Round 4: The taming of Adelaide

“The taming of Adelaide”

What’s happened to Adelaide? The town and the supporters? When I booked our trip to Adelaide as a January birthday present for my husband (who doesn’t really follow the footy as keenly as I do), I expected to feel some heat. Seasoned supporters told me I was brave, their supporters were feral, and we would get flogged anyway. I was looking forward to a bit of excitement, and in January I rated the Crows pretty highly. I like being an underdog. And the last time we beat the buggers was in 2004. I remember how Fev clinched it with a massive goal, 60 metres out, hard up against the fence. I think we finished last that year.
To get in the mood for a showdown, I read the reports of our 2 games against the Crows last year, when they flogged us. They beat us in Adelaide in Round 9 (where are you now Ali Carle?), and the bastards did it again in Round 22, setting us up for defeat in Brisbane the following week. Our first final in AGES and we stuffed it. Bernie Vince starred that R.22 game. I had never heard of him, and he just carved us up.
When I made the Adelaide booking, I thought Judd was out for 4 games, and so expected our Juddless, Fevless team to be whipped again. Bloody Bernie Vince would probably star again. Well, Vince was plastered all over the cover of the footy record, but our captain had served his 3 match suspension, so was back in. Ha! 
I know a couple of people in Adelaide through business. One supplier offered us discount pro-rata for every goal they beat us by. He was the “keen” Crows supporter who was disappearing to Victor Harbour for the weekend. This is the guy who told us before Round 3 that if the Crows lost again, supporters would be throwing themselves off buildings. Something to look forward to. I like a passionate supporter. 
Well, Friday & Saturday we read their newspapers, listened to their radio, watched their telly, boy, were the supporters giving it to Neil Craig! And they all had advice for him! And it was all published!! Hysterical reading. According to the supporters their team is too old, too young, too unfit, lacking in confidence, playing to a stupid game plan, over hand-balling and generally badly coached. Hell, I didn’t even have to point it out to them, they know it already!
We caught the Footy Express bus out to AAMI stadium, and nobody jeered at us or threatened us. Okay, they must just have white line fever. I’ll wait for it. The trip back would be different. It was nice to see the supporters having barbeque lunches in the carpark, just as I ‘d read about.
Now for the game: It was so nice to see Mr. Judd leading our boys out on to the ground. I hadn’t realized how much I missed him. Our seats were right behind the goals (& our Cheer squad) so it was a bit hard to follow the game past the centre. I have been considering having laser surgery on my eyes, & decided within minutes from Row N up the back on the Northern stand that I will definitely do it. I hate being at one end. Give me 50-60 metres out from goal every time. 
My husband reckons that the Crows fans never had a chance. We kicked the first goal almost instantly, and followed up with 2 more in a couple of minutes. Our 3 slippery small forwards (Eddie Betts, Yarran & Garlett) were in fine form, and thought they’d better score fast, as the Crows would be coming hard. But they didn’t.
Our 2 ruckmen Kreuzer & Warnock worked beautifully, and our clearances were first-rate. Or maybe they just looked first rate because the opposition was second rate. Did I mention Judd? To be honest, I was hoping he wouldn’t make such a big difference to our team, as I worry about an unhealthy reliance on him. Like alcohol and junk food, I’ll take the unhealthy reliance. He was superb. Rugged, skilful, efficient. And he’s ours. 
Hardly noticed Bernie Vince. Bernie Who? Their goal kicking was woeful. Macleod tried hard but he’s too old to carry the whole team. Aaron Joseph gifted them a goal from 2 consecutive 50 metre penalties. Then they got another goal from a 3rd.  But they couldn’t get one fair and square.
I love a tight game. I love sitting on the edge of my seat watching the drama unfold. My favourite game EVER is the 1999 Preliminary Final. I even like it better than the 1995 GF, just because of the tension. Where was the tension in Crows v Carlton Round 4?  It was fun to win, get the Adelaide monkey off our back, but I would have preferred it to be closer, angrier, possibly even spiteful. And on the ground, too.
Carlton couldn’t do anything wrong, Adelaide couldn’t do anything right. Neil Craig was confronted by angry supporters after the siren. We sang our song. Finally the ugly supporters showed up. Unfortunately, they were ours. The Adelaide supporters just copped it. No yelling back, so clenched fists, just poured out of the ground with their heads down. Tame really. Weak.
Our song was sung many times on the bus trip home. Alcohol improves the vocal chords. The only ugly Crows supporter I had contact with was the old bag standing next to me on the bus. She was gonna ring Carlton next day to complain about the foul-mouthed supporters sitting near her at the game. Her credibility was questioned when she referred to the “arseholes” singing up the front.  When the singers stopped long enough to inform the back of the bus (Crow territory) about the certainty of the Crows getting the wooden spoon, she turned to me and said we had short memories. Hadn’t we “won” 15 wooden spoons?  I smiled condescendingly at her & said no, only 3, all in the last 6 years. Perhaps she was getting confused with our Premiership cups?? We have 16 of them! That shut her up. 
Scores:  Carlton 5.1, 10.4, 12.5, 16.7 Crows  2.7,  3.9,  4.15, 6.19  Goals: Yarran, Garlett, Houlihan 3, Simpson 2, Judd, O’hAilpin, Betts, Henderson, Scotland 1.
My best: Judd, Yarran, Jamison.


  1. Sophie (your daughter) Smith says

    Mum, you did it again! Nice work. It’s times like these I am jealous living all the way over here in Pnnom Penh. I’ve missed 3 seasons now, never seen Juddy run out in our colours live and haven’t seen our boys win a game live in god’s know how long.
    Thanks for the super and vivid update.


  2. Good stuff Barb – excellent summary of an otherwise dull match.

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