AFL Round 18 – Collingwood v Adelaide: Late Last Night

I love my kids. But they are growing up, and the last thing they want to do on a Sunday night is go out in the cold to watch footy. Or anything. Without wi-fi.

Except the youngest of the Swishters, who has decided this year that she wants to go to the footy with me whenever the Crows are in town. We even made it to the Carlton game, Sunday 4:40pm a few months back, even though her other commitments didn’t finish until 5:15pm. But we’d lost the last two in Melbourne and she had a stack of homework, so I was looking at going it alone.

Just after lunchtime she confirmed that she was coming regardless, Maths homework could wait until after we got home, which I promised would be no later than 8:00pm.

We arrived at the ‘G just after 4:00pm, deciding on a lofty perch at the Punt Road end.

I’ve never really explained footy to her, it just is. A couple of her innocent questions left me floundering (as opposed to mulletting, which I did for most of the 80s).

“What’s the longest goal anyone has ever kicked?” (“About 70-80 metres I suppose”, not expecting her to be interested in the Billy Barrot torp at Thebarton in the early 70s that I marked behind the southern end goals).

“Have you ever seen anyone get a goal straight from the centre bounce?” (“Not exactly, does it count if they take a few bounces first?”)

“Why are most of the crowd on this side of the ground?” (“That empty part is the Members”)

“Do any sports have thirds instead of quarters or halves?” (“I think Ice Hockey does, not sure why though”, wishing that Eddie had asked me about that instead of Polo last October)

She managed to snag some wi-fi, not sure if she used it to SnapChat, but contacted one of her school pals who followed the Pies, but she was not at the ground.

The pregame “entertainment” commenced – I think they were called the Collingwood Dan Screw. I’m sure that they would have gone down a treat with the yoof if they were centre stage at Northcote Plaza, but on the vast expanses of the MCG, stuck in the AFL members pocket, you couldn’t see ‘em enough to care.

Oh look, we are wearing that crappy white jumper with the Pro Hart paint splashes, Trigg’s parting legacy perhaps.

An immediate Pies goal, oh oh, long night coming up? But Adelaide found themselves in unfamiliar territory (remember our start against Essendon?) as they piled on the goals, points and posters, thanks to a jittery Collingwood defence.

The big screen showed Nick Maxwell sitting next to Eddie in the usual Hot Seat in the Members. Poor bugger, will he have to sit there the rest of his life, where does a retired ex-Captain sit now?

Will our waywardness hurt us late in the game? Will Eddie kick eight?

I liked the look of Brodie Martin down back. I liked even more that Cloke seemed to be playing a good game on the wing and across half-back. He wasn’t going to hurt us much from there. Lumumba was the prime mover for the Pies, but the ball was coming back at him as often as he was repelling it.

Second quarter, not much to look at, not much difference in the scores. A handy goal from Rory Sloane, who was quietened at the expense of Danger being let off the leash.

Third quarter, Crows not able to widen the gap, butchering their chances like Graham Bond’s Kev Kavanagh. Some Twitter banter ensued, as the J-Pod eschewed the drop-punt after a clever mark just a few metres further out than some of the half-time Auskick kids had successfully converted from. From Gigs, it was “PODSIADLY = IS ODD PLAY”; from Jack Frost’s mum Wendy, a comment that her kicking in the park earlier that day with Jack was similar to today’s 100 game milestone man’s perplexing attempt.

From our panoramic vista, I could sense a certain Crows goal, as there were loose men everywhere until Wright’s lack of awareness lost us the ball. A “twelve point play” in an “eight point game” had me noting that down as the turning point had we lost.

This revived the interest of the Magpie horde, and we leaned forward in our seats, sensing that the game was getting interesting, if not pretty to look at.

As the Pies inevitably took the lead in the fourth, I was glad that I hadn’t engaged in any in-game banter that I’d regret come siren time, as I warned my offspring about the dangers of the “early crow”. Of course the “late crow” is fine, especially against Collingwood. One of her first games was the one at the Dome where Andrew McLeod scored that ripper from the Spencer St pocket. Having just started school, she couldn’t bring herself to gloat about the win as her teacher was a Collingwood fan and she didn’t want to upset her.

Then bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. Adelaide’s five in a row at the end came from nowhere. I tweeted to my scores of followers that the one downside of being at the ground was that I wasn’t privy to the on-screen showing of the deepening shades of crimson from Mr Litmus alongside Mr Soul Patch.

Tex “score-involvement” Walker’s brace at the end was welcome, but I still don’t know why we aren’t using him more on the lead. I saw reports post-game about the Pies defence not being able to cope with the Crows three talls, but Jenkins hardly got a sniff, our goals were shared around.

I liked Talia’s game on Cloke, he was clever enough to know when to avoid a wrestle and his disposal was safe as well. Sauce Jacobs gave the mids first use of the ball, and Richie Douglas with his 17-3 kick to handball ratio and 2 goals had a memorable sesquicentenary.

We trooped home, a little later than expected (the Frankston Footy Special was fine once a driver was allotted to it at Flinders St – FFS indeed) and we worked out that my girl had never seen the Crows beaten by the Pies.

I gave her a hug.

About Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt

Saw my first SANFL game in 1967 - Dogs v Peckers. Have only ever seen the Dogs win 1 final in the flesh (1972 1st Semi) Mediocre forward pocket for the AUFC Blacks (1982-89) Life member - Ormond Netball Club -That's me on the right

Comments

  1. Lovely yarn Swish. Great that your kids are still interested in your ramblings. I just tell old footy stories to the dog, or the Knackery.
    I was there the day that Billy Barrott kicked that monster torp at Thebarton. Was it against Centrals? From memory my Eagles got thumped that day.
    I remember going out to the 3Q time huddle when Billy was coaching. “Mad as a cut snake” comes to mind. False teeth out; roaming the huddle and ranting at everybody. The mad scene in Lear.
    You must almost have been outside the southern entry gates if you marked it.
    Cheers.

  2. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Great stuff , Swish I would hope , Billy Barrott got you to sign the ball , Swish ?
    PB how about a article re Barrott as I am yet to hear any 1 say that he wasn’t a stark mad raving v entertaining lunatic ? ) rapt that , B Martin is flourishing ( nothing to do with him having a soft spot for the blacks either ) Spot on re Wright it was a amazing lack of awareness that and yet again our poor goal kicking looked like costing us
    Encouraging signs re Henderson , Tahlia and , B Smith continue to push there all aust claims strongly . Walker gradually getting there could be awesome in , 2015 .
    Look 4wd to seeing you , Sunday Swish when the great musical minds of yourself and
    Luke Reynolds meet for the 1st time . EVERY ONE, Welcome , Please RSVP to JTH
    Or me

  3. Good job Swish. Lots of positives for The Crows, apart from not having a Dan Screw. Smith’s disposal is amazing- He could play for Hawthorn with his kick.

    Was it a club/AFL/world (!) record for Adelaide hitting the goal post? It certainly seemed like it.

    Much criticism of it being the only game on Sunday, and scheduled at 4.40. Significantly better than it being a Saturday night fixture with BT commentating. It was a tense game, and the addition of “foot candy” might have finished me off, or at least led to frequent mention of the Frankston Footy Special.

  4. TV/pub fixturing Mickey. Even @ 3.30 I’d have gone. 4.40 the pub and couch were soft options. Same situation for MCG this Sunday.

    Swish – I don’t reckon I was at thebby that Saturday but I seem to have recollection of Sunday’s footy shows measuring the big torp. Torrens certainly has their share of flair (flare).

  5. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Crio how bout coming to Greys lunch with , Swish , Luke Reynolds , myself and obviously JTH ?

  6. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    If you want to see a reprise of Barrot’s goal:

    google Billy Barrot Torrens – look for the YouTube of the 1973 SANFL (Viscount) goals of the day

    CD 12.14 d WT 11.13 that day

  7. You had to rub it in didn’t you Swish.
    There is a Crio’s Question in all the things that were supported by cigarette brands:
    – Craven A Stakes;
    – Winfield Cup;
    – Escort Cup;
    – Marlboro McLaren;
    – cancer and emphysema wards.

  8. CHRIS CUNNINGHANM says

    Awesome that you marked Mad Billy Barrott’s kick , you must have had a cast iron chest. I was at that game also and his kick would be the most talked about kick ever, except that there must ahve been about 18.000 people there judging by the number of people who also saw it. I was playing inb the U19’s at the time and he scared all of us youngsters. Remind me who the game was against please. One kick to rival that one was a Bobbie Shearman droppie from a similar spot, anyone there for that kick??

  9. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    CD 12.14 d WT 11.13 that day.

    I may have marked it. Or grabbed it on the bounce. Or been near someone that did. Hard to tell from the video referred to above.

    But I was certainly there.

  10. Swish – were you a contender for the Craven A Mark of the Day? Do you have the respirator to prove it? Why do you keep repeating the score? I know Centrals wins were pretty rare in those days, but you have made up for it in the last 20 years.

    Chris – I certainly saw Bob Shearman captain Torrens in the early 60’s after he defected from Essendon, and before he defected to Sturt. He was licensee of the Waverley Hotel at the start of Unley Road. Was it Shearman or our CHF Geoff Kingston that was married to the gorgeous leggy Joan McInnes?
    Torrens finished minor premiers in 63 (which was my first finals series as an 8yo). They lost the second semi to ultimate premiers Port, and then the prelim by 2 pts to North Adelaide. I sat with my father and grandfather in the terrifying scaffold and wooden planks ‘temporary stand’ on the eastern side of the ground in front of what became the Victor Richardson gates.
    I don’t remember particular Shearman kicks but he certainly was a wonderful raking dropkick.
    From when I was born in ’55 to when Torrens merged with Woodville they never won a finals GAME. A draw to Murray Weideman’s West Adelaide in a first semi and losing the replay was the best we ever did.
    Wingman turned never say die back pocket Bobby Gibson was my boyhood hero. I had his #5 on my jumper. Ah the memories – Joey Gould, Rudy Schiller, Eric ‘Dorothy’ Dix, Glen Pill, Johnny Graham, Vin Landers, Big Bob Morrell with the crook knees, Stevie Pavlich (Matthew’s dad). So many what might have beens, that never quite were? Was it Schiller or Gould that had bad eyes and could scarcely see the ball in the days before reliable contact lenses. I can remember six trainers trawling the ground when the early contact lenses fell out – they were that rare and expensive. Torrens were steeped in boyhood excitement, and low on achievement.
    Good to hear from another Torrens Tragic.

  11. Luke Reynolds says

    Love the Split Enz title Swish. Dan Screw very overrated, does nothing for me. Well played Crows. Good read.

  12. CHRIS CUNNINGHANM says

    PETER, You legend !! West Torrens supporters are obviously a dying breed ! My back neighbour was Glen Pill and every now and then he would say hello and handball my plastic football back to me over the back fence. Dad played tennis with Johnny Graham and he lived just around the corner and was another idol of mine because he would always say hello to me after church at Brompton. I used to sit on the fence next to the pickets with my Nanna and idolise those eagles, but my two favourites were Lindasy Head and Fredy bills. They were as unalike as possible but heroes to me as a kid. All tose losses were heart breaking ! The merger has given me some pleasure but not as much as when the Eagles beat South in the dark of that pre-season Grand Final at Thebbie. The West Thebbie Hotel rocked that night !! Great Memories!!

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