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  1. #1
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    Murphy: The value of Tom

    http://m.westernbulldogs.com.au/news...e-value-of-tom

    Murphy: The value of Tom
    Bob Murphy
    28 March 2018 10:43 AM


    The ball spills free from the congestion of the pack and heís off after it like a hungry terrier.

    His familiar gait tracks the ball and the sharp mind begins to tick. If he canít get the ball, heíll put the clamps on the man who does with a bone jarring tackle.

    If he can somehow get his lightning fast hands on the leather, heíll create something that you or I canít even imagine yet. Heíll make one of his teammates better by giving them the ball in space.

    But as he changes direction, his knee lets go and the pain is scrawled all over his face. Those hands that were instinctively craving possession for the football, like thirst on a hot day, are now wrapped around the injured joint to stabilise it. To ease the pain.

    As football enthusiasts, weíve all seen enough of these injuries to know when itís a serious one. Thereís something about the angle or the subtle jerking movement that sends a cold shiver down our back. ĎTom Liberatore has done his kneeí.

    I know I wasnít the only Bulldogs supporter who hung their head in stunned sadness as Tom was helped from the field on Sunday.

    It wasnít a confirmed rupture of the ACL then, but we knew, didnít we? It was a cruel blow for the team on what was a tough day.

    Tom will miss the rest of the year to have the knee reconstructed. Itís Tomís second time around.

    After a disappointing season by his own lofty standards in 2017, Tom looked, to me at least, that he was in the best shape of his life.

    Even the cheeky look in his eye and the banter exchange with a GWS opponent moments before the opening bounce signalled to me, that Tom was back.

    The same Tom that has ravaged opposition teams both physically and mentally with his skills and sheer will for the contest.

    Players recover so much better from knee reconstructions than they did in the generation before, but his absence will sting all year.

    A lot has been written and said about Tom in recent years. By his own design, Tom doesnít conform to many AFL stereotypes, if any.

    While many athletes are drawn to the trimmings of life in the spotlight, the fame, endorsements or increasing their social media profile, Tom is an antidote to all of that.

    He looks and sounds different to modern footballers. Iíve never seen Tom in matching socks, for example.

    In football circles Tom would be considered Ďa bit out thereí, although it must be said, the football world is still very conservative. Tom lives in Brunswick and I would say, Tom is very Brunswick!

    But hereís the kicker - Tom trains harder and plays harder than anyone else around.

    When heís at his best, he is not just an agitator on the field, heís a protector for his teammates (despite standing at 5 feet, 10 inches).

    He instinctively plays for the team over himself on the field when many others have to be constantly reminded by teammates or coaches.

    In simple terms, the very best players make their teammates better, and thatís what Tom does. Weíll miss watching him this year, wonít we? We love him so.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Murphy: The value of Tom

    Gee Murph is great with words. He really got the spirit of Tom in that article. Brilliant both Tom and Bob.

  4. #3
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    Re: Murphy: The value of Tom

    Meh, I dunno. I sort of want to put my finger down my throat when these man-love articles come up.

    There should be a law banning sportsmen from professing how much they love each other in the media. One of my all time favourites was the 'I love Bomber" full page article by Gablett, vowing he would never leave Geelong and how much he loved Thompson. Loooooove. Some months later he was on a beach very far from Corio bay.

    By the way Tom, get well soon. We loves ya bra
    Last edited by Ghost Dog; 29-03-2018 at 03:10 AM.
    "We've got to be good in the phone box, and good in the tardis" - Pearls of wisdom from Luke Beveridge.

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