Match Report: Presentation Night II at The Corner


Following on from the cracker of a night that was Presentation Night 1, last week saw the talkfest return to the Corner, this time with You Am I frontman Tim Rogers and Richmond legend Matthew Richardson joining Francis Leach on stage.

The first show featured iconic songwriter Paul Kelly, and music lover and Age columnist Bob Murphy of the Bulldogs. Big (footy) boots to fill for Rogers and Richo, but one they handled with the vigour of a Crowley tag and the ease of a Stevie J sidestep.

As with the first show, much of the curiosity lay in seeing how the two stars of their respective disciplines would handle a very different sort of spotlight. And, just like Kelly and Murphy, it didn’t take long for everyone to get into stride.

Richo has become a polished media performer, and Rogers was far removed from the animal that storms around on stage belting out Who Put The Devil In You. But, and much credit must go to Frank Leach, it took about 5 minutes for the two to relax into the roles.

Rogers told us about the origins of his love for North Melbourne and his ongoing love for Glenn Archer, while Richo beamed as he talked about representing his home state of Tasmania after only 3 AFL games. Actually, one of many things learnt from both shows is that there is a shitload of love for State Of Origin footy still. Well, Origin as it used to be before footballers became precious commodities that cannot have an opinion or leave the house without being bubble wrapped.

As with Kelly in PN1, Leach asked Rogers about the moments that led to the transition from prospective footballer to rock star (what a horrible choice of career pathways). They talked of the parallels between the two. We heard about a cramped dressing room in Sydney as Rogers watched his beloved Kangaroos played in a Grand Final.

The ‘Kitbag’ segment was killer again, Richo producing his 93 Tasmanian jumper and a Pearl Jam setlist signed by one Eddie Vedder (a Richmond fan, apparently). During ‘Grand Vinyl’, Rogers played The Replacements, and Richo danced with awkwardness by choosing You Am I’s Berlin Chair, at which point Rogers assured him there was ‘plenty more to being a groupie’. Richo revealed that, before Pearl Jam and You Am I, his first album was that of a wedding band performing covers of the hits of the time.

We spoke of The Stones, we spoke of duffel coats, we spoke of kicking a goal on the biggest stage of all (The Community Cup). It was brilliant stuff. We drank beer and talked footy. We finished off with Rogers and a guitar, the way God intended him, treating Richo to an acoustic Berlin Chair.  

Both Presentation Nights have been a stomping success. I don’t know about you, but I was getting pretty sick of footy. With the drawn out Essendon bullshit, racial abuse, confusing rule changes and the inability of players to reveal too much of their character without being shot down or fined, it’s been a long season or two. But these nights spent at the Corner reminded everyone of how great footy can be when you cut out the crap. It’s a great game, one that’s easy to love in its pure form, and one that is easy to tire of when saturated by scandal. Bravo Presentation Night, for reminding me that I still love footy. And music. And beer.

Now excuse me while I grab my duffel coat and an esky and head on down to watch some VFL.