Again and again and yet again by Cheryl Critchley

It has taken 10 long days to finally confront the traumatic events of March 26, 2009. Like many others stuck in a bad relationship, the first stage is denial.
That didn’t really happen did it? It couldn’t have been that bad. Maybe I’m overreacting. Didn’t they promise never to break our hearts again?
Of course we’ve heard it all before, many times. “Take me back, I’ve ch
ed.” “The ‘old’ me is gone.” “I promise I won’t let you down again.” “I’ve worked hard to rectify all my flaws.”
“OK, OK,” we’d say, knowing we should cut our losses and get out before it’s too late. “This is it. Last chance. Stuff me around again and it really is over. I can’t take much more of this.”
And so Richmond fans turned up to the MCG for the much-anticipated season opener against Carlton.
Full of hope after being promised, yet again, things really would be different this time. No more excuses. No more broken promises. No more heartbreak.
We’d had a great pre-season, coach Terry Wallace had enthused, with few injuries, some good young talent emerging and, of course, the arrival of Ben Cousins.
Few Tiger fans saw Cousins as the messiah. They were just happy that he had been given another chance as a human being. If he could get a few kicks that would be a bonus.
It is an awful cliché, but the atmosphere really was electric as Richmond and Carlton fans salivating over Judd V Cousins streamed into the G on a perfect autumn evening.
My kids were more excited than most, having helped make the Richmond banner for the first time the night before. Full of enthusiasm for the big clash, we’d turned up at Loughnan Hall in Richmond and stuck yellow letters onto the huge black crepe paper creation.
As it rose onto the ‘G, Jess and Bec were able to say “we helped make that”. We were pumped, and couldn’t wait for the game to start. After seven months of footy withdrawal and Cousins hype, it was time.
To cut a long and extremely painful story short, it was all over by quarter time.
After matching it for the first few goals the Tigers fell in a heap while the Blues enjoyed what appeared to be an extended non-contact training drill.
Richmond players were literally left in their wake, stunned like rabbits in a car spotlight.
Apart from Mitch Morton virtually no-one put up a fight, and Tiger fans felt a pre-season of hopes and dreams deflate like a farting balloon.
Indecision. Poor foot skills. No endeavour. More turnovers than a Sara Lee factory.
Jarrad Waite kicked three goals in the opening term, Carlton’s first gamers ran rings around us and Fev cut us up on one leg.
For Tiger fans shock quickly turned to
er and disillusion. How many times do we have to take them back just to have our hearts cut in two AGAIN?
Thirty points down at quarter time, 40 at half time 59 at three quarter time – could it get any worse?
Yes. By the end of the match the margin was 83 points. To think, just three hours earlier we were on the verge of a new start with a new leading man.
It simply couldn’t have been any more depressing. Cousins had done his hammy, Raines had hurt his knee, and Richmond had let us down – AGAIN.
As we made our way to Richmond station, hearts heavy, there was nothing we could tell our kids to temper such comprehensive annihilation.
Apart from Morton’s four goals there was not one glimmer of hope. No memorable marks, tenacious tackles or promising first-game efforts. Nothing. Just embarrassment and humiliation. Again.

POST SCRIPT: After a week of bitching, moaning and vowing enough is enough, we headed down the highway to Skilled Stadium for another dose of dismay against the Cats. At least there were no expectations this time, having emotionally divorced our team on March 27.
Thankfully we hadn’t yet served the papers as Richo and Co. redeemed themselves with a gutsy display and honourable 20 point loss. Maybe they have ch
anged, we thought as we hit the highway for the long and not unpleasant drive home. Maybe we will take them back after all.


3.4 (22)

6.7 (43)

8.10 (58)

9.13 (67)

9.13 (67)


8.4 (52)

13.5 (83)

18.9 (117)

23.12 (150)

23.12 (150)

Leave a Comment