AFL Round 1 – Gold Coast v St.Kilda: Impostor

By Jamie Simmons

For everybody else spilling through the gates it’s a round 1 clash between the up and coming Suns and a Saints outfit denying an injured and ageing list. For me, it’s a scene from Invasion of the Body Snatchers, for I am not one of them. I fix my gaze straight ahead and make no eye contact but I fear the harder I try the more obvious my deception becomes. You know that walk of measured intent you offer en route to the bar a little worse for wear, when the situation demands you to be otherwise? Where you convince yourself  that you’ve dropped into a confident stride but to everybody else around you, you look like you’re trying to do Tai-Chi on a moving tram. I’m relatively certain I appear that obvious.

They circle , sniffing at me suspiciously. They’re on to me. Perhaps they recognise me from previous Q Clashes or perhaps they can smell the Gabba all over me or perhaps I should just stop using Baygon as deodorant.

After a short, desperate search I spy a merchandising stand and elbowing children and the elderly alike aside I hit the unsuspecting street vendor on the chest with my wallet from 20 metres away. “Take it! Take it all” I implore. “Just give me something with a sun on it!”

I feed my new scarf around my neck. It burns a little at first and a painful rash soon develops but I mustn’t scratch, for it will confirm their suspicions.

I shuffle and apologise my way into General Admission where there is much playful banter between strangers. I’m beginning to feel welcome. We rise as one, humming and stumbling our way over the words to our national anthem.

All eyes to the centre bounce which provides me the ideal opportunity to study the key phrases I have scribed onto my forearm to help me assimilate seamlessly with the locals. “C’mon recently established, northern based team” I yell, testing the waters. No adverse reactions. Excellent, it seems to be working. “Go, exceedingly fast, hairless man!” I bellow (a cheer that will serve me well throughout the contest), they suspect nothing. The infiltration of their ranks is complete. “Allow me to exchange currency for your wares, hot pastry dispensing youth!” I shriek exuberantly at a passing pie vendor. OK, that one’s drawn a few enquiring stares. Damn it, I got cocky!

It’s a wonderful game of thrust and parry. What the Suns lack in polish they make up for in youthful enthusiasm. In seasons past it was difficult to tell where the Auskickers finished and the Gold Coast Football Club began but this is a team of boys no more. They have peeled the plastic off a supremely sculpted Jaega O’Meara who brandishes a physique Michelangelo himself could scarcely improve upon.

The pace is frenetic. This game demands a hero but Riewoldt and Milne are subdued. Lenny, with the oldest head and youngest heart out there (or parts thereof at least) tries valiantly but ineffectively, leaving the door ajar and that is all the invitation G.Ablett needs. Enter the shiny little maestro, dispensing Easter miracles off both sides of his body when it matters most.

Siren! Suddenly what simmered as hopeful possibility has boiled over into stunned reality and 13,000 people exhale collectively.

The club song is playing and I panic momentarily thinking my cover will now be surely blown. It’s OK though, lucky for me it’s the second song tonight that nobody around knows the words to. Seriously, these guys must suck at karaoke.

Strangers are hugging in the aisles. I look to be brought to their celebratory bosom as well but no such embrace is forthcoming. I wonder what gave me away? Was it the Lions tattoo on my left arm that I tried to pass off as a birthmark?

Time to unwind the scarf I guess. This is their moment, their celebration. Most likely the first of many over the seasons to come. I leave them to their euphoria, lurching out onto Nerang-Broadbeach Rd hunched a la James Dean on “The Boulevard of Broken Dreams” to face the night alone.


Gold Coast  3.6     3.8      6.11        13.12      90

St Kilda     1.7     6.9      7.14       10.17    77



Gold Coast –Ablett 4, Dixon, Russell 2 Bennell, Hall, Shaw, O’Meara, Day

St Kilda – Milera 3, Riewoldt 2, Armitage, Steven, Siposs, Milne, Maister


Gold Coast –  Ablett, Thompson, Broughton, Harbrow, Prestia, Swallow

St Kilda – Armitage, Hayes, Geary, Gwilt, Siposs

Umpires:  Donlon, Kamolins, Mitchell                                                                             Crowd: 13,832

Our Votes: Ablett (GC) 3, Thompson (GC) 2, Broughton (GC) 1


About Jamie Simmons

Born in Melbourne, a third generation Fitzroy supporter, in 1972 before emigrating to Tasmania during The Great Broccoli Famine of 86. Leaving my island lodgings, largely at the request of locals, to settle once more on the mainland in 1997. These days living out a peaceful existance on the outskirts of Brisbane, where I spend most of my time serving as a fashion warning to others.


  1. Great read Jamie. You’re always good for a chuckle

  2. Come back to Victoria, Jamie. There is plenty of work here for a fashion warner and your literary talent is wasted on the heathen in Queensland.

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