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Round 20 – Geelong v Sydney: Bloods, you bloody beauties!

 

We froze our butts off, but who cares – we won!

The local cops decided that a booze bus on the highway back to Melbourne at 11pm was a good idea; crawling pace for an hour, but who cares – we won!

Couldn’t sleep a wink all night, but who cares – we won!

Sad for Selwood, but who cares – we won!

What mattered on Friday night at the Cattery was for the Bloods to win. And what a win it was!

***

I’m wondering whether my recent introduction into the 20th century (let alone the current one) has had any bearing on my footy team’s results. A fanciful declaration, admittedly, but a bit of fanciful can’t do any harm, surely.

I have never owned an iPhone. I have never been on Facebook or Twitter. You could say I’m a little rigid in wanting things to stay the same. Let’s face it, I was dragged screaming into the world of electric typewriters years ago, when all I wanted was to sit happily tap tap tapping away on the beautiful alphabet of the manual version; then years after that the thought of a computer freaked me no end: I was left with no alternative – computer or the sack.

Ten years ago I bought my first mobile phone. A lovely little Nokia thing with a cute small screen that after 2005 showed a beautiful red and white photo of our winning team. It was used purely for phone calls. Whenever it rang my heart would skip a beat. Cheer, cheer the red and the white….it sang to me. I would even get Marshall to call me after winning a game, just to hear it. I wanted this phone forever.

A phone call from Optus during my 12 days in Melbourne for the footy changed all that. I was being offered a new iPhone.

Panic. Serious panic.

“You can have an iPhone 7 Plus with all-new 12-megapixel, A10 Fusion chip, a new Retina HD display with wide colour, stereo speakers and iOS 10, or a 6, with an A9 chip, 3D Touch, Touch ID, a 12-megapixel camera, or perhaps an SE which comes in grey, silver, gold and rose gold, with iPhone features”.

“Hold on, mate. I haven’t a clue what you’re talking about. Do they have red ones, or perhaps with some white somewhere?

“No, just rose”.

“I’ll think about it”.

Next day I went to the Optus shop. My first question was “Can I have my own ringtone?” Sorry, you can’t”. “Why not?” You just can’t”. “Fine, no new phone for me, thanks”.

Went to another phone shop. “Of course you can have a different ringtone”.

“Good”.

Back to Optus. Complained about the first guy, and got a phone.

Spent a couple of hours trying to purchase the Swans song and install. No such luck.

Phoned my brother-in-law who loves these gadgets. Said he could help me, no worries. Went to his house in Carlton where we spent several more hours, to no avail.

I was not a happy Jan and hated my new phone. Wouldn’t even answer the bloody thing. And guess what: we lost to Hawthorn that Friday night.

Back to Carlton on the Sunday, and my clever footy-hating/footy-illiterate brother-in-law, after hearing the song for the first and hundredth time, succeeded. Cheer, cheer the red and the white…

This is the same brother-in-law who in 2005 decorated his Clarendon Street South Melbourne pharmacy in red and white before the Grand Final (at the insistence of my sister), and when the television news appeared on his doorstep he stuffed up big time.

“Who is your favourite player?” he was asked.

“Oh, well, um, let me see….the Captain”.

“Let’s have his name, then….”

“Michael Hall, of course,” he stated with much authority.

So, five days before our trip to the Cattery I had my new Swans iPhone. Not only does it have the song but we also managed to get the Swans symbol as the wallpaper. God, that’s a new one on me: I thought wallpaper was used to cover walls!

While all this was happening, and now in the mood for massive changes, I joined Facebook: that place I vowed and declared I would never, ever, visit. Even when my book was getting out there last year I refused to be part of those all-encompassing social media pages.

What a week of panic! And all this happened before our momentous win on Friday night!

No wonder I couldn’t sleep when we got back to St Kilda at 1am after the game: was lying in bed, counting sheep, changing them to swans every now and then, wondering whether it might help if they became cats (no that certainly didn’t work) and then, at 3am, hearing a loud beep, accompanied by a flashing white light, and seeing a text from the brother-in-law (by this time in London) saying CHEER CHEER THE RED AND THE WHITE, I decided to get out of bed and to the keyboard at 5am and start writing.

***

I quite like this recent domination of Geelong – five wins from the past six games is certainly something to be proud of, especially given they almost always win at home; I could well have been sitting in the Ponsford Stand in September last year, such were the similarities between that Prelim and this Friday night’s game – especially the first quarter. When the final siren sounded, it also brought back memories of our wonderful 38-point victory there last year.

Maybe the Geelong banner got under the skin of the Swans players – assuming they even saw it. It read, along these lines:
Something, something, something (couldn’t see the top line)
Spring is Near
Fluffy White Swans
What’s to fear?

Lots I would say!

Apart from the first couple of minutes of the game, which was all Geelong, we piled on 7.5 in the first quarter, to their 2.3. Goals to Sam Reid (2); Tom Papley; Luke Parker, Will Haywood, Dan Hannebery (and can’t remember the other one) set the tone for a 32 point lead.

The second quarter went without a goal for at least 15 minutes before Gary Rohan added a six-pointer. The lead of 32 points was soon reduced to 17 after Hawkins managed two consecutive goals for Geelong, but to the delight of the red and white fans, order was quickly restored in the last couple of minutes with goals to Gary Rohan and finally, Lance Franklin, kicking his trade-mark 50 metre distance. Buddy had been extremely quiet in this first half. 29 point lead at half time.

The third term was fairly even, with only one goal from Nic Newman from 50 metres out, and two from Geelong.

I’m a nervous nelly as the last quarter commences.

A 25 point lead is nothing to feel comfortable about, especially given Geelong’s ability to claw their way back in final terms. They’ve done it for years. Dan Hannebery’s goal in the first minute gives some relief, and then, not seeing clearly what had happened with Tom Papley – his free and subsequent miss on goal – the Swans section in the Players Stand erupts with glee as he gets another shot from the goal square. We’re up by 37 points.

With Selwood now injured on the bench, I have to admit feeling some relief! Isaac Heeney adds another beauty on the run, and when young Will Haywood pokes a leg out next to the goal post and connects with the ball from a Kieren Jack long bomb into the goal square, the SYDNEEEY chant rings around the otherwise very quiet Simonds Stadium. Geelong then miss a couple of easy set shots, but the game is well and truly over. The icing on the cake comes from the young kid of the match, Will Hayward, picking the ball up cleanly and putting through his third and our sixteenth for the day.

Game over. Swans do it again at the Cattery. We win by 46 points. We do it without our captain, Joey, and we do it with very little input from our man Buddy. And that’s saying something!

There was no need for Marshall to phone me after the game; plenty of CHEER CHEER renditions were carried out at the ground, and on the way back to the car. But I have to admit, crawling along out of Geelong before we could get onto the highway, due to the booze bus checks, I did grab Marshall’s phone a couple of times and called my happy new phone. How wonderful to hear it just a few more times: Cheer, cheer the red and the white….

My highlights from the game:
The entire team effort
And I have admit that I was impressed that the Geelong fans stayed put right till the end. As all supporters should!

About Jan Courtin

A Bloods tragic since first game at Lake Oval in 1948. Moved interstate to Sydney to be closer to beloved Swans in 1998. My book “My Lifelong Love Affair with the Swans” was launched by the Swans at their headquarters at the SCG in August 2016. www.myswansloveaffair.com

Comments

  1. Keiran Croker says:

    A great win Jan. We must have missed the booze bus on the way home. Safely back in Clifton Hill by midnight.
    It was a very even performance and good to see the young fellas all doing their bit. Young Will will be a star!
    Cheer, Cheer.

  2. Love your stories, Jan! Great win and let’s hope it continues.

    Cheer cheer

  3. Hi Keiran
    Yes, Will is so good. I saw his two games in the Reserves before he was brought back to the Seniors: he was just excellent and stood out amongst the other boys.

    I meant to comment on the number of youngsters in the team, with under 50 games, but for some reason, didn’t. I knew Geelong had young guys, but as you’ve rightly pointed out in your other Comment, our boys certainly had the better night.

    Must just keep winning.

    Are you going to Adelaide?

    Thanks and cheer cheer

    Thanks also Marcel for your kind words.
    Cheer cheer

  4. You neglected to mention the eventual purchase of a very beautiful Mac desktop to replace your old and cumbersome PC. But change can only come in little spurts. You refused to use the Mac software so you downloaded PC software on to your gleaming Mac! You also continued using the ugly cumbersome ergonomically unsound PC keyboard in favour of the sleek new wireless Mac keyboard and mouse!
    Logic lacking I reckon. Reluctance embracing change? Don’t be silly.

  5. Thanks Jude,
    You forget the Microsoft Works lovely old spreadsheets that I needed to maintain on the gleaming Mac!

  6. Fabulous article, thanks Jan

  7. Keiran Croker says:

    I won’t get to Adelaide Jan, though am coming up for this week’s Dockers game and C2S on Sunday. Hope to catch up at the game on Sat arvo.

  8. Thanks Matt, and see you at the game Saturday Keiran

    Cheer cheer

  9. Tony Courtin says:

    Jan,as you know,I made a decision after last year’s Grand Final to be a little less invested in the Swans’ fortunes this season. The down side of the emotional rollercoaster was becoming too painful. It has been very difficult taking a back seat this year,in fact ,too much so. Once again, I find myself being inextricably sucked back into that vortex of emotions that necessarily comes from following the team I’ve passionately supported the previous 60 years. Top 4 still beckons,but would be a brave person to predict the outcome of the 11 games remaining between the current top 11 teams vying for a finals berth, What an amazing season. Great that Reid has committed for another 4 years. May see you at the last game against Carlton. Go bloods.

  10. I tried the “less invested” at the start of the year, Tony, but what the hell, who really wants to change after so many years of ups and downs! And now that we’re still in the “up” stage, let’s enjoy it!

    Cheer cheer

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