brownlow Medal. I’ve written about my thoughts on that disgusting affair elsewhere, so the less said about that, the better.
But when it comes to character, Jobe is cut from exactly the same cloth as his famous Dad. He is humble, wise beyond his years, and you’d struggle forever to find a person who has a bad word to say about the guy. He was and remains a leader of men – and the leadership he displayed through the most tumultuous period in our Club’s history was outstanding. One wonders if a lesser man could have kept the players as close knit as they remained, particularly during the season of suspension, and it is not hard to imagine a scenario that without Jobe, Caro’s predicted and prayed for “exodus” may have actually happened.
So as Jobe retires, I wish to say to him “thank you” for all he has done – he really did take a sad song and make it better. For me Jobe, the way you played and carried yourself on and off the field, you are and will always be, an Essendon champion.