Finals Week 3 – Fremantle v Hawthorn: Don’t Dream It’s Over

I wasn’t feeling the best. My wife reckons it was man-flu but I’m sure it was manly-man-flu. I struggled through the Hawks vs Freo game. The six-pack of Hawkers Pale Ale, bought especially for the event, sat unopened in the fridge. Yes, that unwell.

Chest pain, sniffles, throbbing at the front of my head and aches in me joints. And then there’s the anxiety, cold sweats, disorientated thoughts and stabbing pain of deep, deep doubts. Not feverish but still. Some of these symptoms are the flu and some are the real deal – the countless, numerous, numbing what-ifs every fan battles in the lead up to the game … and during every drawn out minute of that encounter. To be honest, I don’t know how the players do it. But I battle on. The dream is alive.

In between my febrile state and a fan’s last dreaming I jotted down these notes. Actually, I didn’t jot down anything. I just let these thoughts float around in my mind. This is how I made sense of the game, the win (woohoo) and the Hawks standing as we tango toward the Big Dance. I may have dreamt it all.

In 2013 the Hawks started a run … of Premierships. We were bolstered by Otis Redding. Well, not exactly. The Hawks may, however, have taken his song, ‘I’ve Got Dreams to Remember’ to heart.

Some might argue that Otis is singing a heartbreak song about a girl he wants back. I’m pretty sure he’s singing about the Premiership. When he sings, “I still want you to stay/I still love you anyway/I don’t want you to ever leave/Girl, you just satisfy me, ooo wee” it’s as plain as the one eye I use to see all things footy that Otis is saying (to those who can read subtext) that the aggrieved lover wants the Premiership back … for good. It’s as if the pain of 2012 has burnt him bad.

In the concluding chorus Otis spells it out (forget subtext): Don’t make me suffer/Don’t let me/I’ve got dreams, rough dreams/Dreams, bad dreams /Dreams, rough dreams/To remember. The Hawks remembered.

By 2014 the Hawks were listening to Suicide. You know, the 70s electronic duo and their song, Dream Baby Dream. You may have heard Springsteen do a sensational version on his recent Australian tour but the real intent/menace can be found in the original.

“Dream baby dream/Oh, babe you gotta keep them dreams burnin’/Keep them dreams burnin’ forever/Oh dream baby dream, dream baby dream, dream baby dream, dream baby dream”.

Yes it’s a mantra. Yes, it’s monotonous. Some might even say boring. But that focus, that desire, that single-minded purpose saw the Hawks win back to back premierships with bravura. Emphatically. The team has many individuals (all with slightly differing objectives and styles and skill sets) but one aim. Dream baby dream indeed.

So it is Grand Final week 2015. The Hawks are again in with a shot (woohoo). For the fourth year in a row. The mighty Hawks have kept their eye on the Prize.

The Hawks love a challenge. Last Friday they ventured to Subi Oval to play Freo at their self-appointed ‘Cauldron’. Betting was on the Hawks to win but doubts being what doubts are my money stayed tucked inside my cummerbund.

The Hawks played Subi Oval as well as they played Freo. Two weeks before, Subi Oval beat the Hawks when they played the Eagles. It wouldn’t beat them again. They closed the game in, forced Freo to come to them, then stitched open Freo’s famed defensive quilt. With pinpoint passes they threaded the ball through the meticulous Freo blanket, found gaps where the normally fussy Freo would stuff polyfilla, and kicked over the wall to open running forwards. Mitch was terrific, he was BOG. But different players threatened to be best on ground at different moments. First Gibson, then Hodge, then Rioli, then Duryea. Each one of them out Freoing Freo at their Cauldron.

Why Lyon persists with “his” game plan is a mystery. Why be so defensive with such a good attacking side? His number one player, Nat Fyfe, obviously doesn’t follow the game plan. He runs wherever, whenever and over and around and through whoever. How can such a seemingly amiable fellow be such a rocket when he takes to the field? Is it just me or does Fyfe look like the kid who would be the first to pick up something that fell from your shopping basket in Woolies? Anyway, he ran his guts out. The Hawks can be grateful that he was running on one leg. If he had both in use he would have picked up 100 possessions (and the can of peeled tomatoes you dropped).

The score-line suggested the game was closer than it was. Freo don’t finish game off very well (or indeed the 2015 season). At three-quarter time the Hawks had kicked 11 goals and had a three goal buffer. This was going to be an almost impossible mountain for Freo to climb.

Freo gave it their best shot. They took the Last quarter by the scruff of the neck and shook it like a rag doll. They had the run and the legs. For ten minutes the ball hardly left their forward line. Their supporters would surely have felt that this was it. This is where we bury the Hawks. In a shallow grave. At our Cauldron. It didn’t happen.

For all their momentum, for all the stats, for all the one week off/last quarter reserves, for all the home ground advantage, for all of their dreaming Freo could not finish the job. Then Cyril, turning Sheridan inside-out on a break, scored. Then he scored again. The Hawks scored four goals in a row. Without the umpire’s support! It’s as if they were the actual better side!

The game was won; another Grand Final beckoned for the much-loved and respected Hawks. While the Hawks basked in the realisation of a berth in the 2015 Grand Final, I could hear the faint echo of another philosopher calling. I could hear Mr Finn singing: hold steady, don’t dream it’s over.

There’s a battle ahead
many battles are lost
But you’ll never see the end of the road
While you’re travelling with me

Hey now, hey now
Don’t dream it’s over

 

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About Rick Kane

Up in the mornin', out on the job Work like the devil for my pay But that lucky old sun has nothin' to do But roll around Heaven all day

Comments

  1. E.regnans says:

    Love the references, Trucker.
    I saw Ray & HG interview Neil Finn many years ago on their wonderful “Club Buggery” (featuring the Nissan Cedrics).
    Roy asked Neil which song of the world would he most like to have written.
    Interesting question.
    N Finn: Across the Universe of John Lennon.
    R Slaven: (eyebrows shooting up in characteristic manner, glancing across at HG, leaning back in his chair): of course, or course. Both songs with their water and rain filling the paper cups.
    N Finn: :You’re the first to pick that up.

    What have you done with the Pale Ale..?

  2. Grant Fraser says:

    Relief, revenge… and next, repeat?

  3. Don’t dream.
    It’s over.

  4. David Zampatti says:

    It felt like our last four seasons in one day.

  5. Peter Flynn says:

    Always richer for sipping with you and Emmy Q

  6. Grant Fraser says:

    Rick – book me in for a duet at Almanac release night.

  7. One step ahead. All day.

  8. Grant Fraser says:

    One step beyond – Madness

  9. Rick Kane says:

    I’ve got The Everley Brothers Dream Dream Dream and Springsteen’s Land of Hope and Dreams playing like a sunshiney soundtrack in my mind today. Footy doesn’t get much better that’s for sure.

    Cheers

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