AFL Round 7 – Adelaide v Melbourne: Heil Thomas!

Gees. I’m over it.

Here I am sitting at my computer on another Monday morning after an in-excusable loss. This endless cycle of ups and downs is just sucking my energy and enthusiasm for the Club and the game completely dry.

Supporting the Adelaide Football Club feels like the worst kind of torture some days.

That game on Saturday was right up there with the worst I’ve ever witnessed from Adelaide. It was painful beyond words. I was literally writhing in my chair continuously. If the neighbour took a peek over the back fence and got a look at me through the window she probably would’ve rung triple zero on the assumption that she was witness to some terrible electrical related accident

Forget water-boarding, ASIO should get a tape of this game and keep it on file for any Adelaide Football Club fan who is identified in the future as a national security threat. They would sew up the case before the tape reached half time, said fan would have no choice but to lay there secrets bare rather than face the prospect of watching another half.

At one point during the second term I just had to get up and leave room. I was so full of negative emotions that I had to ‘pull the plug’ (that euphemism again). It was just too much to bear. I went and played Thomas the Tank with my 2 and a half year old. An easy choice some might say – but she’s been carrying on like a half-metre high Hitler lately. So in essence the game was that bad that I preferred being a miniature dictators’ personal slave/chief architect, acting as her Albert Speer as she built her Fourth Reich out of train tracks and duplo for the benefit of her supreme Aryan nation of blue battery powered engines.

How did I get here? Driven into the clutches of a ruthless toddler dictatorship lest I be subjected the horror that is a Crows game against the bottom side at home. Make no mistake, desperation sends a man to dark places.

The thing is that Adelaide aren’t just crap. In a strange way if they were just a terrible team I reckon could deal with that, for a while anyway. I would happily watch games on TV or trundle along live with my season tickets with no expectations or hope, knowing that a win was just a bonus.

But no, the Adelaide Football Club wants to slowly torture me with this seemingly endless cycle of taking me to the heights of hope and expectation, only to follow this with a dose of the worst kind of despair and humiliation, always perfectly timed so that the fall from high to low is at its furthest point. They have done it for years now, to varying degrees and scales – certainly in the last five years since I have signed up for season tickets, regularly attended games, and taken a dedicated interest anyway. It’s like the Club has a culture of self sabotage – just when it seems success is a certainty they do something terrible that returns those prospects to dust in an instant.

They’ve done it in games. They play scintillating football, building large leads and looking a million dollars – and just when you think the game is well and truly decided, they make a game of it again by gifting 3 or 4 goals to the opposition in quick succession with terrible skill errors. Then they’ll fight back …. but spray unmissable shots at goal from right in front.

They’ve done it over the course of a season. They will string several reasonably convincing wins together as they have done over this season, giving the impression that they have got their act together and are on the up, only to crumble and meekly lose to a cellar dweller on their home deck. I can’t bear it.

They’ve even done it over the course of several seasons. They went within a kick of a grand final berth in 2012 and it seemed like they football world was at their feet – and then within a couple of weeks they were outed as cheats, losing one of their best key forwards for nix, along with 2 years of first and second round draft picks to boot.

All I can say is thank god for the bye this week and a reprieve from this roulette wheel of football torture, because I am spent.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a battery powered empire to help build, and as we all know that doesn’t happen in a day. Reverend Awdry would be proud.

About Ben Footner

I'm tragic Crows fan, avid lawn bowler, public librarian and father of 2 little kiddies. Sometimes I also find time amongst all that to squeeze out the occasional article for the Almanac.


  1. Peter Schumacher says

    I feel your pain, believe me, in fact I doubt if the season can get any worse!

  2. Ben- Mercifully, I missed the first three quarters as I was at Auskick with our boys. Got home for the last quarter, and then, already sure we’d not win, did not see the final minute as the internet dropped out! I completely agree about the inconsistency and resulting heartbreak. Yes, if they were utterly hopeless, it wouldn’t matter. But to come within a kick of a grand final, and then serve up dross? At least as a Glenelg supporter I have limited expectations, and these are fulfilled, weekly! Great report! Thanks.

  3. Peter_B says

    Could be worse Ben. You could be a Kangaroos supporter (or Eagles).

  4. And to make matters worse my Power supporter mates are really rubbing it in

  5. Peter Schumacher says

    Does anyone actually have Power supporter mates?

  6. Peter Fuller says

    I follow Sunderland in the EPL, where gallows humour serves as a protective device in the face of the Club’s gift for turn silk purses into sows’ ears. There I first became aware of the comforting quote “It’s the hope I can’t stand”. I only later realised that it was a truncated version of a John Cleese observation in the 1986 film “Clockwise”:
    “It’s not the despair, Laura. I can stand the despair. It’s the hope I can’t stand.”
    I commend it to you and your Crowfellows. It’s certainly doing service for (we) Carlton supporters in contemporary times.

  7. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Yep, pretty deflating effort. I kept waiting for the after the siren free kick to Rod Jameson, but it was not forthcoming.

    I’ve given up on Eddie Betts, Eddie Hocking would be more value at the moment. Even Dr Matthew Liptak was a better crumber. Ian Callinan would have been a cheaper option.

  8. Ben Footner says

    Thanks for all the comments folks – your comment about hope being the toughest thing to deal with is spot on Peter F!

    Aren’t the Power supporters loving it Oges? A mere 2 years ago I remember taking pity on my father & brother in law for their support of the basket case that was Port Adelaide, while my mighty Adelaide marched to what seemed like the start of a sustained period at the top of the table. How the tides have turned.

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