First, a brief overview. The team has played over 2400 games total, won 1350 of them, with a winning percentage of over 56%. All these statistics are third behind Collingwood and Carlton in the history of the AFL/VFL.
The Dons even have their own walk-in museum at their training facility in Essendon, which isn't too far from the Melbourne Airport.
The thing that wowed me was this museum is available via virtual tour, here. This is amazing stuff. It's where I learned that the Essendon Football Club was formed in 1872. They saw some success in winning VFA premierships in 1892-93-94 before leaving and joining the Victorian Football League for the 1897 season. There was no Grand Final that year-- Essendon won the premiership by virtue of beating Geelong, Collingwood, and Melbourne in round-robin play to finish 3-0.
|screenshot of the Essendon Virtual Museum. A fantastic presentation |
of their long and storied history. Great stuff.
However, James played a role in a doping scandal that has rocked the team for the last several years, costing him his place in the game. This scandal is part of the reason the 2016 Bombers took home their first wooden spoon (for finishing last on the ladder) since 1933.
However Hird's place in Dons history cannot be denied.
So much to see and absorb, so little time. This virtual museum demonstrates how history should be told, remembered, and celebrated. Well done, Essendon.
The Bombers open season 2017 on March 25 at the MCG against Hawthorn.