A weekend of ups and downs

Last weekend never seemed to even out. Either I was feeling an inner happiness or raging with annoyance and anger. The footy was only partly to blame for this roller coaster couple of days. Another sport and a family event made significant contributions to the swirl of emotional turmoil. Everyone’s mother used to say “never go to bed angry”, but the events of Sunday night put paid to that.

Let’s start at the beginning. The North v Blues encounter should have brought elevated pleasure levels as the sight of  Carlton getting hammered is good for most. Then Juddy did his thing and anger and outrage arrived. I think what raised the grumpiness index was the instant realisation that we were all in for four or five days of raging debate over what we ended up having the raging debate over.   I know the media love footy’s side shows but when you can see the side show coming to hit you in the face there is no ducking.

Saturday began brightly. I took my 4 and 1/2 year old granddaughter for a walk. Meg has cerebral palsy and can’t walk or talk, so I did the walking and the pushing. I have introduced her to the ritual of chilling out in a coffee shop with the Saturday papers. I have a flat white while she tackles the joys of a baby chino accompanied with a marsh mallow.  I admired the graciousness of the barista when he went in search of fresh marsh mallows after Meg critiqued his first offering by spitting it onto the floor of the shop. Overall a happy and entertaining excursion for all.

The mood dipped for nearly an hour and a half while we endured the Essendon v Port game. With both of us in our Bomber “T” shirts we found little to be pleased with, Gumby’s revival aside, until the Bombers found their mojo and killed off Port with ruthless efficiency. So the happiness path was upwards again and it reached a week end peak watching the closing stages of the Suns v Richmond fiasco. It was like Funniest Home videos. You see the kid on the swing and the little sister walking behind and you are laughing before the inevitable. Could it have happened to any other team in the AFL? Probably not; the Tigers have a remarkable capacity for getting ahead of themselves and then self destructing. Still the pleasure that last 2 minutes gave to all non-Richmond fans was a stunning spreading of love and happiness.

Saturday night  brought us the Collingwood thumping of Geelong. This was annoying on a couple of levels. Firstly it is sad to see a good team become a shadow of their former selves. To have it happen to them by Collingwood doubles the gall. The Pies remind me of an old fashioned 10,000 metre runner. Before scientific training methods there was a breed of European runners who would bully their way to the front and then just run hard enough to keep their opponents at bay. Collingwood give the impression they are waiting for an important match to really let fly. By the 10 minute mark of the third quarter only one side was going to win the game and both teams played accordingly.

Sunday brought us two mindless and dreary games which had more in common with mismatched basket ball contests than footy. Both the Dogs and Giants looked out of their depth.Both games were over before quarter time and the respective winners treated themselves to getting their structures right. Getting your structures right is a euphemism for playing keepings off interspersed with occasional scores.

The Eagles v Swans game was a good example of how a one sided game can be entertaining. There always seemed to be the expectation that the Eagles would snap out of it and hit back. They didn’t because the Swans wouldn’t let them. The pleasure curve was moving upwards.

And then came the spoiler that ensured anger through Sunday night and beyond. Ian Thorpe – The Swimmer. We watched the champion rise, achieve greatness and be rewarded with gold medals (5) and other riches. We saw his retirement and struggle as poor financial decisions began to impact.  So far pretty unremarkable. Then we were subjected to his comeback. Why did this make me seethingly angry. Well,  I am a  tax payer and to see our taxes fund Thorpy’s comeback (training in Abu Dhabi to avoid “pressure” and in Switzerland to be close to his Russian coach) seems a strange priority for the powers that be. Then came the killer blow. Thorpy is a is brilliant and talented swimmer. His ability carried him through shorter races in his comeback bid. His lack of fitness made him uncompetitive over any distance greater than 50 metres. Note the words, “lack of fitness”. To see him chowing down on the peking duck and swanning around five star hotels at my expense caused a rupture of my anger valve.

Well a weekend of roller coaster emotions and my anger has subsided. I have another Saturday coffee shop walk with Meg planned. That’s a  cure for anger in anyone’s language. We are trying to get some Government funding to assist her at the minute but I can’t find anyone who considers it a priority.

Watch out Cats this Friday.


  1. Lord Bogan says

    Too true Peter. It seems that swimmers have become the boxers of our times. Many just don’t know when to quit.

  2. Peter – I watched this film and was, well, shocked. I never had Thorpe pegged as a self obsessed, bozo. It was childish, porly constructed (who was the Kiwi girl following him everywhere?) and a sad reflection on a champion.

    As a complete contrast wasn’t the film on Usain Bolt the next night a total joy to watch!

    Register your daughter a a Green Initiative and the government money will roll in.

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