Melbourne Football Club AFL grand final appearance a chance to emulate 'eternal son' Ron Barassi

www.abc.net.au
9 min read
easy
Ron Barassi is one of the most important figures in the history of Aussie Rules, a journey that started from his spiritual home at Melbourne Football Club.
Not many people get a line on a map named after them.

Ron Barassi did.

The Barassi line was a phrase coined by the historian, Ian Turner, to separate the Australian Rules-loving southern and western states from the rugby codes to the north.

It was a symbol as much as an imaginary line.

And why Barassi?

Because in 1978, when Turner first used the term in a public lecture, there was no bigger figure in Australian Rules Football than Ronald Dale Barassi — he was the closest thing you could get to a living embodiment of the game

Nowadays, it might be called the Dustin Martin line, or the Bontempelli line.

But not even the hardest and most skilful players of the modern day get close to emulating Ron Barassi's status in the game from the 1950s through the 80s.

Few individuals have left their mark on the sport of Australian rules football as much as Ron Barassi. ( Getty Images: Quinn Rooney

He was the star player who created a new position, a revolutionary coach, the game's greatest thinker all rolled into one.

Even now, Ronald Barassi is regarded as one of Aussie Rules most important figures and it's hard to think who stands above him.

He's as much a symbol as that line named after him.

And it all goes back to his spiritual home, the Melbourne Football Club.

Ron Barassi played 204 VFL games for Melbourne, kicking 295 goals. ( Getty Images

"Ron is the biggest name in footy. He was the biggest name when I arrived at Melbourne. He was like a god," said former Demon's captain Gary Lyon.

The journalist and author of "Barassi the Biography", Peter Lalor, said Barassi was Melbourne's "eternal son."

"I think it was his life," said the former Hawthorn, Fitzroy and Carlton coach, David Parkin.

"He would have bled, red and blue."

Parkin grew up as a mad Melbourne supporter during the Demons' most successful years in the 1950s.

After joining Hawthorn, he played against Barassi for a few years and later, the two became firm friends.

"I think that of all the…
David Mark
Read full article