Sweet Saintly unshackling

Me ole’ mate Randy, a blue-bagger, is carving out solid “livin’ the dream” sectionals in Los Angeles.

Mixing with “entertainment types”. Promoting cheeseburgers to their own food group. Happy snaps with Earvin Magic Johnson. Trips to Vegas. Waffles for breakfast. A pornstar resides in his apartment block.

Heady days indeed.

The good wife and I paid a visit in March.

Randy’s LaLa land adventure tours, as administered in his nondescript 2005 Nissan Maxima sedan, features some noted dubious hot-spots.

Just around the corner lies David Hasselhoff’s joint. A fastidiously Mexican-landscaped palatial Encino estate. The Hoff-brauhaus, I assume.

There’s a drive-by of the Beverley Hills toilet block where George Michael once succumbed publicly to urges more personal.

And in beachside Malibu, we are pointed to the diner where Mel Gibson pulled bat-shit crazy anti-Semitic diatribe not witnessed since the New Testament (allegedly).

The curious trifecta of shambolic humanity above, along with the similarly shambolic writing here before you, were at one time linked by a common entertainment theme.

Remarkably, atop the Berlin Wall the night communism crumbled, Hasselhoff celebrated it. A manicured, moustachioed George Michael once sang of it. When on horseback in Scotsman kilt, “formerly Aussie Mel” screamed it.

Even Randy himself, is living it.

And now, the St Kilda football club too, have found it.

Freedom.

Sweet. Pure. The shackles are off, baby, freedom.

Like OJ Simpson scarpering up the 405, when word arrived old Rossco’s SUV headed north up the Frankston freeway for the last time, we dreamt of the day it would reveal itself.

The Saints revolution, that is.

Under R.Lyon’s tutelage we’ve been conditioned to the hard, tough and intense. It led to the grinding and the dour.

And when the dour turns sour, you’re as welcome as intelligent brunettes at the Playboy mansion.

There was a roll-call of missing ingredients that Saints fans craved.

Youth. Pace. Long kicking. Blistering counter-attacks for all that defensive effort. Creativity. A license to run. Taking the game on, enjoying it like you’re back at Auskick, or taking hangers at recess. Less of the chip-chip bullshit.

Freedom.

On Monday night, it exploded to life.

It invoked for Sainters a wholesome football viewing joy we have not experienced for, what is clearly incorrect, but seems like, years.

Scotty’s “new school Saints” generated “old school Saints” supporting. We are cheering for free-flowing unencumbered football. We grew with them on Monday night as the team evolved and grew into themselves.

All in one night.

Conditions seemed ripe to fulfil St Kilda’s general script of the previous century.

The rank underdog. Only the inanimate object newspaper tipster has pencilled you in. Opposing the premiership favourite with more cash, flags and support than you’ll ever have. Establishing a lead, then shitting ourselves we’ll get rolled over. The cry of “Siren! Siren!” coming at the three minute mark of the final quarter.

The comfort zone was returning.

“Setanta’s little helpers” circa Monday night 2010, were matched this night by “Sainters little helpers” (er, best I could do). Milne, Milera and Saad, whipping around like blow-flies feasting on the carcass of loose balls and Carlton mismatches. And the 6ft-plenty nippy gazelle Rhys Stanley improving further in the absence of Gentle Ben.

This sudden aura of pace had not been generated at St Kilda since Austinn Jones burst on the scene via the mid-90’s anglo-saxon draft.

Pace is but one facet. It’s successful execution was reliant on the initial aggression, from lights both greater and lesser, reaching highs Charlie Sheen would be proud of.

The usual suspects kept it furious on the inside, with the unfashionable roadies peace-keeping in unglamorous shutdown roles and defence. The Hudghton reincarnate Tommy Simpkin continued to blossom, and the journeymen thrived. Dempster, a recalled Ray, Jones and J.Blake.

Aaah, the Blake. A man surely readying for his own star on the “good ordinary player” Walk of Fame. Like the traditionally unfashionable Clippers in LA, against the flashy celebrity-whoreing Lakers, the Blake, and his sans-Brownlow vote notoriety, is becoming cool.

The Saints fans psyche, in itself, is a bit Hollywood-esque. We are not Collingwood, Carlton or Essendon. We have a need to be loved. Being proud of the team and the way they play. When the faithful began a Milney chant of the positive, non-goon, family-friendly “we’ve had enough of everyone’s shit” variety, it spoke of the magnitude of the night’s enjoyment.

We feel good about our football selves again. We are excited to be excited.

The new Mrs S.K.Warne-elect made her Saints debut. She picked a good night. Her co-star of yesteryear, he of crooked teeth, velour suits, and who spoke of “shagging rotten”, also said it best.

“It’s freedom, baby, yeah!”

And like Randy’s neighbour in LA, the Saints’ handiwork might for a time be judged solely on viewing pleasure.

If Monday, forgive the pun, is the blueprint, we like what we see.

Comments

  1. DD, wonderful stuff. I can relive that night again and again and again. It feels like the second coming. It just shows you how deprived of joy of the game we have been. You have nailed the feeling exactly.

    Lets hope there still some in the bag for the WCE. Now all we can do is wait…..

    Go Saints

    Yvette

  2. This article was as fast-paced as those Saints. Terrific stuff.
    A Saints bloke in my office is already saying they can win the flag. Seriously.

  3. As a Carlton supporter who prefers his US East Coast style, I hate everything about this article…

  4. Shackles indeed. It is like gravity has been removed. I’m wearing patchouli oil again and making daisy chains. Go Saints.
    Brilliant article!

  5. Andrew Starkie says:

    Well done Sainters.

    Milney is the Bon Scott of the AFL.

  6. DD – nice work. The Saints looked quick and confident. Riewodlt looked like he was no longer sure of his role – which is a good thing.

    Big test this week.

  7. John Harms says:

    when the dour turns sour…what a line.

  8. Andrew Starkie says:

    They just look happier.

    Pressure cooker cultures eventually implode. Or explode.

  9. Great work DD, I’m excited again…bring on the Eagles !!

  10. I think I’ll channel the immortal Captain Blood “I won’t say anything, in case I might say something.”
    I’m with you brother Litza.

  11. Great stuff, Dave. Just like the game. And so much joy in the Saints. What a pleasure to watch.

  12. I was waiting for the line that the Saints were rolling out the goals with all the comfort of a Freedom Sofa Bed.
    Nice work.

    That is all Arma.

  13. Best entertainment on a Monday night for ages. Now for righting the consistency of approach barrow.

  14. Stephanie Holt says:

    Wonderful!

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