Round 18 – Sydney v Adelaide: The Red & White Unite

What a harrowing week. What a shockingly shameful week.

For the past six days, distorting truths has become as much a sport as football is. For the past six days, a great Australian has been shown such a lack of respect and common decency, that I’ve been ashamed of my fellow Australian. Today, the Sydney Swans will play the Adelaide Crows at the SCG. Adam Goodes will not be playing. We all know the reasons why.

It saddens me, and many others, that a man who shows exemplary respect and understanding of others, does not have those same qualities reciprocated. Beyond the footballer here, is a man who displays outstanding individual qualities on a daily basis. Does he not deserve the consideration of the community that he is simply trying to make a better place? I’m sure I’m not the only Blood to have shed a tear for our man this week.

No person, of any age, of any gender has the right to discriminate. Racism has no place anywhere. Ever. As a sporting code, Australian Football must take a stance. One of our all-time greats, a rare dual Brownlow Medalist and an ornament to this country, is being subjected to treatment that can only be described as heinous. I will be among the many thousands who today will be holding our breath. Painstakingly waiting for footy’s response.

As the red & white community descends on our favourite ground, it is clear that our favourite son will be supported to the hilt. Passionate and caring supporters have ordered boxes of red t-shirts to hand out to the masses. And printed on them? The champ’s number 37. Front and back. We stand with Adam Goodes.

As the game is about to commence, it occurs to me that we have already won. The response from the Swannies faithful has been immense. For the first time that I can remember, today’s result is irrelevant. We’re making a stand. A stand that transcends football, and it is so bloody beautiful. Today is much more about restoring faith than restoring lost ground on the competition ladder. Pre-game feelings of restlessness and emptiness dissipate as cameras scan the SCG stands. A splendid vision and emotions are running high.

A fairytale beginning to the match unfolds when Kizza marks on the edge of the centre-square, turns to his right, feeding off a perfectly timed handball to the long striding Lewis Jetta. As he’s done so majestically many times before, our silky-slick wingman unloads with a perfectly timed, perfectly placed drop punt from fifty metres and it sails through. The masses are delirious and the roar is music to our ears. Music that Jets can dance to. And dance he does. A more fitting tribute to his great mate is unimaginable. It’s a release from the atrocities of the past week, and the crowd rises in adoration of a young man that we’re all so very proud of. Well played, Jets. Once again.

The boys are clinical today. In honour of our absent champion, they’re showing sharpness, speed and purpose in their ball movement. Defensively, they’re attuned to the movements of their opposition and teammates alike. Riding a wave of steely determination, the Bloods take a six-goal-to-two lead into the first break. Special mention must be made of the travelling Crows fans. This club that has been through such an incredibly tough past month, has shown commendable grace and dignity. This continues in the stands today.

The performance of the Swans suggests that this is a tribute and at the seventh minute mark of the third quarter, the red & white throng perform a tribute of our own: one minute’s standing ovation for Adam Goodes. A show of absolute solidarity for a man who is so revered among us, forty-thousand Swans have flocked to take part. I respect no footballer more than Adam Goodes. A man of obvious grace and dignity, his approach to such adversity is an inspiration to many. Myself included. The message is crystalised at this point: Stamp this rubbish out. We can all make a difference and the time to make a stand is now.

The fourth quarter sees the Sydney Swans pull away from a Crows outfit who are no doubt dealing with a confronting adversity. In such an outstanding team effort and on such a significant occasion, heaping individual praise seems a fruitless exercise. Not for the first time, the Bloods collective have won the hearts and minds of many; from the strength and leadership shown by our chairman and CEO, to the coaches and the players, to the members and supporters. The outpouring of appreciation and support for our beleaguered superstar has this Blood beaming with pride.

As we all take our first tentative steps towards next week and beyond, new challenges will arise and I think Luke Ablett summed things up best, when he said that “Goodes is a human, he’s fallible and he has faults, and people mightn’t like him. But does he really deserve this treatment? Your ticket into the footy isn’t a licence to be an arsehole”. Today has seen a small step taken in the right direction, however there is much work to do. I only hope that Goodesy knows the support that he has.

Adam Goodes – the Red & White community unite, and we salute you.

SYDNEY SWANS      17.15   (117)

ADELAIDE               9.11     (65)

GOALS

Sydney Swans: Tippett 3, Franklin 3, Hannebery 3, Parker 2, Kennedy 2, Jetta, Reid, Lloyd, McVeigh

Adelaide: Lynch 3, Walker 2, Jenkins 2, Lyons, Betts

BEST

Sydney Swans: Tippett, McVeigh, Hannebery, Rampe, Parker, Kennedy, Mitchell, K.Jack, Jetta

Adelaide: Lynch, Dangerfield, Thompson, Douglas, Wright, Smith

Umpires: Margetts, Pannell, Mollison

Official crowd: 38,690 at the SCG

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

Comments

  1. Joe, we who stand with Adam Goodes feel a couple of feet taller. Love your work here mate.

  2. Bec Blossomvictory says:

    A Heart-felt true fan’s song to his Champion & beloved footy world, congrats Joe. M — Adam is out about on the field again!! yay!!! …

  3. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says:

    Hear hear. And a bit of heart heart.
    Reviving stuff wasn’t it Joe?
    Can’t wait to see the Champ running around in Geelong this weekend.
    And let’s hope the thread that has been pulled out of the fault in the land’s carpet will continue to be mended, gently, thoughtfully, for keeps.

  4. Keiran Croker says:

    Well done Joe. Let’s hope we see a continuing show of respect this week.

  5. Joe Moore says:

    Thanks guys. A highly emotional week ended well thankfully.

    T- Bone – Thanks mate, and certainly agree. In my humble opinion, we’re fighting the good fight here.

    Bec – So glad that he has returned.

    Mathilde – Reviving alright. Really looking forward to his return. Gentle, thoughtful mending sounds blissful to me.

    Keiran – Agree mate. I’m hopeful, but recent events do not make me confident unfortunately. Haven’t things taken a turn for the worse since our long brunch!

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