Round 16 – Richmond v St. Kilda: All things good and bad

My cousin and I took his kids and my sister’s kids to the footy on Sunday. We went to watch another set of cousins, Nick and Jack Riewoldt conduct important business. The remembrance of the life of their sister and cousin Maddie. Footy sometimes does things very well. The celebration of Maddie’s life and the raising of money and awareness for Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision was such a time. Nick has to be applauded for just getting out there. It was pretty obvious that his calf injury would have had him sidelined for any other game bar a final.
Nick and Jack met in the middle to toss the coin. One family. Two clubs. Everybody aware of the moment…….except whoever was in charge of the ‘match day experience’… dance music played throughout the pre-game, robbing the crowd of the chance to quietly contemplate the occasion. The chance to simply reflect or talk to each other. 46,000 people were there, most to support the Riewoldts, I reckon. It’s something that shouldn’t be lost on the AFL. It’s not music, musical chairs or cannons that fire t-shirts that get us through the gates. It’s the clubs and the players that we come to see. The good and the bad in their lives reflects the good and the bad in ours. We come to watch the footy.
Before this game the Tigers had won 18 of their last 24 games. A lot of the games they lost were in the absence of Brett Deledio. Sure of hand and foot, Deledio was the stand out player on the day. Dustin Martin used his body as a wrecking ball help push Tigers to a 52 point lead at three quarter time. All of this was lost on my young niece and nephew who are visiting from the USA. Halfway through the first quarter my nephew Tristan wondered aloud when the game would start, while about 20 minutes later my niece Nya hollered at me “Where’s the food?”
With the kids fed and at least feigning interest I was keen to kick back and for once enjoy watching the Tigers as they cruised to victory. Instead we endured a white knuckle ride as the Saints outscored the Tigers six goals to nil in the final quarter. The family behind us were like contestants a profane episode of Catchphrase. Not knowing what to do they screamed out every footy cliché they knew regardless of its relevance. “Hurry up and kick it” was quickly followed by “Slow the game down”. When they demanded that the Tigers “SWITCH” it mattered not that they didn’t have the ball. I worried that their language was a bit blue for the kids, but we were at the footy I guess.
In the end the Tigers hung on to win. We’d had a some good family time at the footy. So had the family behind us in their unique way. And then there were the Riewoldts. Living through their tragedy in the most public of ways. Solid people.
Vale Maddie.

About Chris Daley

Tiger fan Chris Daley works in Community Nursing, which has taken him to Perth, Broome and now Dandenong. Being tall, he used to get a game in the ruck playing bush footy outside of Warrnambool.


  1. Lids certainly prospered and some of his passes were of high calibre. I would still like to see him more able to win contested ball, but the most important thing he needs to do – as does the skipper – is to nail those clutch set shots from 40 almost in front, when the game is close. He and Cotchin never look like getting these – and bizarrely, Vickery now never looks like missing!

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