AFL Round 4 – West Coast v Carlton: Lost at Sea

West Coast Eagles V Carlton

Sargasso Sea.  Saturday 20 April 2013. 5.40pm.

Mayday.  Mayday.  SS Tamil Eagle listing badly and taking on water somewhere in the middle of the Indian Ocean.  Have been sailing in circles for the past month and now sinking fast.  Crew refuse to bail.  Say they will do it when injured crew return.  It may be too late.

Captain Woosha has lost his maps.  Keeps calling out for Matera to go to wing; Jako down back; and Kemp to get ball out of middle.  Who?  What?

I told him to get a boat with a motor this time, but he insisted that oars and a hard rowing crew got him home in 1992.  I think he is living in some delusional past.

We are out of rations.  I suspect the Captain and all the officers have been drinking their own bathwater for the last six months.  Sighted land a couple of times in past few years.  Captain said it was just a matter of time.  Old crew are now too tired and slow to row.  Young crew can’t even hit the water with their blades.  Boat going nowhere.  Lost.  Adrift.

Captain Woosha says “forward boys”.  Which way is forward?  Captain keeps rolling those steel balls around in his hand and talking gibberish.

Compass thrown overboard months ago.  Captain says we are sailing by the stars.  Our stars went missing months ago.  Agh.  I’m having delusions now.  Just imagined I saw Dean Cox beaten by Robbie Warnock.  I’ve been drinking too much seawater.

Surrounded by Pirate Navies.  They don’t seem much more organised than us.  Just quicker.  They are everywhere.  Swarming all over our boat.  Raping our  midfield.  I think I recognise some of them.  Their white haired old Admiral with the knife between his teeth, and the evil glint in his eye.  And their bald, toothless (tonight kickless) old skipper – he was one of us before he jumped ship for the 50 pieces of silver from Evil Dick.

They’re everywhere.  There’s too many of them.  They’re too quick for us – McLean, Gibbs, Scotland, Simpson – (too quick?) now I know I really have been drinking too much seawater.

We don’t need asylum.  I’m living in an asylum with 40,000 other demented souls.

Send help.  Send a big black Ulysses to row this boat to safe harbour.  Who do we fight next week?  Port Adelaide??##!!  Agh.  When do we play Melbourne again?

Send reinforcements.  Send us Stephen Dank.  Mark Harvey.  Mark Neeld.  Anyone.  Anything.

We’re sinking.  Drowning.

This may be the last message I can send.  The radio room is filling with water.  We are going under.

Glug.  Glug.  Gl…………………………..

CARLTON             2.5         7.10        10.15     12.17 (89)

WEST COAST       2.8         3.14          7.18        7.23 (65)


Carlton: Yarran 4, Walker, McLean, Armfield, Garlett, Lucas, Simpson, Robinson, Rowe.

West Coast: LeCras 2, Gaff, Hams, Kerr, Darling, Shuey.

BEST – Carlton: McLean, Gibbs, Scotland, Simpson, Yarran, Walker, Murphy, Armfield.

West Coast: Shuey.

UMPIRES: McInerney, Farmer, Fila.

CROWD: 38,674.

MALARKEY VOTES: McLean (C) 3; Gibbs (C) 2; Scotland (C) 1.


  1. DIdn’t watch a second of the game as I was out last night – however, I don’t think I even need to watch highlights now. Your writing means my imagination can do the rest. Great read!

  2. John Butler says

    PB, good to see you’re keeping your sense of humour.

    This particular game required it.

  3. Don’t go down with the ship Old Salt. There’s a whole season of this to get through yet.

    I saw bit s of it JB. In a word, uninspiring. But I should talk, the Tiges folded under pressure. Back to the drawing board.

  4. “I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
    And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
    And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
    And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

    I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
    Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
    And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
    And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

    I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
    To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
    And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
    And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.”
    (John Masefield – English Poet – 1878 to 1967)
    Thanks for reminding me of Masefield’s glorious rhyme, Mr Wrap. I see he was looking for rovers. We could do with a whole midfield full.

Leave a Comment