It would be a good gig being Luke Beveridge’s agent about now.
The guy seems to have a Midas touch, combining the courage to make tough choices and the intelligence to know which tough choices to make. Having only taken over at the Bulldogs two years ago, with the club reeling from a string of high-profile exits, to oversee such a dramatic turnaround was quite incredible.
Aside from his obvious talent as an AFL coach, the guy appears to be all class. His symbolic gesture in giving his premiership medallion to Bulldogs’ injured captain, Robert Murphy, was one of sport’s special moments that will be remembered and talked about perhaps as much as the memorable game itself.
Some may say for a coach who already had three premiership medals, giving another up might have meant less, but to me that changes little and kind of misses the point. Even the most simple acts of generosity and kindness are often magnified in their impact on the person receiving them.
The debate that occasionally comes up in the AFL about whether players who don’t play in the Grand Final should still get a medallion overvalues the importance of the medal itself. Medal or not, all those who have been part of the Bulldogs’ squad this year know what part they have played and those who played in the final know how much of a contribution they made on the day. Beveridge’s gesture meant a lot more to Murphy because it was a public recognition of the important contribution Murphy has made as captain and mentor to the young and developing group of players who were able to win without him on the day.
Well played Luke Beveridge and your team. Thanks for providing such a beautiful and enduring memory of this Grand Final Day.