Round 16 – Sydney v West Coast: I’d like more of that, please!

 

 

Sydney v West Coast

1:10pm, Sunday July 4

Kardinia Park

 

 

 

‘C’mon Marsh, get up, we’ve got to get moving.’

‘It’s too early, why do I have to get up so early?’

‘We have to leave here by 11, so please get up.’

‘Where are we going?’

‘Geelong, for the footy.’

 

 

We’re on the road at 11:15am and before too long a red and white scarf is shoved through a window and waived enthusiastically at our ‘5  SWANS’ car. Toots are reciprocated, and we continue our journey.

 

 

‘Where are we going?’ Marsh asks.

To Geelong to the footy to see the Swans.’ I reply.

 

 

How nice it is to be going to a game (thank you Covid-19!). A game in Victoria, where the many thousands of Melbourne/Victorian-based Bloods supporters can get to see a live Swans footy match.

 

We manage to park the car not far from the ground and are greeted with a bitterly cold, blustery wind as we add layer upon layer of clothing before trekking off to the ground.

 

 

‘Where are we going?’ Marsh asks.

‘To the Geelong footy ground to see the Swans.’ I reply.

 

 

Our seats are perfect. Under cover, on the wing, just behind the players/coaching bench. We are also protected from the freezing wind!

 

 

Oh, how much better it is, being there, compared to television! Nothing compares to the real, live stuff. Not only do we have a full view of the ground and where the players are at any given time, but the sounds, the smells, the visuals in all their glory, and the fact that we can interact with walking, talking, smiling people cannot be understated.

 

 

And there are thousands of us, close on 10,000, decked out in red and white. Blue and gold are splattered here and there, but this is definitely a Swans crowd. Thousands of us there to enjoy a home game, moved to Geelong because of the pandemic.

 

 

In many ways it reminds me of being at the SCG, where by far the majority are Bloods supporters. In fact, not since our South Melbourne days, have we played a game in Victoria/Melbourne, where red and white has been the dominant colour in the crowd. The only things missing are the oranges at three quarter time!

 

 

As the game progresses and we continue to slaughter the opposition, I wonder how a game like this can be described. How a team can completely dominate in all areas of the ground, kick five goals in the first quarter, a further six in the second, two more in the third, and finish off with another five in the final term, whilst the Eagles only managed a total of three all day, their first seven minutes into the first and their second 20 minutes into the third.

 

The way we moved the ball was simply exceptional. Almost non–stop movement, the ball rarely missing its target, and the players rarely missing their opportunities in front of goal. What was most pleasing was that everyone contributed; there was no outstanding performance, as such, they all knew what they needed to do, and they just did it. To perfection.

 

It was an exceptional performance by our young team. Simply exceptional.

 

No matter what transpires in the weeks and months ahead, we can be assured that these up and coming young champions will give us much pleasure in the years to come.

 

Marshall joins in and sings the song as the siren sounds (thank god he’s remembered that!) and as we pack up to leave the ground, I notice that I’m tension–free. None of the usual nerves, anxiety, stress and apprehension that usually accompanies watching our games on television, and more importantly, I didn’t have to fast forward! What a relief!

 

Walking back to the car, there are so many smiles. People are chatting to each other and rejoicing in our wonderful win. It is infectious.

 

We return our additional layers of clothing back into the car and set off for home, awaiting another wonderful sight.

 

We are treated to a visual moving artwork. Hundreds of cars have their red and white scarves hanging from their windows, blowing in the wind, and joining in the celebration. One would pass us, then another, and sometimes three in all three lanes simultaneously. A glorious sight.

 

Living in Sydney for 21 years, I don’t really recall this happening there. It’s definitely a Victorian/Melbourne tradition. I remember doing it as a kid, in the South days, when Mum would pick us up from games in Melbourne. Trouble is it was usually the other team’s scarves, as we rarely won way back then! How things have changed.

 

 

Not far from home, Marsh asks ‘Where are we going?’

‘Home’ is my reply.

‘Good.’

‘Did you enjoy the day?’ I ask.

‘Remind me what we did?’

‘We went to Geelong.’

‘What for?’

‘Have a guess’

‘To see family?’

‘No, to see the Swans play West Coast.’

‘Who won?’

 

 

Oh dear, how wretched is dementia!

 

We’re almost home. We turn left into Canterbury Road, and then right into our street. As another visual sight greets us – the setting sun, over Albert Park beach – I think to myself, what a wonderful day we’ve had, and, yes, I’d like more of that, please!

 

 

 

SYDNEY              5.2    11.4    13.8    18.10 (118)
WEST COAST    1.3     1.3      3.5      3.8 (26)

 

GOALS
Sydney: Franklin, Heeney 3, Hayward, Wicks, Amartey, Gulden, Dawson, Papley 2
West Coast: Yeo, Kennedy, Darling

 

BEST
Sydney: Mills, Hewett, Hickey, Parker, Florent, Dawson, Franklin
West Coast: Sheed, Duggan, Darling, Hurn, Yeo

 

 

 

 

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About Jan Courtin

A Bloods tragic since first game at Lake Oval in 1948. Moved interstate to Sydney to be closer to beloved Swans in 1998. My book "My Lifelong Love Affair with the Swans" was launched by the Swans at their headquarters at the SCG in August 2016. www.myswansloveaffair.com

Comments

  1. craig dodson says

    Well written Jan, really enjoyed the read. All the best to you and Marshall

  2. June Ferguson says

    Thanks Jan, U echoed all my thoughts and dreams and unleashed old memories, as we had few
    Wins at the old SMFC. Ground! how utterly delightful it was to see a procession of cars down the
    Highway with beautiful red and white scarves waving in the breeze from car windows!!! I thought
    I died and went to a red and white heaven!!,
    I have watched the replay once and will no doubt watch it again before we play those pesky Bulldogs
    next week and all I.can hope for that we give it our best shot, if we play a quarter as good as yesterday,
    we could strike gold! Fingers crossed anyway! So proudly Sydney,, Bloods and Sth.Melb

  3. Lynn Baker says

    Wonderful read yet again Jan .
    Brought back so many memories of travelling by train to Geelong on game day and also on highway , and coming back with our scarfs hanging out the car window after a win . Another win at Geelong I can vividly remember in the 70’s when we won the game , and as a result , put us into the finals for the first time since I was born .
    So many tears after the siren were from so many “ old timers “ men and women Bloods supporters ..
    I agree the scarves out the window is a Victorian / Melbourne tradition . But after our final wins in Sydney 1996 against Hawthorn and Essendon my scarf was certainly hanging out the car window – keeping up our Victorian tradition ..

    Take care Jan and Marshall. .

    Cheer Cheer .

    Lynn

  4. Tony Courtin says

    Jan,had the hunch early in the week we’d win,but by 92 points! Did contemplate going to the game,but 500 km round trip did not appeal. So pleased you and Marsh. enjoyed the great win. May see you at Marvel for game against Dogs. Go Bloods.

  5. Thanks everyone!
    Craig. Let’s hope we can get to more games in Melbourne this year! Enjoy.

    June, Lynn and Tony – all South people – let’s keep enjoying the ride, whilst being able to look back on memories past! And there are lots of them!

    Cheer cheer and Go Bloods!

  6. Marie Teague says

    Worth the trip Jan. Glad you found a park and glad you had good seats. ???

  7. Marie Teague says

    Those damn question marks!! I had a red and a white heart!

  8. Ross Treverton says

    Hi Jan. Too long since l’ve been in touch but thinking of you and Marshall, particularly at the end of each Swans game. I’m re-reading your book at the moment – such a great personal history but also SMFC history as well! Fantastic effort by the boys on Sunday; l had a feeling they were due for a breakout game but not to this extent! The future is bright; the future is definitely red and white. Cheer, cheer to you both!

  9. I can easily visualise the day – and how colourful it must have been! The red theme from morning till night – even a red sky to greet you at home!
    So glad it was such a happy day.
    Jude

  10. Marie and Jude: Many thanks. The question marks do appear I’m afraid, Marie. Hopefully will be sorted soon.
    Ross: So nice to hear from you. Hope you and the family are well. Fancy reading the book again! Can’t believe it’s been nearly five years since the Swans launched it. Cheer cheer to the future! Thank you

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