AFL Round 21 – Gold Coast Suns v Port Adelaide: The Best Laid Plans

Gold Coast versus Port Adelaide
2.10pm, Saturday, 16 August
Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast

I tried, really I did. I tried to coax a new fan across the sporting divide but circumstance and man’s inability to multi-task have conspired against me. They talk about the secret to successful existence is about finding balance, getting that right mix between work and relaxation, friends and family, love and stalking. But how?

I double booked myself this weekend, knowingly I might add, but with every confidence that I could make it work. I signed up at the start of the year for Tough Mudder, putting myself through 20 torturous kilometres of self abuse in a final futile bid to hang on to my youth but supremely confident that my offer to introduce a friend to AFL football on the same day, would not be compromised.

Jumping at 7.30am I do the maths in my head as I’m neck deep in ice water and calculate that I will arrive with a good 30 minutes before bounce down but scarcely 20 minutes pass before I figure this might be optimistic. I’m not sure if it’s the 10,000 volts of electricity surging through my convulsing body on the next obstacle or the number of elderly women that continue to overtake me but I soon concede that a considered re-calculation of time has me touch and go for the scheduled 2pm start. This just means a forgoing of the post-race shower and encouraged warm down exercises.

With 1 game to go on my 3 game Suns membership I reasoned that this would be the ideal game to help bring a new convert to the game. My new friend Mel has opened herself up to be swayed on the whole AFL proposition so it makes sense that with the Suns & Port having so much to play for (finals football, ever the saucy temptress, dances provocatively in front of them both), a trip to Metricon seems more logical than a Lions game.

Sound logic. However Mother Nature, the cantankerous old cow that she is, is having none of that. “Oh it’s free flowing football you want is it? Do you mind if I just park this monsoon at the ground while you watch?” No wonder she’s single.

In fairness to both teams, it was a spirited contest. Wet weather footy has a way of feeding the willing. Both the Power and Suns have had their intent questioned in recent months but you can’t trot around the edges in these conditions and expect to do well. Be that as it may, this was doomed from the outset not to present as a showpiece and I seriously doubt there is a salesman, woman or gibbon alive who could successfully pitch this game to a newcomer.

I try with the smoke and mirrors. I wax lyrical about the great Australian game’s most memorable moments and larger than life characters but who am I kidding? Between sporadic screams from the lactic acid devouring my joints and the ensuing festival of Turkish Oil Wrestling (minus the calf skin pants and heavy moustaches) that plays out before us, what chance did I have? I fear she is lost to the game forever.

And if the combined stench of my failure and the dry sludge that lines my cavities isn’t bad enough to be around it becomes painfully apparent (in the literal sense) as I attempt to descend stairs that she is now forced to be seen in public attempting to escort the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz off the premises.

Just in case it’s never been previously documented, let me just say that Rigor Mortis makes for a miserable drive home. There’s a reason the guy in the back of the hearse is never allowed to drive, the straight lines are fine but the corners and roundabouts are pure agony.

The evening paralysis allows me ample time to dwell on my folly. I tried to bring another to worship at the altar of AFL, to suckle at the teat of Mother Football but all I succeeded in doing is push her crying into the waiting arms of those rapscallions Rugby League or Union or maybe even Lingerie Football…OK wait a second…those dark clouds may have lifted their slip ever so daintily to expose a little silver lining after all. Oh Mother Nature, I can’t stay mad at you. Come here and let me kiss you on that fuzzy, thickly powdered cheek of yours.
Gold Coast 3.2 4.3 5.4 7.5 (47)
Port Adelaide 1.5 2.8 4.12 7.14 (56)

Gold Coast – Bennell 2 Kolodjashnij, Matera, Lynch, Harbrow, Gorringe 1
Port Adelaide – Westhoff, Gray, White, Hartlett, Schulz, Moore, Wingard 1
Gold Coast– McKenzie, Prestia, Rischitelli, Bennell, Lynch, Swallow
Port Adelaide – Westhoff, Lobbe, Hartlett, Gray, Jonas, Wines
Umpires: Fisher, Nicholls, Hay Crowd: 10,042
Our Votes: Westhoff (P) 3, Lobbe (P) 2, Hartlett (P) 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. Very good article. Having run my first half marathon in Melbourne a couple of years back and then attending a match shortly afterward, this brought back so many vivid and horrendous memories. Thanks for sharing this. I now don’t feel as silly as I once did!

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