Tonight, a legend will be inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame.
It’s the highest honour the AFL can bestow – the equivalent of FIFA’s Order of Merit or croquet’s Council Medallion.
The usual names have been thrown against the wall; Lockett, Carey, Blight, Dunstall, Hopgood.
They’re outstanding players; all have mastered the oval ball and one even mastered the squeaky clean industry of greyhound racing.
But tonight is not their time.
Tonight we owe our respects to a man who ripped the AFL apart in 54 games. He did with it with flamboyance, he did it with a mullet, and he sealed it with a kiss on his brother's cheek.
Tonight, we must recognise the contribution of Allen Jakovich.
Allen never received his proper dues outside the Melbourne footy club. Most teammates rate him as the most talented player they went to battle with.
And this includes red and blue royalty such as Stynes, Lyon, Flower, Neitz. Hopgood.
Lyon in particular recalls his brilliance. He tells a yarn of when he and Jakovich went to Inverloch for pre-season and Jako ripped up the local running track in record time.
It was only later Lyon found out Allen cut halfway through the course.
Dees supporters know his worth. We remember him terrorising the likes of Gayfer and Gastev and landing a lazy eight on Dustin Fletcher.
We fondly recall him kicking 4.11 against the Hawks at an overcast Waverley and casually chatting to his girlfriend behind the goals.
We’re quick to point out he still holds the record for the fastest 50 goals kicked in AFL history. A staggering stat considering he could go AWOL for quarters at a time.
We look back fondly on his greatest game - perhaps the greatest game of anyone in the history of AFL/VFL/VAFA football.
Round 20 in 1991 vs North Melbourne: 11 goals, 8 behinds, one on-the-full, one miraculous scissor kick and a trip to the tribunal for swearing at a goal umpire.
The Dees were 10 goals up at the time.
His appetite for sausage rolls was matched only by his appetite for actual sausage rolls.
Fans tell tales of an injured Jako putting a genuine dent in the chicken population while watching his beloved Dees from the sidelines.
Unsurprisingly, his body was as reliable as a FIFA president. He broke down when we needed him most, including a ’94 finals campaign which ended in tears at the WACA.
He went to the Dogs (literally and figuratively) and was never the same. He vanished into the mines and is rumoured to be running a fishing charter up north.
But above all his statistics, above all his bananas from the boundary and his cavalier celebrations was a genuine human.
In the ‘90s, Puma arranged a deal with Melbourne to supply the players with thousands of dollars’ worth of gear. The idea was that the players would promote the gear by taking a bit of the allocation at a time and wearing it during the season.
Most players did exactly that. Except Jakovich. Each time an allocation arrived, he took the gear in one swoop.
Several Puma reps were suspicious of Jako selling the gear and keeping the profit. They took action and started following him around, expecting him to arrive at some dodgy corner shop.
But he never did. Instead they watched him park alongside the Royal Children’s Hospital.
He was giving away the gear to the kids.
Us Dees supporters don’t ask for much. We’re a pretty placid bunch.
But this time we’re putting our foot down; let’s get Jako made.