IT WAS probably Lance's last game, Buddy's goodbye. For The Bud, or Franco as they call him, is expected even by Hawthorn to find the new market lucre too enticing when he finally decides his future this week.
Anything thus could be read into the tight brotherly hugging and kissing of Josh Gibson in the euphoric Hawthorn rooms after the game.
Was this the face of a man who would walk away? Or was this one last moment of joy to savour?
Only he will know. What Hawthorn knows, however, is that he can almost go now without rancour - they have their second flag with him, they can wave goodbye with less regret. Hawthorn will not stop without Franklin.
The consequence of this game was plain. Making a grand final was not success enough for a team that only lost three times in the season, winning another cup was all that mattered.
In that sense the Hawks' success can be seen as having avoided "failure".
Once that was averted, what victory did was confirm that this is a great team (two cups in seven years for this era of players), but also further conferred upon this club greatness.
This is now 10 flags in 53 years for Hawthorn. As Luke Hodge put it on the dais: "That over there, what John Kennedy is holding, that is why we are always Hawthorn."
Marketers will love his quote, but that is because it has a ring of truth to it.
Hawthorn thus will continue. The success makes it easier to swallow the idea of a Franklin adieu.
Part of the reason is that they have long proven themselves a side above one player.
The Hawks won this game kicking 11 goals - a premiership victory over a Ross Lyon team was never going to require many more - but they got only the one goal from their most dynamic forward, Franklin.
They also only got two goals from Coleman Medallist Jarryd Roughead.
Hawthorn's brilliance is in their hydra attack. The best attacking team in the competition would not be rendered silent by their two key forwards lack of impact (on the scoreboard at least, for both players performed roles without taking the game by the scruff).
Jack Gunston, a man with wounds of his own from the inaccuracy in last year's loss to Sydney, was in their stead the man to boot four goals.
"We set ourselves this year to make amends for last year and it was worth it," Gunston said. "It was really blustery and you saw with Fremantle shots on goal early you had to kick through it and kick straight. It's good to share the load up forward and lucky I got on the end of them."