Round 12 – Brisbane v Fremantle: Winner, winner…

Brisbane vs Fremantle

4:35pm, Saturday, 11th June

The Gabba, Brisbane

Jamie Simmons

 

I have known loneliness in my time. I was the shy kid. The kid whose birthday parties nobody showed up to…ok, I probably shouldn’t say that. I don’t really know if that’s true, because I was never actually invited to my birthday parties. But even I had never experienced that ‘getting flogged in an empty home stadium by an equally struggling team’ level of solitude.

 

Patrons feverishly wave their folded paper tickets at the front gates like hordes of angry geishas (mostly competition giveaways I would imagine with perhaps the odd pledge on a callous initiation thrown in:

 

“Yes, I understand that in order to join The Illuminati I will be expected to make some sacrifices but…seriously…All FOUR quarters of a Dockers-Lions game?!”

 

It is sad confirmation that few members will make the effort today and attendance will be meagre.

 

It’s a shame really. I was strangely buoyant about this game, somewhat upbeat to the point of adorning myself in a flamboyant canopy of club colours, only to find myself at half time lamenting not having packed a burqa for the walk home.

 

As a rule, Brisbane like to offer a faint flicker of progressive hope for a brief stanza of every game before the churning tsunami of football reality rolls in to douse those fleeting embers. It’s really just a question of precisely where in the contest those sparks will dance briefly and this week it happens to be the opening 10 minutes.

 

A 9 to 1 goal second quarter effectively kills the contest meaning I must now look for positives wherever I can find them.

 

Well for one thing, this Brisbane winter weather is really quite lovely. There was talk earlier that the mercury could plummet into the low 20s, so longer shorts are advised. The beautiful Mel looks resplendent in the new Lions hoodie I have just purchased her and she has decided to make her delightful Honey Soy Chicken wings for dinner, another positive. Also, I have tipped Freo for this game, so it’s not all bad.

 

The sparse attendance does have an upside too. Sustenance provides no quandary for me at the long break. The only queue I encounter at the half is the fast forming line to get out of the ground, making it easy for me to approach vendors unopposed in my purchase of beer infused water and chips sold at Zimbabwean prices.

 

The Auskickers provide both a pleasant distraction and the opportunity to keep an eye on future number one draft picks but here endeth the positives.

 

By three quarter time, precious few of the regulars remain to endure. Even the stoic, elder stateswoman that sits down below me, who I can imagine forging on bravely in her formative years through armed conflict and The Great Depression appears to have offered a resounding “screw this” to the contest and fled with blanket in tow. Those that do remain fixate over social media, send texts, fill out tax returns…anything really that comes between them and having to watch the carnage that plays out before them.

 

I guess then, as quite possibly the last reliable witness, I am obliged to talk a little about the game.  Confidence is a potent little thing. Two weeks ago The Dockers wouldn’t have won a Fremantle Football Club look-a-like contest but tonight they can do no wrong, kicking them from everywhere. They couldn’t miss by invitation if they had to and tonight they look every bit the side that challenged for a premiership not so long ago.

 

Taberner thrives in the absence of Pavlich, a re-imagined Barlow quietens Rich and life sans Sandilands doesn’t appear quite so insurmountable anymore.

 

The ever plumping margin waddles to an 83 point conclusion, no doubt fueling the growing chorus of  “sack the coach” across social media but for me at least, all is not lost. Mel has now added talk of homemade chips to accompany those incredible chicken wings and, so far at least, I’m still invited.

 

Brisbane   3.3    4.6    7.6    9.10  (64)

Fremantle   3.3  12.3  18.7   23.9 (147)

 

Goals:

Brisbane- Schache, Cutler, Taylor 2, Rich, Bewick, Bastinac 1

Fremantle- Taberner 5, Mayne, Ballantyne, Weller 4, Tucker 2 Suban, Smith, Sheridan, Walters 1

 

Best:

Brisbane- Cutler, Robinson, Rockliff, Bewick, Hanley

Fremantle- Taberner, Weller, Barlow, Hill, Mayne, Blakely

 

Umpires:  O’Gorman, Findlay, Ryan                                            Attendance:   12,899

Our Votes: Taberner (F) 3, Weller (F) 2 Barlow (F) 1

About Jamie Simmons

Born in Melbourne, a third generation Fitzroy supporter, in 1972 before emigrating to Tasmania during The Great Broccoli Famine of 86. Leaving my island lodgings, largely at the request of locals, to settle once more on the mainland in 1997. These days living out a peaceful existance on the outskirts of Brisbane, where I spend most of my time serving as a fashion warning to others.

Comments

  1. Stephen bury says:

    Sad but true Jamie. I am wondering if Brisbane afl fans will soon resort to attending neafl games in suburbia to get their live footy fix. At least you can get a decent burger and beer!

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