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Most Heartbreaking Loss?

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87 Prelim, I was young enough to believe in fairytales and we were on such a roll. For the young Deelanders we had even more momentum than last season.

Even 32 years later I'm still in disbelief watching that game.

Closest we've been in my lifetime to the flag

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While I was there as a 9 yo at the Western Oval for that great win in the final Rd of 87 sufficiently to embed it in my mind for ever, oddly enough, I wasn't that interested in attending the finals series, so don't really feel much in association with the 87 prelim loss.

The losses that have really broken my heart over the years are being beaten at the pointy end of the season over the years when we were there with an opportunity and failed to deliver in the heat of battle when it counted.  I remember sitting in the old Southern Stand in 88, hoping we might be able to turn it around after half time.  In 89, I was that upset and vengeful with Geelong for bundling us out of the finals that I went for Hawthorn in the GF.

1994 Prelim Vs West Coast (we had such a talented team at that point);

1998 Prelim Vs North  (they were a top team, but ultimately they lost to the Crows in the GF, who we'd beaten in a final convincingly just two weeks prior);

2000 GF

In all those games we played teams that had pretty much been the form team all year and by rights, we shouldn't have won them, but we had made it that far and also had some pretty handy teams our selves over those years.  We really should have been able to dig deep and pull off a win in a GF one of those seasons against the run of play like Hawthorn in 2008 or the Dogs in 2016.

Asides from that, the Montagna St Kilda game shattered me, because we hadn't beaten St Kilda for so long, despite them not really being that great a team for a number of years, I was just desperate for any win at that point in our journey and felt they were very gettable, but we were repeatedly denied against them.  The umpires seemed to rob us against the Saints and Dogs for an unbearable period streching a number of seasons there.

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4 hours ago, hells bells said:

The final v Adelaide (Travis Johnstone’s best career game) burns pretty deep for me.  Can’t remember what year it was. 

2002

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1 hour ago, waverleyheartbreak said:

can only be 87, watching us miss so many shots from close in, I was directly behind the goals- shattering. 

You must have been sitting very close to me WHB

i was about 10 rows back :(

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13 hours ago, Demonland said:

As a Dees fan which game has been your most heartbreaking loss?

At the time, the loss to Geelong in Geelong last year was shattering and I considered it my most heartbreaking loss because at the time I believed our season done especially when I looked at our draw and saw Swans, Eagles away & GWS to round off the year.

Now once the season was done and dusted that loss doesn't sting as much considering my Geelong family got their comeuppance in the EF.

The 87 Preliminary Final loss pain still runs deep and is perhaps amplified by the emotional scars that was inflicted on the 11 year old me.

The most heart broken was the recoerd score kicked against us, out at Waverley.  when I was youngish.

The most stunned and saddened, was the '87 Prelim, against the Hawks again at Waverley.

The most Mind broken was, the Grand Final loss against the Hawks.

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17 hours ago, Traja Dee said:

148 vs Essendon in 2013, mainly due to the insipid performance of our players. I stayed for the whole game, watching on level 4 with my arm around my 8yo son, wondering why I steered him toward following Melbourne. 

I remember seeing the Captain Jacks pulling the team into a huddle at the start of 3/4 break, wondering if the had it in them to prevent a 186-style humiliation. No, was the answer revealed in the next 30 minutes. I also remember Big Russian dropping a simple chest mark is the first quarter and thinking that it would be a long night. 

The heartbreak was that this confirmed how low the club had sunk  

 

That essddrug where drugged up to there eyesballs 

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2002 final against Adelaide.

We were 28 points up going into the the last qtr and i remember thinking at the time how good will it be playing in a prelim! 

That last quarter unraveled into a disaster as we just completely ran out of gas. We lost Stephan Powell in the opening minutes of the game and that just hurt our depth through the midfield.

I also thought after that night, Travis Johnstone would be a bona fide star the following years.

Last years game against Geeling down at Geelong was gut wrenching... i will never forget the image of Dangerflog tapping at his head after winning that ruck infringement! Most diabolical umpuring decision ever! I am glad though we wiped the smug and arrogant off his face in September. 

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1987 Prelim taught me to truly hate the Hawthorn supporter base.  Never forgive or forget.

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9 hours ago, Wells 11 said:

Nothing even comes close to 87. Going into that game I was ( we all were) on a high after the elation of the previous 8 weeks. Culminating in absolutely smacking the Roos and then the swans in finals. And I do mean smacking. 100 plus v north and was it 80 v swans? I felt that even if we lost nothing could take away the good feeling. Well I just got that so wrong and it translated into what was a real grief process for a good few weeks. Never felt worse after a loss... or for as long. Forget Stynes... I Can still see yeats and  Eisholds last minute simple misses when I close my eyes. 

Exactly how I feel. I was devastated. No other loss  comes anywhere near it in terms of impact. Of course part of that was the loss (and how we lost) but it was also the game itself. It was emotionally intense from go to whoa. The dream of the gf was real. Right up to that last kick.

I was young. 19. I remember boarding a bus after the game and not being able to handle the jubilant hawks fans. I yelled at some fella to turn his radio off as I couldn't stand listening to the post match palaver. I went with a mate who was a big hawks fan. We didn't talk on the way home.

I always wondered how we would have gone in the gf. My feeling is the blues would have thrashed us as the prelim was so heightened. But maybe that was me trying to make myself feel better.

Edited by binman
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'87 definitely the most gut wrenching loss

but 1990 semi loss to Eagles (who rarely won in Melbourne) after beating the  powerhouse Hawks 2 weeks in a row to knock them out of finals was hard to take 

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I'll go in a different direction to most but Neale's last game as coach against Essendon in 2007 was pretty heartbreaking. 

Part of the heartbreak came from what the game represented. I remember thinking at the time 'Well, that's an end of an era.'  Ten years of my life were spent watching the Dees under ND and there was always a belief that better days were ahead. We'd get our hopes up which would then get torn down. It wasn't unlike how that match ended (Scotty Lucas sinking us Leigh Montana style in the last minute).

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2002 against Adelaide. Was dreadful. Another one was going back to late 70 against Hawthorn. We were about 40 or so points down at 3/4 time and Peter Giles went to CHF and starred. We hit the front with a couple of minutes to go and Tuck got put in the centre and they kicked 2 goals directly as a result of Tuck. It was devastating.

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1 hour ago, reynolds46 said:

'87 definitely the most gut wrenching loss

but 1990 semi loss to Eagles (who rarely won in Melbourne) after beating the  powerhouse Hawks 2 weeks in a row to knock them out of finals was hard to take 

I think most Melbourne supporters are haunted by 1987.  Only one thing can erase the memory.

But in terms of missed opportunity - that 1990 QF at Waverley was a real heartbreaker - when you think of the Grand Finalists that year - Essendon were cooked, and Collingwood were nothing but a good ordinary side.  Steve O'dwyer injured Gary Lyon at training before this game I believe. Huge loss.  Why was this game not played at the MCG?  I guess these days it would have been a WC home game. Oh well.

The 1998 preliminary final vs North Melbourne was also a missed opportunity.  North were a great side, but we missed some easy shots early.  I still maintain that these two years have been our best shots at flags in my lifetime. 

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87, then daylight.

Interestingly earlier in that year we lost against Norf at the G with a goal after the siren by none other than Alastair Clarkson. Season over (again!!!) we all thought.......

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Wow. So many share the pain of the 87 Prelim.

I was 12 at the time and was dealing with my parents splitting up. Consequently, Mum had moved us to Queensland earlier in the year which just seemed to magnify the importance of that run into the finals and then the thrashings of North and Sydney. So I watched it on TV at home and cushions were flying everywhere when the likes of Yeates and Eishold missed easy shots with only minutes to go.

I was begging for the siren to sound as Langford took his kick-in and then had a profound feeling of inevitability as it went from Hawk to Hawk to Buckenara. Dad had always taught me to watch the goal umpire and see if he moves to try and work out if the ball is going through for a goal and the umpire didn't move. I dropped to my knees before walking outside and crying on the driveway for 20mins. Yep, the pain of the day means I still remember all the details and the feelings that went with them.

As I said, I think my family situation meant it had even more of an impact as I was longing for my old life back in Melbourne and not really enjoying rugby league heartland where no-one understood or cared. It literally took me weeks to get over it. Don't think I even watched the GF which is probably the only one I've missed it in my lifetime.

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I was 9 or 10 when we lost the preliminary final in 1987. At the I don't think I realised the enormity of what it meant to lose that game and it was the first and only time I had seen my grandpa cry. Less than a year later he would be gone and never got to see us reach the Grand Final again. I wear his jacket to every game of footy I go to.

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Even though I missed it by not getting into footy until '88 I still feel traumatised by the 87 PF. But for games I actually saw:

  • Round 6, 1992 - the last quarter capitulation against Essendon that has meant untold stress about leads under 50
  • 1998 Prelim - With no scientific basis I thought we were going to knock over North and win the Grand Final
  • 186 is an obvious one, but it was so out of the blue that at the time I thought we were just going to neck the coach and get back on with being comfortably mid-table
  • Round 1, 2013 - when I allowed myself to realise that Neeld was a nuffy and that we were going to be pox for years to come.

2018 prelim over so quickly it doesn't even come close to qualifying, and in retrospect winning the '04 EF might have set us up for a run through an open finals series.

Edited by Supermercado

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On 2/21/2019 at 2:22 PM, Sir Why You Little said:

You must have been sitting very close to me WHB

i was about 10 rows back :(

Reckon about row 15, a bit off to the left. Bloody long time ago now though. We used to get mum to drop me and my brother off on the side of the Mulgrave Freeway and we would climb over the fence, until about the third time we got busted by the police and he made us walk all the way up to Police Rd. Apart from the adventure, it was a crap place to watch the footy and I am glad its gone.

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12 hours ago, waverleyheartbreak said:

Reckon about row 15, a bit off to the left. Bloody long time ago now though. We used to get mum to drop me and my brother off on the side of the Mulgrave Freeway and we would climb over the fence, until about the third time we got busted by the police and he made us walk all the way up to Police Rd. Apart from the adventure, it was a crap place to watch the footy and I am glad its gone.

Soulless Concrete

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Yeah f#$&ing 87 Prelim. I was a stupid 22 year old hot head.  Couldn’t believe we’d lost, got into a push and shove with some random Hawk supporter and then got blind.

I’d like to think I’d handle it a bit better these days. 

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On 2/21/2019 at 11:22 AM, Demonland said:

As a Dees fan which game has been your most heartbreaking loss?

At the time, the loss to Geelong in Geelong last year was shattering and I considered it my most heartbreaking loss because at the time I believed our season done especially when I looked at our draw and saw Swans, Eagles away & GWS to round off the year.

Now once the season was done and dusted that loss doesn't sting as much considering my Geelong family got their comeuppance in the EF.

The 87 Preliminary Final loss pain still runs deep and is perhaps amplified by the emotional scars that was inflicted on the 11 year old me.

I wasn't so disappointed in the Geelong loss, because beating them down there is always a really tough gig and although we had somewhat capitulated in the last quarter, I thought we had been more than compeditive against them for the previous three quarters that it was at least a psychological victory that we could beat them come the crunch (which we gloriously did when it counted in the prelim).

The one that really hit me out of that run home was the loss to Sydney.  They had been playing pretty average footy for a number of weeks and I'd felt they were ripe for the picking.  Despite loosing the Geelong game, beating Sydney that day would have practically mathematically garenteed us a finals birth with two games to go and I was looking forward to getting the job done and not having to put up with the nerves of the propersition we might not make finals for the next two weeks.  We came out and absolutely belted them in the first quarter.  We couldn't f@$# it up from here I thought.  Alas.

It took me most of the following week to realize and believe that we still had very good opertunity to make finals by winning at least one of the two winnable games of the remainder of the home and away ...the other bit belongs in the other thread.

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Geelong in Geelong last year is the freshest in the memory and was extremely hard to cop. 

2015 against the saints. There was nothing on the line but it burned like hell, didn’t help that it was my birthday either. I even remember saying to someone that Howe’s goal with 30 odd seconds left gave us a ‘fighting chance’. They thought I was nuts and that I should be celebrating a premature win. When Joey kicked the winner I turned around and said “That’s why I say these things”.

Farmer after the siren in 2002 was torture. 

 

Special non-mention: Richmond in 2009 in the infamous tank game. I was not heartbroken, I wanted this loss and don’t pretend you didn’t either. Off topic but this is the worst after the siren winning goal in the history of the game, Jordan McMahon 35 metres out looked like he was kicking a sack of door knobs. 

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I remember it like it was yesterday. Sitting behind the Hawthorn cheer squad at cursed Waverley Park in 87. When poor Jimmy ran across the mark and Buckenara got that 15 m penalty those Hawthorn arrogant b*****ds reacted like Jesus Christ had descended down from Heaven to bless them with all the luck they did not deserve. While our hearts were breaking those Hawks fans were frothing at the mouth, congratulating themselves on following such a good team. PLEASE! Victory was sweet last year to beat those so and so's in the Semi Final. Hope to see better days at last for the Dees.

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