Let’s forget about today

I am at the Charles Dickens. It’s just past 7. J is at the bar ordering another round. I’m in the corner. I cradle my pint glass as I stare into the distance. Adelaide and Essendon are replicating the epic battle of 1993. Patrons in ill-fitting suits cheer as Taylor Walker casually slots a goal from 40. The Croweaters are up by 10. They must hate the Baby Bombers, too, I think to myself as J returns from the bar.

I point to the TV. “Check it out, comrade”, I say.

“F*ck, man. What a game”.

For the next few minutes we watch. We watch as Courtney Dempsey, the man who should have sunk us in Round 11, scores from the middle of the ground. We watch as Watson sends the ball forward, but his men are nowhere to be seen. We watch as the Croweaters hold up play. We watch as Sanderson’s men unashamedly jump for joy. We watch as Hird’s sons’ skin to the ground.

The bartender brings over our Guinness. “I’m surprised you two are still talking”, she says with a laugh. We’re still wearing our Carlton and Sydney jumpers respectively.

“Oh, we’re talking”, I say cynically.

“If it was a good game we wouldn’t be”, says J.

We raise our glasses. “Let’s forget about today”.

“Aye, but there’s something we can both agree on, though”.


“The Bomber’s lost”, J says with a smirk.

“I’ll drink to that”.


The game was a disappointment. Pre-drinks at the Tankerville Arms, with its 11AM buck’s parties, Canadian Club on tap, and Rick Astley playlist, provided more entertainment. The game grounded to a halt after half time. Both sides began to look to next week. Goals were scored, yes, but they were often the by-product of dubious free kicks and uninspired passages of play. The Blues had chances – many chances – to get back into the game, but squandered their chances early in the third when our lead was most tenuous. The Bloods, courtesy of freakish efforts from Hanneberry and Jack, put the game beyond reasonable doubt. The dual between Hanneberry and McLean – far more interesting than Hamilton/Burr ever was – was the only thing that kept bums on seats. The appeal of shouting “Dirty 14”, every time Brock got the ball, was too good to pass up, and we weren’t the only ones.

When the siren sounded, the Bloods won by 22. For the second time this season I was unable to sing the club song. I had reason the first time – I was lost for words after the Bombers game, I couldn’t speak let alone sing – but no reason this time.

J and I left Docklands unimpressed with what we’d just seen.

“If we play like that against the Pies we don’t stand a chance”, I said.

“Aye”, J paused. He pulled out a cigarette, lit it, and said as though he was sitting in a Chesterfield lounge, decked out in the finest tweed: “But if we play like that against the Lions, we’ll win and win well”.

We joined the crowd leaving Docklands en masse. We hoped we wouldn’t be back at the concrete wastelands anytime soon.

About Conor Flynn

Once described by a drunk as 'the mix between Tom Waits and Elvis', Conor is a firebrand socialist, born and bred in the inner north. He is passionate about his beloved Sydney Swans, The Smiths, quiffs and sideburns. He can often be seen trying to recreate Plugger's 1300th goal in the Edinburgh Gardens, or tumbling out of The Old Bar near dawn. Don't remind him about 2006.

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