Round 20: Richmond v Hawthorn – The Richmond supporter’s guide to barracking for a good team

 

Sunday was perfect, Tigers fan. Absolutely, totally perfect. I firmly believe it was our best day of the season thus far.

 

To make it all the more sweet, Port Adelaide fell in a giant moon crater and we’re now two games clear of fifth. It’s Thursday night, and even we haven’t found a way to drop down the ladder.

 

I’ve pinched myself all week. My arm is blue. Reality, ladies and gentlemen, has finally taken hold.

 

But this lofty position needs some explanation – there are so many things I need to grasp about supporting a decent football team. I had two options to source the required info…

 

Option A) Ask a Hawthorn supporter over for dinner.

 

Option B) Google.

 

I chose Google. I thought it might be insensitive to ask a Hawks supporter at this difficult time. That said, I’m not sure I would’ve been able to find one. Most of them disappeared during the third quarter of Saturday’s game. I’ve heard the Caribbean is great in September…were they leaving to catch their flights?

 

Anyway, here is what my research uncovered…

 

What is the double chance?

This was one of the first questions I had after the game. I overheard a couple of supporters talking about it as we left, and saying we might get it. Well, I most certainly didn’t “get it” at the time, so I looked it up.

 

Apparently, if we finish in the top four, we can lose the first week of finals and we still don’t get knocked out. We have to lose twice.

 

The more I think about it, the more surprised I am. Why don’t we aim to finish in the top four every year, with this sort of advantage there for us to take? I’m assuming we got Neil Balme, who has been at successful clubs before (but not for a while), to give us this sort of insight.

 

What is going out in “straight sets”?

Because apparently, this is the next way Richmond will force us to microwave those memberships. I guess it’s best to microwave them when you’re out of finals and the season is over than at half-time of round one.

 

Anyway, straight sets sound a lot like something Tony Abbott would approve of, but Google tells me this has nothing to do with the postal plebiscite, or our government deciding to rock up to work and, err, not do its job.

 

Maybe the government took inspiration from the Richmond teams of the late 80s, the 90s and the 00s.

 

Anyway, straight sets…

 

In tennis, if you lose in straight sets, it means you have lost without winning a set. And people think that is what we will do – use our chance and then lose again and be out of the finals.

 

I really wish I hadn’t looked this one up. I feel sick.

 

Can we still finish ninth?

After half an hour downloading the flash player required to use the ladder predictor, half an hour using it and then half an hour lying in a dark room trying to forget the salad bowl I just exposed myself too, I can confirm ninth is still mathematically possible.

 

We would have to lose every game from here, and two of Melbourne, St Kilda, Essendon and West Coast would have to win every one of their games by solid margins.

 

We’ll probably just about miss it.

 

Is it still possible that the AFL could make us play ninth to prove our credentials, like they did in 2013?

Apparently, they didn’t actually do this to test us and I’ve been living a lie for four years.

 

They kicked Essendon out for injecting their players with, well, no one actually knows. Even Google doesn’t know, and I just got off-track and lost two hours of my life asking it.

 

I’m not buying the injections explanation. I’m still absolutely convinced the AFL conspired against us.

 

Anyway, Adelaide will play fourth and win, leaving second to play third, unless there’s another plot twist and the AFL expand the top four to a top five and make us play the Barbarians, for another laugh. You heard it here first.

 

Is this all just luck? Did we just get Hawthorn on a good day when they were missing players?

The Hawks supporter behind me seemed to think they were really missing Hodge and Rioli, which is true. That said, I thought they missed Sam Mitchell more than those two.

 

I guess I would counter the argument as I did at the time. It was unfortunate that Bartlett, Dyer, Hart and Titus were unable to play on Sunday, but I guess it was nice of us to omit them to try and make it a bit more of a contest.

 

And finally….

Can the Donald and Kim Jong-un keep their cool? 

Seriously guys, our sudden rise wasn’t meant to signal an apocalypse. Take a day off. Or maybe take two months. Either way, just cool it.

Let the season run its course. Don’t stop us now.

And that, folks, is about as close as I’ll come to using the ‘P’ word, or the other ‘F’ word…

 

If you’re also struggling to come to terms with our lofty position, please feel free to ask questions in the comments. I’m sure, between us, we can find the answers we need. It’s very important we help one another wade through the muddy waters of success over the coming weeks.

 

Go Tiges!

 

About Jack Banister

Journalism student @ Melbourne Uni, Brunswick Hockey Club Men's Coach, tortured Tigers fan.

Comments

  1. Banister:

    thank you for that report.

    Have sent it to a tour guide.

  2. I can’t believe you considered Option A at all. Why would you subject yourself to such unpleasantness?

    I’m dropping the F word all the time now.

  3. Joe De Petro says:

    JB, option A was always going to end in tears.

    I caught up with a Hawthorn supporting friend a few weeks ago. You’d think that after 4 flags in 10 years, they might be feeling at peace with the world and can accept a less successful year every now and again with a bit of grace but apparently not.

    One cannot help but wonder how fans of other teams would have coped with our 35 years of misery.

    Richmond are the Chicago Cubbies of Australia. Adversity has just made us love the club and the game even more.

    Go Tiggies.

  4. Stainless says:

    Jack
    I would prefer that you and all others of the yellow and black persuasion stopped making references to “good team”, finals, double chance etc until after 5pm on Saturday. The small hurdle of a team that we haven’t beaten in over 11 years is still to be overcome. And whilst there has been much dismissive commentary about Geelong’s capability “sans Selwood”, I suspect that they’ll be taking this game on with a massive point to prove. Something to do with prevailing against the vicissitudes of untimely injury and unjust MRPs and putting those upstart Tigers in their place.
    I hope I’m proven wrong…

  5. Black Prince says:

    I’ve a question Jack…which team has won more finals in the last 35 years, Fitzroy or Richmond?
    It’s a great question and one I hope I can still use beyond 2017!

  6. Fitzroy?

  7. Black Prince says:

    CORRECT.

  8. Given today’s performance, Prince, that well may continue.

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