How Dare They?

by Kelly Muldoon

I wasn’t intending on going to the Saints v West Coast game. My whole weekend was consumed with domestic chores and children and it did not seem feasible.

That all changed, however, when I took the little ones down to the local beach on Good Friday for a run.Right there on the grass as bold as you please was the entire West Coast football club doing yoga on their towels.

Now, I still have this old-fashioned, parochial belief that the St Kilda Football club is associated with St Kilda the location.This is because the famous Gatwick hotel, St Kilda is the first place I lived on my arrival in Melbourne and is the very reason I began supporting the Saints.

So I could not believe how outrageously uppity it was for them to come barrelling into St Kilda beach like this. And then to strut around doing downward dogs with their blonde locks and their tanned loins and their colours of sand and sea!

There’s always one team that defines everything you despise in the world.The epitome of evil, if you will.

For me, it is the West Coast Eagles.

So although I knew it would be hard, I determined to make it to one quarter of the game between Saints and West Coast.I wanted to see them humbled. Like poodles that wander into a bull terriers backyard, I wanted to see total submission for their blatant infringement of our territory.

I slipped my son Moses a lobster to mind the twin girls for an hour.I then caught the 96 tram from St Kilda station to Spencer St with my six year old son Gabriel.

The second quarter started almost the second we were seated and within three minutes Steven King goaled.Two minutes later, Montagna snaffled the ball and while the Eagles were all running in the other direction, thinking the ball was still theirs, he goaled.

A push in the back, a ruling for St Kilda and a kick to midfield resulted in another goal by Koschitzke a mere one minute later.

Did I mention that I was in football heaven?

Then, Jarryn Geary got another!

I was awash with wave after wave of serious pleasure.I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.I thought:“Take that!You West Coast show ponies.Your fancy abs and your white teeth won’t help you now!”

And NOTHING was going right for them.Every avenue of appeal was gone.Every turn was blocked.There was no hope. It was almost embarrassing.

But I felt no pity.Lord knows the Saints weren’t showing them any.

West Coast managed one behind and Stephen Milne, answered with another goal just because they dared to try.

At this point, I actually started to cry.I was on my feet, shaking my head in disbelief with tears streaming down my face.Even now, as I write this, my eyes are steaming up.

The Saints fans around me obviously felt the same.The people had barely sat down before Nick Riewoldt marked, played on to Nick Del Santo and goaled at the 18-minute mark.When Le Cras got one for West coast, I thought, “yeh, good on ya.Whatever.Have a go.”

And their pain was not over.Nope.Not by a darn sight.The Saints were just rolling ‘em over for some more.

Another three goals in four minutes and I thought, Surely now they’re finished.

Not quite, Stephen Milne likes his meat WELL DONE… At the 31-minute mark –He slammed another nail in their coffin.

I remained on my feet with my compatriots.We looked at one another and silently acknowledged that we had just experienced something very special together.The tears were no longer spilling, but my eyes were still misty.I had chills going up my back and was smiling great big joyful smiles at my fellow Saints supporters.We looked around us, one to another, all with the same disbelief of someone who can’t quite believe it is possible to experience that much pleasure in one quarter and still live.

I became aware that Gabriel, in a first for him, hadn’t harassed me once during the whole quarter, and realise, with a shudder, that he had been surreptitiously eating someone’s spilt chips off the ground.“Oh well,” I thought, “It got him through the quarter.”

As my mind looked to the heavy workload that still lay ahead that day, I felt this enormous gratitude lift me, and it made those tasks seem just a little lighter.It’s not every day you get to witness one perfect St Kilda quarter.

See?I thought.That is what you get for wantonly cavorting on our goddamn beach you uppity Eagles.Next time, have some decorum and go to Brighton.

About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and footyalmanac.com.au He has written many columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted j.t.h@footyalmanac.com.au He is married to The Handicapper and has three kids - Theo9, Anna7, Evie6. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst three. His ambition is to lunch for Australia.

Comments

  1. Well no wonder you cried, going for a team thats won only one premiership in what 112 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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