AFL Round 16 – Carlton v St Kilda: God Bless the Children

Etihad Stadium

Sunday 6th July 2014 1.10 pm

I tipped St.Kilda this week on the off chance that the team would surprise us all.  Carlton has been so inconsistent that it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility that a Saints victory could be had. Ha!  At least I still have a sense of humour.

The best thing about this week, other than 10 goals Sainters enjoyed in the belief that there would be more, was being surrounded by children.  My son Daniel, a Carlton supporter like his Dad, accompanied me today.  Rina was a late withdrawal with a young person in her life having a significant birthday and needing her presence. Dan wanted to come to the footy with his Mum.  Who wouldn’t love that?  Bless his lovely heart, a day out together hasn’t been aplenty, the last significant time we spent together out of the house was in LA. He, being a strapping young man, carried my bag.  Wrapped up in his Carlton scarf borrowed from his sister, alongside his short Mum, dressed for an Antarctic winter, a mother-son adventure was to be had.  One of us would come home happy.

The game started with the Blues running away, it was like they were playing against a kindergarten team, so poorly did we defend, so sloppy our skills.  I think, even with all my positivity proclivities, I would have to say this was the worse display I have seen in 8 years.  The moments of good play have been reduced to micro-seconds.  In the first quarter, we were blown away. In the second, we were at least competitive and managed to kick 5 straight to Carlton’s 4 for the quarter. Boy we enjoyed those moments and the Carlton fans got very quiet.  It didn’t last long. A different universe was needed to reverse the ravages of the Blues on a rampage.  They smelt blood and they went after the Saints like a crocodile who could smell blood in the water.  Or is that only sharks?  Nevertheless, you get the drift.  It was ugly to watch.

I think St.Kilda should be thanked for helping struggling teams find some form.  Richmond beat us badly and have done quite well since.  Blues may go on to further success.  Saints supporters looking at the fixture for the rest of the year, can only see more losses chalked up.  What can the coaches say and do to help keep the poor boys confidence on the radar, to prevent a defeatist mentality for the rest of the year.  If he gives them some of that mixture, can the fans have some too?

I noticed in the wing, up with the gods, there were a lot of children about.  Some watching the game but many with the iPad’s and devices showing movies and games, keeping the kids quiet and occupied and engaged.  I would have thought that for Blues kids the game would have had the quality of something you couldn’t take your eyes off.  Winning.  Some were very young, and there were a lot, and it’s because the game is at a time when it’s possible to take your family out for the day.  A 1.10 start meant the day could be enjoyed (mostly by fathers and kids) and then life could get back to the normal routine tomorrow. I saw two different guys from my local park, two men I talk footy with on occasion, two Blues supporters who had their children by their side.  And I had my 22 year old baby boy next to me too.  He’d had a late, alcohol related party last night and was a little worse for wear, and found himself half napping on my shoulder for the last 15 minutes of the game.  Even Carlton supporters lost interest as they ran away by 14 goals in the end.

My Uncle Bob had his son too, Garry, in his late 40’s, has never seen a flag or great success.  But at least he is with his Dad too, and this time will be with him forever.

The noticeable difference in today’s game was the behaviour of the crowd around me.  Quiet acceptance of the Saints fans, and gentle barracking from the Blues.  There was no abuse up here, no swearing and ranting and it made a nice change.  If the atmosphere is like this on a chilly Sunday afternoon, can I have a bit more please?

While the young Saints grow and improve (our shared dream) we will watch and share these less than pleasant times together.

About Yvette Wroby

Yvette Wroby writes, cartoons, paints through life and gets most pleasure when it's about football, and more specifically the Saints. Believes in following dreams and having a go.

Comments

  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Imagine the atmosphere if this game had been scheduled for the traditional Saints v Blues Monday night timeslot Yvette.

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