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Round 13 – Sydney v Melbourne: Climbing to Cloud Nine

Climbing to Cloud Nine


“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”

Helen Keller


Our daring adventure began last Saturday, when our first little cygnet arrived. Ollie burst onto our scene in what now feels like a glorious blur. My Swanette played a blinder, highlighted by expertly dealing with the determination of the dinner lady to collect her leftover trays at perhaps the most inopportune moment imaginable. Probably no need for any more detail here. Let’s just surmise – 3 votes: Katie Moore.


My wife’s fantastic feats have entitled us to enjoy this match from a position of rare privilege: we’ll be watching the footy from cloud nine today. We’ve just arrived and soon we’ll begin the ascent to our seats. We’re all dressed up in red and white and we’re happy. We’ve never been happier, in fact.


The imagery of cloud nine was originally of a ‘cloud cuckoo land’, or ‘head in the clouds’ dreaminess, induced by intoxication or inspiration, rather than the idyllic happiness that we now associate with the phrase. The red and white faithful have spent 2016 in various states of inspiration, idyllic happiness and most certainly intoxication (or so I’ve heard).


The opening twelve rounds of the season have indicated an impressive amount of growth within our team. With six debutants and many more enjoying less than fifty games of experience, this team is on the rise. I know of many a Swans supporter who has been spending their days dreaming of end-of-season bliss, with many not expecting to do so at the start of the year.


We’re on ground level and before we begin the long journey skywards, we’re rejoicing in the sights and sounds of the big game. The Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s feisty rendition of cheer, cheer the red and the white makes us all feel most welcome, while Mrs. Mac herself is offering us one of her tasty delights from a pie stand where there is no line. The Footy Record vendors all appear to be politicians and banking CEOs, in a belated bid to earn an honest crust. I like this place.


We catch the lift straight up to cloud seven, which until the 1980s, was the designated place for dream-like delighting. Cloud seven seems a curious place. It hasn’t been renovated since the 80s and is filled with baby-boomers boogying to the dulcet tones of Hall & Oates. Tom Cruise & Bryan Brown shake cocktails behind the bar, and Warwick Capper looks to be demonstrating the hanger he took earlier in the day, to a crowd of bleach-blondes in bleached jeans. We escape to cloud eight, which is still under construction, so we head straight up to our heavenly haven.


Cloud Nine is glorious. A bearded man who looks much more Nick Malceski than Christ greets us at an imposing set of golden gates. We enter our own personal viewing area and its fully equipped with the finest Tassie Pinot, Dad’s home made lasagna and our TV screens showing past premiership triumphs, over and over. There’s a knock on the door, and in stroll Skilton, Kelly, Lockett and Goodes. This must be a dream. This whole week’s been a dream.


The match begins and it appears that all nine clouds have contrived to make the SCG look more like Swan Lake. This may have been enough to cause consternation among the faithful in past years, but the new breed of Swan appears to thrive in the wet – it’s their natural habitat. Today’s line up consists of many young Bloods that most certainly fit this mold.


Roosy’s back today and his team are on the up. They start well, but it doesn’t take too long for our boys to gain the ascendancy. By the time the clock had ticked over to fifteen minutes into the match, we’d laid 31 tackles. This was an early indication of what was to come as Joey, Parks, Heens and Hanners set the tone. A stream of forward entries resulted in a two-goal lead at quarter time. The heavens continued to open and this called for straightforward and direct footy. Surging the ball forward and an animalistic approach to the contest laid the foundation for a three-goal halftime lead.


Meanwhile, up on cloud nine, it was time for some half time entertainment. We held our collective breath as Meatloaf attempted to enter the arena, before realising he was just headed for Mrs. Mac’s pie stand. We then settled in for a seemingly endless medley of The Wiggles and Peppa Pig. I thought it was someone’s idea of a sick joke, then I gazed down at little Ollie and realised this was for him. I’m sure he smiled.


Just as our cygnet settled, so did the cygnets in the red and white. Zak was breaking even in the battle of the Jones’ (no easy feat), Towers was sparkling, Nankervis aggressive, Mills composed, Heeney tackling like there’s actually no tomorrow, Aliir looking ice-cool in likewise conditions and Rose a real livewire. The third quarter sees a struggle following the trend of the first half, and at the final turn, we edge to a four-goal lead. The last term sees a stylish Sydney break the game apart as Buddy comes into his own, nailing goal 750 in Reggie Grundy’s 200th. Both are key pillars.


The Bloods win by 55, and immediately after the match, Coach Horse joins us at our lofty height. Cloud nine’s newest member is there solely for one reason – Our Swannies have broken the all-time record for tackles in an AFL match – 155! He’s beaming.


Like the Bloods of 2016, our daring adventure has only just begun, but is quickly gaining momentum. It’s been a week of firsts for the Moore’s and today was no different. Today, I watched the footy with my son. A friend told me during the week that cheer, cheer the red and the white makes a wonderful lullaby. Today I got to test that out. It really does. The match may be over, but we’re not going anywhere. We like it here on cloud nine, I think we’ll stay a while.




About Joe Moore

Learned the art of the drop-punt from Derek Kickett as Jamie Lawson watched on. And thus, a Swan for life. @joedmoore1979


  1. Tom Bally says

    Congrats Joe.

  2. Congrats Joe. It was 13 years today our first cygnet entered the arena and we were given a cassette tape of nursery rhymes for the car, first track Cheer Cheer the Red and the White. Her first game was also a win and a premiership at 3. Here’s to many more!

  3. jan courtin says

    Lovely story Joe. Congrats to all and to our Swannies!

    Cheer Cheer to you, the Swanette and the cygnet.

  4. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Congrats Joe and Katie all the best

  5. Joe Moore says

    Thanks Tom, Jan & Rulebook.

    Dave – Here’s hoping Ollie enjoys the same Swannies success as your little cygnet in his first few years!

  6. Great story. Alas, my cygnet barracks for Essendon, so we don’t talk about footy!
    But Swannies are going strong – let’s hope they keep it up. Cheer Cheer!

  7. Joe Moore says

    Thanks Marcel. I’ll try my best to keep him in the red & white!

  8. craig dodson says

    A big congrats joe… enjoy the thrills and spills of fatherhood mate. Words cant describe the joy of watching the footy with junior

  9. Joe Moore says

    Thanks Craig. Loving every minute of it mate. Looking forward to many more games spent together.

  10. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Congrats Joe and Katie – The beginning of a great adventure. Enjoy the ride !!

  11. Joe Moore says

    Thanks Phil, much appreciated mate. Enjoying the ride already! Especially now he’s sleeping!

  12. Nice work Joe, and congratulations to the family.
    And to satisfy a hankering for trivia, pleasant to read a report by someone who knows the difference between debutants/debutantes and blonds/blondes!

  13. kath presdee says

    Congrats to all the Moores!

  14. Joe Moore says

    Thanks Don & Kath. Glad I could satisfy that hankering for trivia, too Don!

  15. Very special time ,,, and cloud 9 most certainly.

    My brothers boy at 6 has just defected from babyhood Bomber land to that of the Giants. Two of my own did a swap at about age 3. So I’m always curious when babes are brought into a coloured fold early in life as to changes in those colours later on and the when, where and why.

    Best wishes

  16. Joe Moore says

    Thanks Kate. It is such an amazing time. I’ll be enlisting Ollie’s cousins, aunties and uncles to assist me in keeping him in the red and white!

  17. Keiran Croker says

    Congrats Joe! I’m looking forward to see some photos of Ollie in red & white beanie, booties, gloves, etc..
    Our young ones continue to excite this old fella!

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