MATTHEW Pavlich deserved so much better.
Not from his teammates, who were almost all woeful during Fremantle’s 90-point loss to Sydney at Subiaco on Sunday.
No, Pavlich deserved better from the Dockers’ faithful – only 32,401 of whom made it through the turnstiles for the superstar’s 350th game.
By my reckoning that’s 8000 empty seats, unused by people who couldn’t be bothered getting along to honour the man who has been the best WA-based AFL player of the past 20 years.
If you want to put that crowd in perspective, 34,869 turned out to see Essendon take on Brisbane at Docklands last weekend.
Those are the only two sides in worse positions than Fremantle on the AFL ladder, and the only interest was in the four points.
Fremantle supporters like to pride themselves on their passion, their dedication to the cause.
So for 8000 members to decide it was too cold, or too wet, or too much trouble to pay tribute to a man who has been their inspiration for 17 seasons was poor.
Dockers people could never be accused of being fair-weather supporters – they’ve enjoyed little success in their 22-year history, so anyone who has stuck with the cause deserves admiration.
But if you’re a Dockers member and didn’t turn up on Sunday, you should hand back your ticket.
Pavlich is a gem, the kind of man any AFL fan would want in their team.
He’s never been embroiled in any kind of controversy, and his play has rarely dipped beyond excellent.
He’s the perfect role model, someone you’d be proud to call part of your team.
So to the Dockers supporters bemoaning Channel 7’s decision to cut away before he was chaired off the ground – maybe if you’d got yourself off the couch and down to the ground you wouldn’t have been so disappointed.