Round 21 – Brisbane v Gold Coast: Bar the Shouting

 

Brisbane versus Gold Coast

4.35pm, Sunday, 23 July

The Gabba, Brisbane

Jamie Simmons

 

I need a dose of footy to settle the mind a little. It’s been in some unfamiliar places of late.

 

For one thing, Telstra’s ongoing commitment to incompetence has ensured a fifth straight week without the internet in my life. This forced introduction to an Amish existence is exhausting. It’s barely daybreak and already I’ve raised a barn, churned the butter and milked a very surprised looking cow before finally being escorted off the property.

 

For another thing, Mel took me to see the Brisbane Ballet on Friday night. Apparently I could use a dose of culture. I reject this naturally. I think you’ll find I’m no stranger to culture. I’ve written some perfectly poignant limericks in my time I’ll have you know…well, not so much written as spray painted but the point remains.

 

The ballet was a pleasant surprise. I rather enjoyed myself, as it happens. That said, I understand that the sight of a man in tights isn’t to everybody’s taste. Still, I wear what I want to wear.

 

Be that as it may, it’s the familiarity of a Gabba game day crowd that I yearn for. Despite a better turn out than forecast, the atmosphere is every bit as flat as you might expect for two teams with no invitation beyond August. Nobody even stands to boo the umpires.

 

With the Suns in disarray I am anticipating 4 complimentary points with little fuss or fanfare.

 

For The Suns there’s no Lynch (knee), no Hanley (hamstring), no Ablett (attending an auction in Geelong) and they misplaced a coach during the week. I’m not even certain how they’re supposed to put a team together. Perhaps the first 22 on the bus get to play. Doris, who runs the canteen at Metricon, might be called upon to hold down a back pocket this week.

 

Eade was an old school, fire and brimstone kind of coach. I’ve never understood the approach and I suspect much of the young Suns list didn’t either. The world has changed. Shouting at your subordinates is heavily frowned upon these days, unless working in a professional kitchen or as Nick Krygios’s Life Coach. I played under a bellowing coach for a while. I didn’t respect it and I certainly didn’t listen to it. Whenever he teed off on us I’d just start reciting Gilbert & Sullivan songs in my head (how’s THAT for cultured?):

 

Coach: “Boys! You’re a DISGRACE to the uniform!”

 

Me: “I am the very model of a modern Major-General,”

 

Coach: “And you Simmons! What the HELL are you doing out there!?”

 

Me: “I’ve information vegetable, animal and mineral,”

 

Coach: “Seriously…we sacked you from the club two years ago! Please leave or we’ll call the Police!”

 

Me: “I know the Kings of England and I quote the fights historical.”

 

What should be an unimpeded stroll along the avenue to a Brisbane victory is suddenly littered with an unexpected obstacle, in the form of Gold Coast resistance.

 

The Suns are alive and kicking, thanks in no small part to the mercurial work around goal of Jack Martin. He kicks 3 in the opening quarter and should have kicked a fourth. He’s playing with complete freedom and reminds us all of the gifted young draftee who promised us greatness not so long ago.

 

We might also need to put a heavy tag on the bald umpire. This bloke is killing us and is a disgrace to the haircut.

 

Martin is unstoppable again in the second term and Hall has an aversion to deodorant judging by the space he is being given. The Suns are out to a 4 goal lead early in the second.

 

It’s an ancient sporting adage that one must beware the side that sacks a coach. Couldn’t they wait a week?

 

I could be about to eat my words here. My pre-emptive, incendiary remarks about an easy victory are about to be seasoned lightly and then spat on by Doris before serving, for my earlier contempt.

 

We look terrible. Lethargic. Michael Close, displaying the kind of decision making that is usually accompanied by a lawn chair, pipe and cardigan is nailed in a tackle right in front of me. We are a rabble.

 

If it weren’t for Harris Andrews, this game could already be over.

 

As frustrating as our early efforts are, I’ve got bigger issues in the stands beside me.

 

The paper ticket brigade that files in past me are all one family, characterised largely by their inability to stay seated. I’m trapped in a recurring nightmare, where I am now the central figure in a never ending Mexican Wave, localised entirely to my row. There are no coordinated departures, preferring instead to make us stand every 3 to 4 minutes to let another of their tactless brood shuffle past. When the last one finally does sniffle its way back into position, it merely cues Mum’s departure! Hopefully to buy haemorrhoid cream. This is getting ridiculous! Now it’s the old man’s turn, deciding at the 28 minute mark to get another beverage. I mean, where’s the sense in waiting 1 whole minute for the break?

 

I decide on a break myself and I thought the Umps were having a shocker until I go to get myself a soothing, half time bourbon. The young chap pours what is either Bundaberg Rum or Werribee tap water, it’s hard to tell. I point out his error whereupon he apologises, bowing profusely, before proceeding to pour me another Bundy Rum.

 

After the long break the endeavour of Beams, Taylor and Rockliff turns the tide and the Suns look a spent force by three quarter time. The new coach factor has worn off and a more organised Lions outfit seem set to prevail and by a handsome margin.

 

I should be ecstatic but I’m exhausted. I’ve hit 1,000 squats from my seat and it makes for a restricted walk up Vulture Street. It means I am slow in crossing at the Wellington Road lights. Too slow and invites the wrath of a frustrated motorist:

 

“It’s a red walk signal IDIOT! Are you BLIND! Can’t you see that th…”

 

Me: “I am the very model of a modern Major-General.”

 

 

 

Brisbane 3.2   9.4   15.6   22.10 (142)

Gold Coast 6.5   8.9   9.9   12.12 (84)

 

Goals:

Brisbane- D.Beams 4 Barrett, Rockliff 3, Walker, Lester, Taylor 2 C.Beams, Hipwood, Bastinac,

Mathieson, Close, Zorko 1

Gold Coast – Martin 4, Schoenfeld, Lemmens, May, Hall, Wright, Currie, Miller, Swallow 1

 

Best:

Brisbane– D.Beams, Taylor, Andrews, Rockliff, Martin, Barrett

Gold Coast – Martin, Hall, Miller, Swallow, Currie, May

 

Crowd: 17,772

 

Our Votes: D.Beams (B) 3, Taylor (B) 2, Andrews (B) 1

About Jamie Simmons

Born in Melbourne, a third generation Fitzroy supporter, in 1972 before emigrating to Tasmania during The Great Broccoli Famine of 86. Leaving my island lodgings, largely at the request of locals, to settle once more on the mainland in 1997. These days living out a peaceful existance on the outskirts of Brisbane, where I spend most of my time serving as a fashion warning to others.

Comments

  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    Some top zingers there Jamie. I’d move seats next time.

  2. Yvette Wroby says:

    Typed a great comment that was lost in the cyber world!! Love your work Jamie, keep writing. Gave me some laughs and nods of recognition:

    I hate the constant to and fro-ing at games to get beers etc between breaks. Having to constantly shuffle to let people in and out, so they can beat the crowds but it spoils the game for those just trying to watch footy. I found it at the Bruce Springsteen Concert too, constant movement for refreshments the whole way through…are we there to watch a game/concert or to stuff our faces and drink ourselves into a stupor!!!
    Enough of a grump.

  3. Another funny read Jamie. Especially enjoyed the Amish content. Who doesn’t?

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