AFL Round 7 – Adelaide v GWS: Dangerfield and the Rickenbacker guitar

Patrick Dangerfield is the opening chord of A Hard Day’s Night by The Beatles. George Harrison’s thrilling Rickenbacker strum remains pop music’s most exhilarating moment, and Adelaide’s most dynamic midfielder also applies his craft with singularity. Both offer anticipation and frisson. Dangerfield’s electric power captivates just like The Fab Four’s two and a half minutes of frenzied, intoxicating genius. Both are astonishing illustrations of their respective art.

As this is a Mother’s Day game I offer to listen to the footy, discreetly, via a radio app. The wife urges me, “to watch it live, so you’ll appreciate it better.” Radio streaming apps are brilliant, and one morning I happened across a local Mandarin station. Despite having limited Chinese within half a minute I establish that the show, certainly called the Wacky Breakfast Zoo, features a zany guy, a straight guy and to use media industry jargon, a chick. Sound familiar? Doubtless, there’ll soon be a Black Thunder stalking my Singaporean street, giving out icy cold cans of Coke and Whispering Jack CDs.

The Crows and Giants begin before lunch Singapore time. I’m at The Boomarang Bar, and not wanting to evoke the old Barossa rule of, “One at 11, or eleven at 1,” I get a pint. With a cornucopia of splendid Australian beer from which to choose, Boomarang’s management could have Coopers Sparkling Ale, Little Creatures or a Fat Yak pale ale as their ambassadorial lager. No, Pure Blonde is on tap. It’s like Phil Tufnell being Wisden’s Cricketer of the Century. Or Shane Warne calling his life story, “My Autobiography.” Still, in a few brief weeks, I’ll be watching the footy back in wintry Adelaide. A glass of Dutschke GHR and a boisterous fire will then be fitting.

The Sydney Showgrounds arena is fetching in the bright autumnal light, but I fear the wood chopping at the Royal Easter Show generates more happy noise. Iconic Tassie axe man David Foster would have been terrifying in a forward pocket, and I remember seeing him departing the Adelaide Show in a 4WD, fresh from dichotomizing a feeble log. Struggling to mount a speed hump, his car appeared to have been assembled hastily around his singletted, impossible bulk. It would shortly disintegrate, like the Bluesmobile outside the Cook County Building on Richard J Daley Plaza.

GWS. The acronym suggests the sort of K-Mart quality law firm to which Dennis Denuto of The Castle might have aspired. GWS, I’d also argue, could be a mildly exotic skin infection. I can hear my GP saying, “I’m afraid you have GWS.” And Giants? The Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti listening, hipster sports marketer evidently said, “Greater and Giants totally share a ‘G’ and that is, you know, like, alliterative, so let’s go with that.” However, I hear you retort, your team is named for an unpleasant bird, best known for Graham Kennedy’s 1975 infamy. Indeed. Faaaark.

The tragic dazzle from the vacant orange seats is as sorry as the AFL’s probable excuses for the attendance: competition from Mother’s Day luncheons, the eight race card at Gunnedah, Col Joye headlining the roast and three veg fixture over at the Rooty Hill RSL. In a heartland of about three million people, that only 5,800 bother is alarming. GWS will be successful in time, but I think they should become successful elsewhere.

With a population of about eighteen million, that Los Angeles has not hosted a NFL club for nearly two decades might indicate a vast community is not in itself a guarantee of permanence in a football competition. Green Bay is a small municipality by American standards, and its team continues to flourish. Australian rules supporters in Tasmania, Cairns or Darwin would surely have participated in a Crows and Giants encounter with an increased and more vociferous presence.

Tom Lynch provides the best breakout performance by a carroty-haired youth since Richie Cunningham’s work in season one of Happy Days, especially as Arthur Fonzarelli (Tex) has a knee that has jumped the shark, and Potsie (Tippett) was taken by a swan on his lonely way to Inspiration Point. By the time he slots his tenth, and becomes the first Crow to hit double figures since Modra in 1994, the crowd seems to number in the hundreds. While we win by 135 points, a solitary behind shy of Adelaide’s record, I remark that it’s not a game I’d buy on DVD. All at The Boomarang agree.

It is still early afternoon and I venture home to referee Alex and Max so the wife can head out with some friends to see a band at Somerset near Grange Road. They’re called Autotune and they do covers by The Black Crowes, Radiohead, and in a bewildering twist, old songs by John Farnham.


GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY   0.4    2.7     6.8       7.10     (52)

ADELAIDE CROWS                      4.5   11.8   22.10   29.13   (187)



Greater Western Sydney: Cameron 3, Ward 2, Giles

Adelaide Crows: Lynch 10, Dangerfield, Jenkins 4, Kerridge, 3, Vince 2, Talia, Smith, Sloane, McKernan, Mackay, Douglas



Greater Western Sydney: Tomlinson, Ward, Whitfield, Cameron

Adelaide Crows: Lynch, Dangerfield, Kerridge, Jenkins, McKernan, Thompson, Wright,


Umpires: Hosking, Wenn, Fisher


Official crowd: 5,830 at Sydney Showgrounds

Our Votes: 3 George Harrison, 2 Col Joye, 1 John Farnham

About Mickey Randall

Favourite film: The Shawshank Redemption Favourite song: Khe Sahn Favourite holiday destination: Gold Coast Favourite food: steak Favourite beer: VB Best player seen: Dogga Worst player seen: Frogga Last score on beep test: 3.14159 Favourite minor character in Joyce’s Ulysses: Punch Costello


  1. Richard Miels says

    G’day Mickey; Sheedy has just found out about commenting on GWS supporter attendances! Although he claims his theory was a “throw-away line”, I reckon he is on to something and is laying the groundwork for a revised Australian residency test.

    Question#2: Will you commit yourself and your extended family to supporting AFL?

    It is a simple and innocent question which could bring sudden clarity to applicants.

    Those with a “no” response could continue to enjoy the salubrious tropical facilities Julia has negotiated with the fine humanitarian government of Naru.

    I am shocked and full of sorrow to hear ‘Blonde is considered beer in your new country and suggest you try to find some Bundy to help in your recovery.


  2. mickey randall says

    Hello there.

    Thanks for that. Sheeds continues to create headlines, doesn’t he? My favourite story about him is the time he had the Windy Hill wind sock tied to the pole so the visitors had no idea about the breeze!

    What Alex and Max term as ‘tiger water’ will have to suffice in the refreshments department. A crisp Coopers upon touchdown at Adelaide airport might get me through the next few weeks.

    Might try to call in for a cup of English Breakfast when we are home.


  3. Great read Mickey. And that Rickennacker line is great way to describe Dangerfield … he bursts through packs the way that chord bursts into a sound-scape. Also love that imagery of that Mandarin breakfast radio team: how deflating that the inanity of breakfast radio in the West is replicated in the East.

  4. mickey randall says

    Thanks T Bone. It is amazing that Dangerfield is still only in his early twenties. His next half a dozen seasons should be captivating. He’s a big chance for a Brownlow in one of these. Sadly, the local radio I’ve heard makes Triple M seem revolutionary and dangerous!

  5. Earl O'Neill says

    Gsus4, I believe.

  6. mickey randall says

    I’ll take your word for it Earl. Some quick research into the opening chord reveals lots of technical conjecture about its nature. Like so much in this world, something seemingly simple has striking complexity beneath the surface. Or so I’m to believe!

  7. George Harrison confirmed that the opening chord is actually Fadd9 (F with a G on top on the 12-string).

    This can be replicated by playing a G7sus4/A barred at the 3rd fret.

    It’s an expensive chord.

  8. mickey randall says

    Although I love listening to music, I have no grasp of its theoretical and technical language, and admire though who can use it. Ditto wine making, brewing, etc

    Thanks Litza.

    PS- an expensive chord or an expansive chord, or both?

  9. Both – it involves a dexterity that I don’t possess.

  10. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Great Write up Micky and not having 1 Pune of music knowledge will just say
    Dangerfield is a Freak Blonde yes they could do better than that re beer !
    Glad Dutschke Wines got a Mention ! Enjoyed The Happy Days Reference and
    concur that just because Huge Population doesn’t necessarily work mind you with there list they will be successful and we Aussies Love Winners so I am Each Way bet at this stage
    Enjoyable Read Mickey

  11. mickey randall says

    Thanks for that Malcolm. Given the enormous margin Adelaide won by it was not an obvious game on which to report. There was no tension and no clear characters. I had to go beyond the actual contest itself, and try to find a story. Glad you liked the narrative I concocted.

    I, and many others, enjoy your contributions on this website. Go the Crows. I played footy for the Unley Jets. Where do you stand on them?

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