Drawing a Blank

Tuning into the Swans v Demons match last season caused me to whimper like a dog and all of my teeth to fall out.  Despite being the catalyst for a magnificent comeback the shock of that 73 point belting has haunted me ever since and when I found out we were playing them in round one I had to be dosed with Elephant tranquilizers.  Neither team has won an opening round match for at least five years.  The Swans, lacking some key players, a new coach at the helm plus this controversial substitute rule were providing much to be nervous about.

“Stop pacing around its making me sick.”  My fiancée Julia implored.

“I can’t help it.” I screeched.  “Those rotten bastards on Channel 7 won’t stop talking up The Enemy’s speed.  They’ve been bought off for sure.”  I shuddered.  “And if they’ve got that far who else have they got to?  Pyke’s not playing.  Oh God they’ve promised him a slot with the Wallabies in return for his no show.”

Julia shook her head at my despair and returned to her ‘Super Hanjie’ puzzle book.  Finally the match started up and I collapsed on the couch. Something weird was going on with the coverage.  Cameras were locking in on particular players and field positions.  Channel 7’s Big Brother Megawall looked set to deliver us some ‘Cloverfield’ style nausea inducing footage.

It was end to end stuff from the first bounce with both sides pressing hard.  Goodes tried for first blood but coming at it from an awkward angle only managed a behind.  Nice movement from Everitt to McVeigh and then to McGlynn, left in the open, provided a goal.  He was able to create another opportunity later for Goodes who simply ran the ball in.  Newbies Everitt and Reid looked impressive.  It wasn’t all one sided though; The Enemy’s presence felt strongly at the contested footy, something we typically dominate.  Agitated jabbering from the commentary box about Horse’s decision to run with Seaby as the sub but anyone could see a lot was being asked of Mummy.  The Swans were up by two goals at quarter time with a furious battle on their hands.

At some point in Q2 Bruce McAvaney screamed ‘Jurrah’ so loudly it made me question his particular train of thoughts.  Goodes finally nailed one. The entire Enemy team wanted Mummy’s hide for his late bump.  The Swans kept building but were unable to stretch our lead to a comfortable margin.

47-38 at the break and I broke out into a cold sweat.

Our inability to capitalize on opportunities was the story of the third. Jack finally woke up and Jude Bolton was majorly involved.  But our only rewards for getting into the forward 50 were behinds.  The Enemy kept themselves in it with a long bomb and their pace left us horribly flat footed at times.  Richards was doing a stand up job in defence but couldn’t be everywhere.  We should have put The Enemy to the sword.

Instead they were only 14 points down and snapping hard at our heels.

The final quarter was twenty minutes of profanity laced tension.  Two quick and similar goals to The Enemy saw them within reach.  Surely it can’t be happening again?  Why, O Lord, do you hate Sydney so much?

Seaby finally came off the bench to relieve a wasted Mummy.  Shaw’s ribs took a battering during a courageous spoil.  Bolton took a great one hander and scored.  I howled in agony as The Enemy soccered one in to take the lead.  Perhaps the AFL should lower the points scored off toe pokes?  The Swans retaliated en masse, trapping the pill in their forward 50 but it was a scrambling exhausted mess.  Rhino took a snap 20 metres out but only got a behind.  Time simply ran out for both sides and it was a draw on the final siren.

The living room went silent.  Fumbling hands, lack of pressure and off target kicking had done us in.  The only saving grace was that two points are better than none.  First match jitters for sure I calmly announced before handing Julia the dart gun that promised blessed relief.

About Tom Bally

Born in 1834 Tom Bally was instrumental in establishing the rules of the modern game. It's a little known fact and the rare times he talks about it all he'll say is "that bloody Wills chap got me full of grape one night and the next thing I know he's peacocking around Richmond Paddock like he dreamt up the whole thing on his lonesome. Still I got the last laugh didn't I eh? Introducing the Umpire and all that."

Comments

  1. Tom, pleased to see Reid was impressive – it goes without saying with a name like that.

  2. Alovesupreme says:

    Well Tom you certainly got your revenge this week, with a pinch of substantial proportions. Essendon’s inability to complete the assignment when the seemed to have you covered all day, had me staggered, as well as costing me a nice payout on the double with Geelong. However, the Bloods never-say-die spirit has obviously survived the departure of the great spirit of Kirk.

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