A Boom chance to take Charlie home
IN THE end they shook hands and shared a laugh. But don't expect Dermott Brereton to ever be a fan of North Melbourne great Brent Harvey ... and vice versa.
Three years after first branding 'Boomer' Harvey "selfish", multi-media star Dermie had been at it again two weeks ago after the Roos' shock loss to Brisbane.
Going in with as much force in his newspaper column as he did on the field, Dermie said Boomer's selfish attitude was reflected in him "taking the shot at goal instead of giving the ball to a better-placed teammate", or running at "break-neck speed towards goals, but saving very little in the tank if the ball is turned over".
And that's why Dermie's television interview with Boomer before North's clash with St Kilda last Saturday was compulsive viewing.
Though, as much as he may have wanted to give Dermie a genuine clip, Boomer settled for light-heartedly telling the ex-Hawk that he switches off the radio everytime he comes on.
Boomer might have the absolute last laugh come the night of Monday, September 22 - Brownlow Medal night.
If Boomer manages to take home 'Charlie', at 36 years of age, he would well and truly be the oldest player to ever do so and complete one of the most remarkable stories in VFL/AFL history.
Fitzroy legend Kevin Murray is the oldest Brownlow winner, being 31 when he was presented with the medal he still wears in 1969.
Boomer is certainly as good a chance as any.
In his 19th season, he is enjoying arguably his best. From a statistical view, he is averaging career-highs of 26.5 disposals and 3.1 tackles.
He is one of only two players to have collected over 400 disposals and kicked more than 20 goals - the other being Gary Ablett, whose shoulder surgery has left the door ajar for others to snaffle the game's greatest individual honour.
Boomer is also 10th for inside-50m entries (72) and 19th for goal assists (13), and, belying his ageing legs, trails only Chris Yarran (53), Isaac Smith (50) and Jasper Pittard (49) for most bounces (45).
Oh, and he's going so well, the 168cm pocket rocket has even registered a hit-out ... the second of his career.
Boomer was taken with pick 46 in the 1995 national draft behind Clive Waterhouse (No.1), and 200-gamers Scott Welsh (17), Barry Hall (19), Daniel Chick (25) and Kane Johnson (27), all long disappeared from the AFL.
He will move into the top five on the list of most career games tonight when he plays No.379, surpassing Simon Madden and drawing to within four of Robert Harvey.
After yesterday re-signing to play on in 2015, selfish or not, he will be laughing all the way to the 400-game milestone, with Michael Tuck's all-time record of 426 games beckoning in 2016.