AFL Round 13 – Brisbane v Greater Western Sydney: The Life Less Ordinary

I’m not adverse to trying new things. Skydiving, open water canoeing, showering, I’ve tried them all in recent months so when offered a ticket to a corporate box, as a guest of The Qld Cricketers Club no less, I was eager to step outside my comfort zone once more to see how the other half live.

There are strict clothing guidelines for when one wants to leave the common realm behind: No jeans, no running shoes and collared shirts only. Though I obliged accordingly no amount of warning could have prepared me for the food. I am immediately transported to far off locations as the serving staff tempt me with exotic culinary delights with fancy names like “Scallopini”, “Paella” and “Serviettes”. So this is how the more affluent spend their idle hours between tearing down smaller business entities or chunks of Amazonian rainforest. A line develops quickly behind me and I point to the salad in haste, playing it safe. An aproned server sighs whilst explaining the table’s floral arrangement is not meant for personal consumption. Even the peasantry are making fun of me. I hope she didn’t see me drinking from the finger bowl earlier.

There are some seriously big earners in this room. I fear even Tom Scully would be stopped at the door, on the grounds of “insufficient income”.

The next point of interest for me is how I appear to be the only person here genuinely interested in the game itself. The teams run out but nobody notices. They can’t tear themselves away from their musings on finance and foreign policy long enough to even feign interest. I do my best to fit in but not having any idea what they’re talking about, I merely nod passively. The longer the conversation lingers the more my ignorance is exposed and the more I compensate by nodding progressively faster. Before long I’m bobbing for invisible apples whilst edging ever closer to the door.

The teams take their places as I exit the function room and sit to watch the opening bounce but I do so alone.

The crowd appears meagre. Patton opens with a strong pack mark and goals blanketing the ground in heavy silence. The Giants Cheer Squad would have gone berserk over that effort had he not ducked out for a pie. That said, they will have much to celebrate over the ensuing years and their ranks will swell accordingly no doubt. Patton goes from hero to villain inside a minute attempting a dribble kick, a scourge of the modern game, and misses an otherwise unmissable goal.

So few of the social elite make it out to watch and I’m riddled with questions: How do they know who’s winning, or playing for that matter? Does a valet relay the information to them upon request? Why do they come? Where can I buy cheap lumber on a Sunday?

One thing is for sure – The Future is upon us. Names like Treloar, Whitfield and Shields are punishing us on the rebound whilst Patton and Cameron are having an influence. Brown is subbed out following the now customary head knock, handing red vests to our momentum and club spirit along with him and our bid for a less auspicious version of a three-peat are quickly vanquished. It’s just a shame really that this glimpse into days ahead are played out to the anthem of seats snapping shut.

A disappointing crowd total of 12,700 registers on the board. I got more than that to my last intervention but with 10 minutes to go there’s nobody here to groan disapprovingly at such a figure, Corporate members included. They were chauffeured off site long before there was any real danger of interaction with the public.

It’s a disappointing result for us but if nothing else I can sit and enjoy the Giants club song. It’s got a drunken frat boy kind of feel to it and might just be the only club song in the league that sounds better if you’re being suspended upside down by the ankles above a foaming keg whilst singing but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like it.

I conclude that today’s social experiment is not for me. I like it out there in the vast wilderness of the Southern Stand. I really missed my little plastic, spring loaded piece of real estate. I’m glad that I gave it a go but it can be safely added to the “never again” file alongside German Opera and that whole uncomfortable showering experience.


Brisbane 4.2     9.3     12.3       12.8     (80)

Greater Western Sydney      4.3   9.4      15.6      19.11  (125)


Brisbane – Zorko , Taylor 3, Brown, Close 2 Gardiner, Green 1

Greater Western Sydney – Cameron 4, Patton 3, Treloar, Tomlinson, Shiel 2

Palmer, Scully, Hoskin-Elliott, Hunt, Wilson, Whitfield 1


Brisbane – Taylor, Redden, Harwood, Hanley, Paparone

Greater Western Sydney – Treloar, Ward, Mumford, Shiel, Whitfield

Umpires: Stephens, Nicholls, Harris                                                                                  Crowd: 12,700

Our Votes: Treloar (G) 3, Ward (G) 2, Mumford (G) 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.

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