Round 15 – Richmond v Carlton: Richmond + Florence = Happiness

Today was a day for bucket lists. In a city 16,134 kilometres away from the ‘G, my dad and I still managed to follow our Tiggers. Tick. Got on a train that reached 300 km per hour. Tick. Spent the day strolling around a city first established in 200 BC. Tick.

Stood in a square that had at least twenty statues of blokes in the buff. Tick.

For all you cultured people out there, you are correct, the city in question was Florence. But the lovey-dovey name doesn’t really describe the weather in the city of art, as we creatures of the Australian winter scratched our heads at the 36° heat. Our perplexed attitude turned to complete and utter bewilderment as we discovered that our hometown in Victoria isn’t expected to reach double-digit temperatures for at least another 10 days.

These temperatures can also be applied to the effort Richmond and Carlton have shown this year so far. For the Blues, it’s mostly been a year of a bitter frost and icy winds, broken only by a few sunny winter afternoons. For their opponents, after an ominously cold and inconsistent start to the season, a warm summer has stretched along Punt Road. But we Tiger faithful know better than to forecast a year of sun, we’ve been down that road many times before

Our first check of the footy came at a Dante Alighieri society place. We’d already gotten ourselves lovingly lost in the old city (my dad is not one for directions), so we decided to check on how the boys were going. We entered a promising building and accosted a student, who pointed, quivering at us loud Australians, at a nearby computer.

Game hasn’t started yet. Dammit!

I am not one for Italian timezones.

But not to worry, we tell each other through our teeth, clamped around our bottom lips. This is a rebuilding Carlton we are playing. We are a strong side. Jack’ll kick six.
The moral high ground is still vacant as we visited Il Duomo 30 minutes later. Our plans of a look inside the immense structure quickly took a leaf out of Essendon’s 2015 season plan and end up crashing and burning. The masses of tourists are all looking to beat a world record for the largest conga line, or most human legs in a 300 metre space.
Led by our Lonely Planet guidebook, we find a place in the Piazza della Repubblica that has both recommended coffee and free WiFi. I do vaguely remember naively posting that French coffee was the best in the world. OK, fair enough I was wrong, Italian coffee is pretty darn good. The place that we went to was also pretty darn expensive, but the exquisite cappuccino was worth it.
We also gave the iPhone (retro kids, from 2007!) another shufti, and sure enough, we were greeted by a score:

Rich 4.5 (29) Carl 2.7 (19) HALF TIME
It looked a bit like every other cruddy Tiger game this year: low scores and inaccuracy. Seeing the weather forecast that displayed a 14° temperature and showers sent me back to the horrors of Round 4 and the Melbourne clash. That was a Friday night clash as well.
After our coffees, we gave the phone another glancing look…

Q3 02:37 GOAL Tigers (Shaun Grigg) 35-19
…and then put the thing away, focused on not letting another possible Richmond let-down ruin an otherwise perfect day. We payed the bill to Leonardo DiCaprio’s doppelgänger and left for the Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens (I had just finished Dan Brown’s Inferno, after all!).
It was en route to the Gardens that we stumbled upon the Uffizi Gallery, a place that was crammed with more people than a Tokyo train, promising hours spent in line. We strolled around the exterior, spotting all the male nude sculptures. And the word of the day is……………elbows. Lots of lots of elbows.
After the phallus-fest (first time I’ve every been able to use that word in an Almanac article) we ambled over the river to the Boboli Gardens and adjoining Pitti Palace. This postcard-perfect scene isn’t really one for walking extensively around. It’s for climbing to a free spot on the many balconies and taking extensive amounts of photos. The view over Florence is spectacular, with church steeples and basilicas puncturing the skyline like a scything Dustin Martin pass inside 50.
Firenze S.M.N stations was our next and final destination. We made good time on the walk back, and found a pretty dodgy cafe that had WiFi. I did have to use my fake ID to get on the Internet (name Tom Hellish, email [email protected], born in 1821), but after slamming my index finger into anything that said “SI”, I got a score:

Richmond 2.2 4.5 8.7 10.11.71
Carlton 1.4 2.7 4.9 5.11.41

All is well. Megan Gale’s boyfriend played well in the ruck, PopEye arms and all. Alex Rance took down Henderson’s pants and caused Carlton rants, while J. Riewoldt, T. Cotchin, S. Grigg and B. Deledio were also valuable contributors. Ty Vickery lost his tooth and possibly his temper (what actually happened with Jamison?) while 2017 Brownlow medallist Patrick Cripps and ageing tagger Andrew Carrazzo played great games for the Blues.

Dad and I plop down on our fast train and sigh in relief and exhaustion. Emotional being intact, we roll our way back to Rome for another nonsensical scorching hot day.

Richmond 2.2 4.5 8.7 10.11.71
Carlton 1.4 2.7 4.9 5.11.41

Richmond: Riewoldt 3, Cotchin 2, Deledio, Edwards, Grigg, Vickery, Martin
Carlton: Casboult 2, Everitt, Henderson, Kruezer

Richmond: Rance, Riewoldt, Cotchin, Grigg, Deledio, Hampson/Mr Megan Gale
Carlton: Carrazzo, Kruezer, Cripps, Tuohy, Gibbs, Murphy

Cotchin (Rich) 1, Riewoldt (Rich) 2, Rance (Rich) 3.


  1. Dave Brown says

    Nice work Paddy! As a teenager I remember watching the scores in the last few overs of the 1993 Adelaide Test on the teletext of a TV in Edinburgh. Times have changed a tad

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