If that ever happens/you do that/they win, I’ll bare my bum in Bourke Street!
At Finals time, whether you are a serious football journalist or an amateur writing for fun, you’re always looking for an angle for a story.
Something that goes away from the standard “he kicked a great goal at the 24 minute mark” and takes you into the game from an emotional, strategic, personal or quirky perspective.
I believe last year’s Grand Final presented a wonderful opportunity for great copy, in that there were just so many stories waiting to be written about the Swans if they won, and just as there were many non-Hawthorn fans who wanted the Swans to win, so did the newspapers. Be it Pike, Kennedy, McVeigh, Goodes, Mattner, Mumford, Jack etc, there seemed to be great stories on every Sydney line.
And so as Richmond awaits its first finals campaign for 12 years, we need to look at something more than just Chris Newman for an angle. There’ll be enough about finals rivalry, the irony of the perennial 9th place finisher playing a substitute side, and Malthouse returning to his playing roots.
No, my interest in the Tigers this weekend is beyond any of that and far more selfish and personal. Past my own divided family loyalty and upbringing, my desertion of the Navy Blues at age 6, and the mothballing of my original woollen CFC jumper.
Far more than years of disappointment and being let down. The horror of the Bartlett and Frawley years, the agony of unleash the Giesch. Beyond the Wallace Triangle where good players and promising trade and draft selections went to disappear.
This weekend is more than just a chance for the Tigers to make a mark, to roar as the AFL wants us to, to reward the long suffering fans and have “Yellow and Black” screamed out in front of 90,000 in September.
No, this is about one sentence, one line, than will come to fruition if we salute at the G come Sunday.
“If Tigers win first final I will walk down Bourke street naked singing Richmond theme song with a stethoscope around my neck”
My dear friend AJ, my close mate since school, godfather to my son, who stood alongside me at my wedding, made this big statement about 4 weeks ago, not long after trying to convince us all with four rounds to play that the Tigers would actually drop out of the 8 altogether.
Unlike many boasts made in jest, or with the assistance of the amber truth serum, this was made in print, in an e-mail to a group of about 10 of us, and has since been enhanced this morning to now read verbatim:
“If Tigers win first final I will walk down Bourke street naked singing Richmond theme song with a stethoscope around my neck, doing the tango with Mr. Young who is the chief parking inspector of Melbourne city”*
AJ, as an educated man, Dees fan, cardiologist and student of the game, should know better, and like the popular “I’ll bare my bum in Bourke Street”, I cannot wait to see this occur.
So this Sunday, it’s not about the revival of the Tiger army for me. Not about the sleeping giant re-awakening. Not about Gale’s 5 year plan bearing fruit.
It isn’t about the draft picks in Deledio, Cotchin and Martin. Not about the cult figures like King and Maric. Not about the clever recruiting decisions of Houli, Grigg and Morris. Not the ‘where will this one go?’ moments of Riewoldt and Vickery kicking for goal.
It’s much simpler than that.
This is just about a bloke, waiting for another bloke, to make a goose of himself.
If there’s any justice at all, and we all like happy endings and great stories in football, fate dictates that the Tigers get up so I can indulge in that great Australian pastime of seeing someone you really care about make a complete public galah of himself.
If it comes to pass, I’ll alert media outlets, let him wear his Dees scarf for modesty and walk behind him helping out with the words.
Tigers, if we haven’t enough motivation already, what with 12 years of missing out, we must win for the Bourke Street Dees fan doctor singing nudey run.
Dimma, get this plastered all over the walls for the planning meetings, Cheer Squad put it on the banner, players write in on your wrists before you go out to play.
I want to see us win on Sunday for lots of reasons. But surely, this would be the sweetest victory of all.
*Mr. Young it appears is in regular and reluctant correspondence with AJ, in the matter of numerous disputed parking fines.