Round 5 – Gold Coast v Brisbane: Never the Bride


Gold Coast v Brisbane
4.35pm, Saturday, 2nd May
Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast

Hey, remember that Brisbane game I wrote about where the Lions played really well and I was so proud of their performance? No, me neither.

This presents like punishment to me, so when I’m called upon by The Almanac Council, post-thumping no less, to deliver my thoughts, I can’t help but wonder aloud what the exact nature of my crime is?
Sure, there was that unsavoury business with my special edition Footy Almanac mug but seriously, that was a one off and I’ve promised to buy a bedpan the first chance I get. As far as cruel and unusual punishments go, this appears a tad heavy handed.
What stings the most is that I half expected a win. We’re up against an equally winless Suns outfit piloted by an absent-minded Rocket Eade: “Got my car keys…check! My anger management issues…let’s see…check! Got my starting midfield…ummm…damn!” How could we possibly lose?
The only upside in all this (and I’m reaching) is that it was, if nothing else, an exercise in delayed disappointment. My wife and I have flown to Perth to attend the wedding of my Freo-loving friend Corky to Bulldog-endorsing friend Jarrad. As such I will need to set the emotional let-down of streaming the replay aside until all the happy parties have gone home and I can return to the sanctity of my darkened hotel room, where nobody can see me cry.
The Groom chokes back tears of his own throughout the ceremony, confused by many as an outpouring of pre-marital sentiment but those of us who watched the closing minutes of the Bullies’ gritty win over Sydney know differently. What a wonderful wedding gift.

Mercifully, I’m carrying no false hope about our performance during the day’s proceedings. A fellow guest promises not to tell me the scores but her body language tells me all I need to know every time she consults her phone. There’s a disappointed sadness in her eyes each time she summons the AFL app, but not the sort I’ve come to associate with say, for example, an attractive lady meeting me for the first time. This is one born more of empathy and given the state of her cherished Carlton, it spells bad news for me.
Nevertheless, we bid our fond farewells to the happy couple and head back to the hotel room clinging desperately to the faintest possibility that perhaps I’ve misinterpreted Miss Carlton’s telling mannerisms. The wife retires to bed and I am alone as planned.
It’s the 4 minute mark of the first quarter, we’re two goals down and Tom Rockliff is unconscious. Need I go on? I get up and walk around the room. A $6 Kit Kat from a mini bar never looked as enticing as it does now. I dare not even contemplate how much the alcohol would cost me: “Ahh Mr Simmons, we hope you enjoyed your stay…Oh…I see you imbibed 40mls of the house bourbon… Will we be extracting a kidney or both testicles as settlement?”

The Suns aren’t great, they merely manage to obtain a level of relative shitness that isn’t as complete as ours on the day. The contest is effectively over by half time and I’d give anything to be back at the reception, working into a barefoot Nutbush across a dance floor of broken champagne glasses and squashed curry puffs.

The torture continues or as it’s known in the industry, the 3rd quarter. I can’t remember us taking a contested mark inside 50, or even this game, which is a pity given the bouquet toss I witnessed hours earlier. I was left cheering as a waif-like bridesmaid, slight of build but sound of heart, fended off two larger opponents (though the first is likely to be looked at by the Match Review Panel) to take it comfortably out in front. Our attack on the bouquet is questionable at best right now. We need her but she’s Perth born and bred, and I fear the go-home factor would prove too strong, the way it gradually has been for Mitch Clark (there’s still some South Australian clubs to get through yet).

Game over and a fitful sleep ensues. Rising early next morning to pack I am careful to double bag all my Lions apparel (yep, I took it with me). I can’t be sure if beagles have a sense of humour for one thing and I’m consumed by this horrible nightmare scenario of making my T.V debut in a cameo on ‘Border Patrol’, standing helpless as a grimacing Customs Officer holds aloft my membership cap with sterilised tongs. Even an Iranian arms dealer they’re leading away in cuffs looks back long enough to snigger “Sucks to be you!”, to the shared amusement of his chuckling captors.

For the 4 previous competitive “indiscretions” we’ve offered I have been happy to adopt my mother’s casual benevolence to disappointment when it came to losing; between knit one and pearl two she might look up just long enough to offer a “Oh well, so long as they’re making friends and trying their best,” but this hurts. I fooled myself, on the back end of last season’s improvement and some off season recruitment into believing we might sneak into the 8 this time around but now, given the addition of the Bye to the fixture, I’m not convinced we’ll even sneak into the top 18.
I do love my writing assignments, I really do; but just once can’t it be my team throwing the bouquet.

Gold Coast 2.3 7.9 14.10 18.10 (118)
Brisbane 2.3 3.5 7.8 7.12 (54)
Gold Coast – Dixon 6, Lynch 3, Bennell, Martin 2, Glenn, Matera, Lemmens, Sexton, Prestia 1
Brisbane – Zorko, D.Beams 2, Rich, McStay, Andrew 1
Gold Coast– Dixon, Bennell, Miller, Saad, Prestia, Martin
Brisbane– D.Beams, Martin, Zorko, Rich, Redden, Robinson
Umpires: Deboy, Kamolins, McInerney Crowd: 12,464
Our Votes: Dixon (G) 3, D.Beams (B) 2, Bennell (G) 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.


  1. Dave Brown says

    Cracking read, Jamie! Bright side being, of course, you have won a premiership more recently than 11 AFL clubs, three more recently than 15 and three on the trot more recently than all of them. Let that be your much needed consolation for what will be a long year.

  2. Funny


    Feeling your pain too


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