On the football field, Simon Black had a knack for being in the right place at the right time.
The Brisbane Lions’ games record holder’s timing and placement were so impeccable, it seemed as if he was able to predict what about to unfold and be in place ready to cash in.
But when it comes a night of celebration, he’s not as likely to be always Johnny on the spot.
Blackie is set to be inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame this year after being unable to attend last year’s ceremony due to his commitments on reality TV show Survivor.
As a veteran of 322 games, a winner of three premierships, and the big two accolades in the AFL – the Brownlow and Norm Smith medals, Black was a unanimous selection when he became eligible last year.
It was decided to postpone his induction for a year so he could attend in person.
Now the Covid 19 restrictions mean this year’s induction will have to go ahead without the usual gala function.
“The jungle one year and then a pandemic the next, what were the odds of that happening,’’ Black wondered.
It is not the first time his achievements have been celebrated off-Broadway.
He accepted his 2002 Brownlow medal from previous winner and teammate Jason Akermanis at a function at the Gabba as the Lions remained in Brisbane to prepare for their premiership defence against Collingwood, in Black’s 100th game.
Like many players, Black said as he collected a trophy room full of individual accolades throughout his career, including three Merret-Murray medals and three All Australian selections, that he would probably enjoy his successes more once huis playing days where done.
It is why he has been so excited by his imminent elevation into the Hall of Fame.
“You love playing footy but it is not always fun, it is a lot of hard work,’’ he said.
“Lots of players say they would be able to reflect more on their careers once it was over and that has been the case for me.
“I’ve often heard the Hall of Fame is the best night on the footy calendar and maybe that’s why.
“You see the names in there and to think you’re going to be joining them, it is incredibly humbling.’’