By Ramon Dobb
The game was wrong, Wrong, just plain WRONG. The Black & White effort was WRONG, the Green Martians effort was WRONG and as the mathematicians and academics will know, it therefore calculated out to a result that was just not RIGHT.
This is my fourth footy season as a “Mexican” based on the Sunshine Coast and my fourth visit to the Gabba to watch the Pies take on the AFL Sponsored & Sanctioned Salary Cap Rorters. This year, mates Bluey & Pete came up from Melbourne for the weekend and with my Pies daughters we again booked into the Queensland Magpies official function at the Pineapple Hotel.
Yes, it’s true. In the land of peanuts, bananas and pineapples, about two blocks from the Gabba there’s a pub called the “Pineapple” Hotel!!! It’s usually full of peanuts who go bananas over the footy. But, as they say on the late night adverts (well before those dodgy 0055 SMS adverts came on the scene, and after the Hal Todd and Izzie Dye ones), but wait,,,, there’s more!! Not only is it the name of a pub, but the QAFL second division competition is sponsored by the Piney, so my local Maroochy Roos and Noosa Tigers actually play for the Pineapple Hotel Cup.
And as luck would have it, the Maroochy Roos were playing at home against top of the table Sandgate on Saturday arvo. After a few sherbets on Friday evening at the Mooloolaba Surf Club and a Saturday morning trip up to Hastings Street, we sampled most of the first half and watched the Peter Somerville coached Maroochy Roos with Ben Matthews leading on the field take it to Danny Dickfos’s Sandgate. I know what you’re thinking, how could I support a team with a Bomber’s 1990 GF player in it? Well, to be honest, I like those 20 Essendon players more than any other non Collingwood team in the history of the game. And so imagine my delight at the irony of when we walked into the Piney Qld Maggies function and they had the 1990 GF replay playing on the big screen and I see the ball sailing over Peter Somerville’s head for another Pies goal.
This year, the Qld Maggies wound back the clock and Tuddy was the guest of honour, after having Shawry, Daics and Starcer in previous years. I’m told by my folks that my first Pies footy jumper had number 1 on it, which back then was Tuddy (must have been late 60s) – which I apparently picked because it was the only number I knew, but what an inspired choice. I understand that in the year after 1969 (I can’t bring myself to say it), that I graduated to the holy number 6.
Unbeknown to the broader Floreat Pica Society, Haiku Bob and I had organised a FPS interstate splinter faction meeting at the Piney. Thanks to a pre-game email identification process, I met up with Haiku Bob and brother Haiku Dave and we enjoyed a couple of froffies, a good chat and then the Tuddy interview. There’s a fair chance Tuddy gave the Crownies a bit of a nudge during the arvo as the MC asked one question and 30 minutes later the enthusiastic and emotional Tuddy finally stopped to draw breath. And just to add a Queensland touch, there was even a little ‘Sir Joh’ tribute when he thanked the members and supporters with a “you you you members are the greatest”. It was quite a stirring performance and didn’t stop there, as he then worked the room like a true pro (with a particular penchant for the fairer sex).
So after the pre-game festivities it was on with the game. It started and then we lost. The votes……….
No,,,, just kidding, but to be honest I’ve erased most of the specific memories and stats from the game, so the summary is a bit of auto pilot.
After the traditional tossing of the coin and now compulsory “Harry bumpathon” the ball was bounced and the early signs were pretty reasonable. Travis Johnstone, sporting the best disheveled Johny Gastev impersonation ever seen, gifted us an early Didak goal after a dreadful clanger. Jack took a speccy & goaled, Dawes contested hard got his own spill and goaled and Dids got another snap and we were looking on top. The second quarter was pretty unspectacular. The Beast lobbed a long bomb from 50 straight through the “hi diddle diddle” and we looked like we should have their measure. And the only other excitement was big tough Jonathon Brown pulling Harry’s hair – how fitting that it occurred about 30 metres from the East Brisbane Primary School. We got the free kick and responded with a goal and again looked in charge, but not putting a big break on them.
It is now that I’ll mention some of the blatant inconsistencies of the Green Martians (who ever thought Sheeds was right – PS he’s my favourite non Pies coach too, for 1990 :-). The Maxwell “bump and free against” and the Brown “push and no free for us” were just dreadful and cost 2 goals. The Maxwell “incorrect disposal” in the goalsquare was most likely there if I open my other eye, but there were two or three just as bad if not worse that weren’t paid! WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. They’re more corrupt than those found out in the Fitzgerald Report!!
Half time I wandered over to the Haiku brothers for a chat and summary. We were all a bit concerned that we hadn’t made the most of our opportunities (again) and worried that if their big forwards got hold of it we could be in trouble.
The second half started off okay with Pendles goal (was he looking for a handball as he ran into open goal or was it just me?). Then all I can remember is left footers winning every clearance and some brown haired blokes with 30s on their back all alone in the corridor and pumping the ball into the Brisbane forward line the whole second half. From the cosy view in the stands it looked like two blokes having a crack (see the votes) and the rest looked as flat as Russ Hinze’s cushion after a long session in Parliament House. For the last few minutes after the big H bomb goal we looked like we fired up but again blew our chances with poor conversion. And then the Green Martians put it beyond doubt when they disallowed Jack’s mark 20m out from goal. Despite the schooners, it looked like a mark at the ground and I just checked the tape it was a mark – why do they keep doing this to us? There’s no doubt Jack wooda slotted it and puts us in front with about 5 minutes to go and with momentum on our side. WRONG!!! Sadly we couldn’t conjure up another successful opportunity (WRONG) and one of their big forwards put it beyond doubt with a clinical finish.
As we trudged back to the car and took the long trip back up the Bruce Highway (yes, it is a “special” highway) we debated the pros and cons of the game. We finished the pros by the time we got to the Story Bridge (see the votes) and concentrated on the cons for the next hour and continued over a Crownie watching the Malaysian Grand Prix qualifying round (anything to try to take our minds off it). It was decided that we didn’t have a game breaker, a real leader who was both willing and able to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and win it. Most on the list got a harsh assessment and I was glad I didn’t have the job of giving the DRs as I think there might have been about 18 or 19 in contention when we finally called it a night.
So to the Troy Lehmann Medal……
3- The Mop. Daisy was everywhere trying his guts out and got plenty of the ball. His contested mark on HBF late in the 3rd quarter that resulted in a goal was strong stuff and as usual in a pressure situation his set shot in the last quarter bought up the two flags. Could hold his head high and I was just disappointed a couple of his snap shots didn’t deliver his old X factor results as it could’ve got us over the line.
2- Harry. Before the game Tuddy confided in the FPS interstate faction that he’d given Harry a serve this week and thought he was getting a big head. Reckon he responded well and was the only other bloke who seemed to show any urgency.
1 – Jeez this was a hard vote to give, but after much soul searching decided to give it to Dids for some classy disposal which we lacked from most others. Two nice snaps and a beautiful bullet pass to Daisy for a goal got him over the line.
Let’s hope we were just stuffed after a hard game against Geelong and can bounce back and correct the one WRONG we can control to beat the Doggies again this week to restore the faith.
Go Pies, with heavy heart and croaky voice.