The biggest issue in AFL history was worth zero on Saturday to North Melbourne coach Brad Scott.
He had already made it clear before the match against Hawthorn that the Kangaroos were tired of the talk about potential ramifications of the Essendon supplements scandal.
North's 14-point loss at Etihad Stadium further dimmed their finals chances, which rely on Essendon being stripped of their premiership points.
But Scott again said post-match that Essendon's potential fate was no motivation for his team.
"Never at any point this year have we ... contrary to popular belief, we don't study the ladder," he said.
"I'm sick of reading about Essendon. I'm sure everyone is.
"The disappointing thing is you stop listening, you stop reading because it just goes on and on and on ...
"The percentage motivation for what's happening with Essendon and potentially playing finals because of their misfortune was zero.
"We focus on us."
Saturday was the second time this season that North have pushed Hawthorn, only to fall short against the premiership favourites.
It continued North's theme this season of losing tight matches, a fatal flaw that has them sitting just outside the top eight.
While frustrated with the result, Scott praised his team and said he thought they had done enough to win.
Despite the hauls of Hawthorn key forwards Lance Franklin (five goals) and Jarryd Roughead (four), Scott thought turnovers further up the field did more damage to North.
"Never at any stage were we concerned about either of them," Scott said.
"I thought (Michael) Firrito and (Luke) Delaney did terrific jobs but they were the recipients of some turnovers and they got on the end of them.
"We weren't concerned about Franklin at any point, but we left 'Spud' (Firrito) hanging out to dry on a couple of occasions."