I can’t think of anything more to add, so many words that have already been posted apart from
I/we love you Jobe and wish you all the very best, soon you will be off to the the City of Dreams and I hope all your dreams come true.
thought this worth posting
Russell Gould, Herald Sun
Why Essendon fans will always love Jobe Watson
JOBE Watson was a slow burn, but then he lit up, and left an indelible imprint on Essendon fans, and the football world, for more reasons than mere playing ability alone.
He was Tim Watson’s son, another club legend, which immediately brought him support and a bit of pressure of course.
Never in football have there been two more identical father-son selections in the way they walk, talk, look, run and as his career blossomed Jobe, like his dad, became that sort of guy you’d be happy for your daughter to marry.
Jobe was “a bit fat” when he first arrived at Bomberland as a schoolboy punt by then Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy and played just eight games in his first three seasons at the club, most of them as a forward.
Then at the end of 2005, after those three-middling years, Jobe wised up, dropped weight, and as the kilos came off the footballer, and person, Watson was born to be emerged.
In the middle of that conversion was Tim. A heart to heart with his dad got Jobe going again, and for that Essendon fans will be forever faithful.
Slowly but surely, Jobe became a midfield mainstay, and amid a torrid time at the club, after Sheedy was sacked, then Matthew Knights too, Watson’s capacity for calm and clarity grew, and he was made captain.
He won the Brownlow and his only club best and fairest in 2012, his second season as captain. Watson had gone from the pudgy school kid plenty thought had got a free run because of his name, to an elite AFL footballer.
Respect surged, he was a presence for the Bombers as captain, a true leader, ready to take Essendon towards another period of success.
Then you know what happened, and the bottom dropped out of the Bombers’ world.
It was the ultimate test and no-one knew what to expect.
And despite everything he had already done, the next period of Jobe’s life only enhanced his standing in football, among Essendon fans at least, forever.
His stoicism and leadership during the absolute darkest period of the club’s rich, success-laden history, a period full of tumult which seemed endless from that day in 2013 when it first surfaced and really hasn’t gone away, endeared Jobe not only to the Essendon faithful, but cemented his class to the football world.
The critics were hard, boy were they hard, and personal too. That criticism will never really dissipate either, given the rousing passion the saga brought to the surface for Bomber haters who have more fuel than they would ever need to rip into the club.
Those haters got another win when Jobe lost his Brownlow too, which gave them some sort of perverse satisfaction above and beyond the abject humiliation all the banned Bombers were forced to endure, rightly or wrongly. They called him a cheat, often, and loudly.
But even in their quiet moments, those detractors, who booed him and jeered him, would have to give Jobe a subtle nod, an unsaid slap on the back and think to themselves “Geez, he handled that all well, didn’t he?”.
Jobe never bit back with a wagging accusatory finger, never asked for sympathy either.
When he could, he just got on with the job.
At what seemed the saga’s conclusion, Jobe finally stepped up to the microphone, declared he and his teammates had done nothing wrong, and even claimed a victory when an AFL tribunal agreed.
His only fault during that intense, angst-filled environment could have been the double-denim ensemble he chose to wear when, for the only time, he took the moral high ground.
It proved however to be just the middle-stop in a fight that went on and on, cost him a year out of the game, in his prime too, when Jobe was a legitimate elite player week on week, a go and go again player who had that little bit of enigma about him.
He was a run and run midfielder who could find the ball at will, but just on that odd occasion would give us a little “did you see that” moment of something only the special players could do.
That all disappeared as the world then crashed in around him, and his teammates, again. The ban he thought wouldn’t come, hit him like a sledgehammer.
It was gruelling to see that light Jobe had, and that curled lip smile in the face of constant questions, disappear when he was banned for 12 months, then the battle over his Brownlow went troppo.
The two biggest victims of Essendon’s doping saga were, without a shadow of a doubt, James Hird and Jobe Watson.
Hird’s breakdown was scary, and public too.
Jobe’s has been sad.
He returned to playing, but that spark was gone. It was work, not fun, you could just tell his heart wasn’t really in it, as much as he wanted it to be.
But we Essendon supporters won’t hold it against him, not one little bit.
Jobe may not have been the best player the Bombers ever had, but when the world closed in on Essendon he showed what a great person he is.
That’s his legacy, and will never, ever be forgotten.