My Dark Side of the Moon
Hawthorn v. Geelong
7:40, Saturday August 24
“I’ve always been mad, I know I’ve been mad, like the most of us…very hard to explain why you’re mad, even if you’re not mad…”
Have you ever listened to one of your favourite albums whilst watching a live game of footy? Strange idea, but nearing the city lights on my darkened, Melbourne-bound Geelong bus on Saturday night I decided to plug-in to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, mainly to kill the boredom and fend-off anxiety. Bouncing through the bus station at Southern Cross I became slightly disorientated with swirling crescendos, wailing backing-vocals and diesel fumes. I’m here for the footy aren’t I?
Breathe, breathe in the air. Don’t be afraid to care. Leave but don’t leave me. Look around and choose your own ground.
I waltzed down Spencer St. and cornered left into Flinders. I’m now On The Run for a quick beverage and the final stanza from the GWS v. Collingwood match. The Waterside Hotel emerged.
Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day, You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way. Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town, Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.
I entered, ordered a pint and made a cursory glance toward the screen offering the Bledisloe Cup match. It offered cold comfort and the Wallabies had Time and a score line against them. I marked a fellow Almanacker with a familiar face, someone whom I’d never met before. He was wearing an A.U.F.C. scarf. It was black and white. I advanced toward him and he spotted my Geelong scarf, nodded approvingly, flashed a smile and offered a “Go Cats”. I stopped him in his tracks and asked him if his apparel was advertising an allegiance with Adelaide Uni Blacks F.C. His gaze became a little perplexed and blank. I introduced myself and noted my fleeting participation as an Almanacker. His eyes brightened and he became enamoured to where the conversation may lead. He was polite, asked engaging questions and alerted me to his vested interest in the Pies knocking off the Giants. The Pies were home and the wager was safe.
It was 7:15 and there was 25 minutes to get to the ‘G’. Earphones attached. Play.
“I never said I was frightened of dying.”
The Great Gig In The Sky was bursting loud and clear and my mind and heart immediately went out to another fellow-Almanacker. I was alerted that morning to a fabulous piece by this fellow whose father sadly passed away in the early hours of the same day. I’d never met Andrew Gigacz or his father before but had encountered some of Andrew’s football knowledge and humour through the Almanac and the twittersphere. His touching account of a loving father who’d inadvertently drawn him to football was extraordinary given the timing of the piece and his ability to eulogise so candidly. There was more to life than football.
Money, get away. Get a good job with good pay and you’re okay. Money, it’s a gas. Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash. New car, caviar, four-star daydream. Think I’ll buy me a football team.
The baseline in Money had me bouncing rhythmically from the Hisense Arena tram platform in 4/4 time. I arrived at the ground with mere minutes to spare and didn’t miss a beat. I’d never have enough money to buy a football team but I could afford the admission price. I fossicked for cash and dashed to a suitable vantage point. Drawn by the all-consuming resonance of Pink Floyd I decided to let the album play out through Saturday night’s first half.
The start was slow and the Cats gradually broke out into a song of their own. There was plenty of tension but Geelong pulled away to a three-goal lead. Murdoch, Selwood and Motlop all scored majors before Roughead almost squared the ledger with two of his own. Cats by 6 points at the first change.
Forward he cried from the rear and the front rank died. And the general sat and the lines on the map moved from side to side. Black and blue. And who knows which is which and who is who? Up and down. But in the end it’s only round and round.
The ball traversed around the ground with much fluency, and it travelled up and down and round and round. Jack Gunston goaled but the Cats did well to control the game by holding possession and denied the Hawks the ball. Geelong-Hawthorn games were always beauties. There was something special about Us and Them. Shane Kersten was subbed-out and Jackson Thurlow got his chance. He made the most of it by showing speed, poise and confidence. Geelong pulled away again with several majors. Who was on Mitch Duncan? Cats by 30 points at the main break.
The lunatic is on the grass. The lunatic is on the grass. Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs. Got to keep the loonies on the path.
Occasionally one may lose focus at the footy and become distracted by idiocy. A pair of knucklehead supporters assumed a nearby position and proceeded to embarrass themselves and their club by spouting obscenities and literal stupidities. Hawthorn has dickhead supporters and so do Geelong. Invariably these people suffer from some sort of Brain Damage. These lads started to provoke a fellow Cat and I, with the aim to draw us into low-brow banter. I politely retort that I do not seek to argue with those suffering a mental illness. Unprepared for my response the two gentlemen opt to goad me with something about a 2013 preliminary final loss. They may have added something about the 2008 grand final. I tuned out.
And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear, You shout and no one seems to hear. And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes, I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon.
The Cats were certainly playing a different tune in the second half. They dropped marks from slingshot thrusts. Untimely turnovers occurred. The Hawks got a sniff and gained ascendency. Suddenly the game was on their terms. Geelong was constantly denied possession and their grip on the game. Who was on Will Langford? He goaled and the Hawks had their tails up and a startling 4-point lead at the last change.
All that you touch, all that you see, all that you taste, all you feel. All that you love, all that you hate, all you distrust, all you save. All that you give, all that you deal, all that you buy, beg, borrow or steal. All you create, all you destroy, all that you do, all that you say. All that you eat, and everyone you meet, all that you slight, and everyone you fight. All that is now, all that is gone, all that’s to come, and everything under the sun is in tune, But the sun is eclipsed by the moon.
Hawthorn had given their all. The last quarter became a procession and apart from the odd foray forward, Geelong was rocked by the Eclipse put on by Hawthorn. Bravo Hawks, you showed great mental toughness. Will Langford, Jordan Lewis, Josh Gibson and Sam Mitchell all played starring roles in the Hawk resurgence.
Dark Side of the Moon had played through and stopped late in the second quarter. I wondered later if I should’ve replayed the album in the second half as it seemed to have worked well for the Cats. But that sort of illogical, superstitious nonsense is for cretins with a self-centredness problem. The world does not revolve around what I do or don’t do. My action had no reflection on the result. The Hawks won the day.
I exited the ground and prized the audio device from my pocket to seek something soothing to calm the disappointment. I scrolled through the albums list and noted the subsequent album. It read Wish You Were Here and I immediately thought of a bloke called Johnson.
Hawthorn: Hale, Roughead 3, Langford 2, Breust, Ceglar, Lewis, Gunston, Shiels, Sewell 1.
Geelong: Hawkins 3, Murdoch 2, Thurlow, Taylor, Motlop, Bartel, Selwood, Duncan 1.
Hawthorn: Langford, Lewis, Gibson, Mitchell, Ceglar.
Geelong: Duncan, Guthrie, Stokes, Mackie, Varcoe.
Umpires: Rosebury, Stevic, McInerney.
Votes: Will Langford 3, Jordan Lewis 2, Mitch Duncan 1.