Round 11 – Adelaide v St Kilda: “Could we start again please?”

 

Adelaide Oval, Sunday June 5th, 4.10pm

“Could we start again please,” from Jesus Christ Superstar

 

I started listening to the first quarter of the game over in Adelaide from my third-tier seats at the Western Bulldogs v West Coast Eagles game at Etihad. It was a ripping, tight, suspenseful game. The Bulldogs v Eagles game, I mean.

 

The women’s game had started 12.45, and that was gripping as well. It seemed to take the women awhile to really get going, but the second half proved all Western Bulldogs. We watched that half from the dining room upstairs, with Denise and her in-laws Becky, Sarah and niece Evie sharing a lunch. We’d whoop it up when Brianna Davies from St Kilda Sharks marked in defence or the magnificent Moana Hope, another Shark, put through another goal, and when anything else great happened. We made a lot of noise, ate too much, and generally enjoyed the great view up second floor. The women of the family catching up, watching the family of Bulldogs women pulling ahead.

 

Once the game started, Denise and I were settled warmly amidst many Doggies supporters, especially the lovely chap to my right, Shane, on respite from his three jobs: carer for his elderly mum, a fitness trainer and an accountant. And a very loyal Western Bulldogs supporter, who would get up at each break and go chat to another long-time supporter a few rows in front. He said something wise after I told Denise and he the quarter time scores for the Saints: Crows 6.5, Saints 1.2.

 

“Switch it off,” said Shane, “Just enjoy this game.”

 

I couldn’t quite let go yet, but after hearing about Rooey’s knee, the terrible news about Hugh Goddard’s rotten year-long injury, and finally, Paddy McCartin’s concussion, I couldn’t take it anymore. (Later we learn that Dempster is hurt, too.)

 

I let it go, with great sadness in my heart, and at least enjoyed two Bulldogs victories in one day. And made a new friend in the process. Sharing the game with Denise and Shane proved a salve for the soul, a diversion. I knew what all those travelling Saints were feeling over in Adelaide, all those loyal locals suffering amongst all the happy, noisy Crows supporters.

 

I smiled as the fans sang the song, as the boys sang it in the rooms afterwards. I’d told Denise that the women will have to change the words to “Daughters of the West” when they had their team up and running. (I heard later that they did sing their own version in the rooms post-game.)

 

When the Saints have a deflating day at the office, I comfort myself with other thoughts and memories. Like on the train in, talking to hopeful Port Adelaide supporters heading to the MCG in a game against the Pies. I tell them I know Elio, from Cucino Restaurant in North Adelaide, and if they want to talk crazy Port Adelaide supporting, they can eat the great food and say g’day to Elio. I texted Elio from the train as I pass through the city loop, wished his team well and whether, cos he hates Adelaide, would he support St Kilda in our game. No such luck. His first response was that he was a South Australian foremost, but then slightly reconsidered, thinking if we beat Adelaide, Port would move above them on the ladder.

 

I texted the South Australian Saints organiser Tom the next day; I’d been thinking how crap the game was for all those who had travelled and for Tom and local supporters. He told me he went into Cucino’s as usual on Sunday morning and Elio had showed him my messages. Tom wrote, “He went for the stinking Crows anyway.”

 

This all made me laugh while I waited for news of the health of my boys.

 

I also remembered in the morning, before all the footy, when Marianne from Tai Chi gave me a present of homemade knitted Saints mittens as a present for the games I’ve taken her to this year. She is coming again next week. One more set of items in red, white and black. But more than that, the pleasure that we had both given each other mirrored. I have a brand new footy mate who has enjoyed herself so much she is planning to buy her own seat in our midst. My footy family is growing that little bit more. One more Sainter to share the ups and downs with.

 

When I get home post-football, I find that my Foxtel recording had failed. I set it to record overnight. That failed, too. I was not meant to suffer through this game in any way at all. Thank you, footy gods. You did me a favour.

 

I find Alan Richardson’s message sobering. The boys themselves went into the game without much hope, and he and the other coaches take responsibility, along with the players, to turn this thinking around.

 

Later in the week, I have conversations and messages with Yoshi in Japan and Glenn B in Clarksville, Ind., and brother Andre in Plymouth, Mass. Talking about our list and who may come in to replace our four injured players, and by Thursday, selection proves that we, like our selection panel, can pretty much see where we need to go.

 

Finally, Glenn and Debbie’s return to the States after a great 2 1/2 weeks in Australia, and a great two wins of the mighty Saints, found them at a market and they have posted me a pressie in my favourite colours.

 

Other than our last football match, and the injuries incurred, it’s been a pretty awesome week, and there’s always a chance that St Kilda might bounce back. And if not, I have my Blues son Daniel, cousin Gary and Marianne to share the day with, so that’s always a good way to start again…

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About Yvette Wroby

Yvette Wroby writes, cartoons, paints through life and gets most pleasure when it's about football, and more specifically the Saints. Believes in following dreams and having a go.

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