Somewhere in a parallel universe a former wingman of no better than moderate competence, but with a definite gift for self-promotion, has assembled in the same room the presidents of all the clubs in the sporting organisation he heads. The Wingman has been flexing some muscle lately, leaking highly damaging assertions about one of the club's coaches, evidently in the belief that he is both the sporting organisation's untouchable supremo and the tubby essence of the very game itself. Standing at the head of the table, he begins by telling the assembled presidents that a cancer is eating the heart out of the code and that he takes their support as a given.
At that precise moment, one of the presidents first raises a hand and then, as he begins to speak, lowers it to point an accusatory finger at the Wingman.
"The cancer is you," he says. "You are the one who has turned a beloved, homegrown game into a vehicle for personal aggrandisement.
"You are the one who, when Gillard tried to take away our pokies revenue, told us to shut our mouths and cop it sweet, so keen were you to curry personal favour with a corrupt government. No doubt you believed that betrayal would do you some personal good."
Then another president rises.
"You are the one who has crusted our sport with sideshows and politically correct absurdities. We all want to see Aboriginal players do well, but smoking ceremonies and pale "aunties" in possum coats do nothing but patronise and insult them. Would you have demanded the Christian Minister Doug Nicholls venerate the Rainbow Serpent just because he happened to be black?
"Moreover, you are the one who has denied our clubs the services of players whose private activities in their own time have outraged the politicians and lobbyists.
"Will you now remove from the record books the names of a three-time best-and-fairest who could not keep his trousers hitched when schoolgirls were around? Will you also erase all mention of another giant of the game, one who did hard time for theft and fraud?
"You, Mr Wingman, are scum indeed."
Yet another president rose to speak, the sound of his scraping chair muffling the thud as the Wingman's jaw hit the table's top.
"You are president of a winter code, yet you flit off to America at the height of the season to pursue a better job and a bigger cheque. You are the president who winters on Lake Como every year, when our sport needs you, or someone more competent, in the throne room."
By now the Wingman, accustomed to the deference and gratitude of tame reporters prepared to parrot any and every slur against his enemies, is stammering, trying and failing to form a coherent word. His attempts are rudely cut off.
"You are the man who has shown not the slightest concern that the cheapest seats at this year's Grand Final will cost a staggering $180! Is this how you make sure a fine sport remains 'popular'?"
The dam breaks. Now the gripes flow like rain in the drainage gutters of storied local grounds no longer used. The Wingman's mouth remains as empty of words as is the magnificent Princes Park of spectators -- the former a blessing, the latter a testament to the contempt in which the Wingman holds both clubs and fans
Arrogance. Deviousness. Intrigue. Egomania. Greed.
Then, at last, the most telling charge of all.
"Earlier this year, when Gillard needed a distraction from her AWU scandal, you stood with many of us on a dais and decried 'the blackest day in Australian sport'. According to what you said then, our game is riddled with drug cheats, which you have done your worst via leaks, and on the basis of the confused evidence, to demonstrate.
"You also endorsed the view that match-fixing was rife and that organised crime was a looming threat.
"As you have made the consequences of that first allegation so much worse than they needed to be, bringing our sport into disrepute, and as you have produced no wisp of evidence to support the later accusations, I move that you be dismissed from your office. Further, I move that your severance package consist only of a one-way ticket to Lake Como, issued on condition that you guarantee never to return."
The presidents' hands shoot up as one and the great game is saved.
Later, as the presidents congratulate themselves on saving their sport from a usurper, one of the merrymakers, somewhat short-sighted, mentions that the code should never, ever have appointed to high office a man who wears a fur coat.
"That wasn't a fur coat," he was told, "the Wingman is just a fat, hairy wog."
Alas, all of this happened only in that parallel universe. Back in Melbourne, the Count of Como continues his reign of error, untroubled and unconstrained.
May the Great Bunyip help footy to survive him.
UPDATE: One of these people knows and cares about footy. The other spends two months every winter in Switzerland.