Round 6 – St Kilda v Adelaide: Sheesh

M*#%&ampl Stadium
27 April, 2019


“I don’t know why I bother.” Sybil Fawlty

“I didn’t know you did.” Basil Fawlty


These immortal words pretty much sum up my attendance record at St Kilda matches. Judging by the number of appearances alone you’d be hard pressed to know which team I bother supporting. The last match I physically attended was when the Saints brutalised Melbourne at the tail end of the 2017 season.


“Ooooh, this augers well for 2018!” I stupidly expressed. Even stupidlier, out loud.


Cue four drab wins and a whole lot of pain last year.


Which explains how I found myself on the 96 tram heading to Docklands on a chilly late Saturday afternoon, informing a group of Saints-supporting Americans, also on their way to the game, of my curse.


“I tend to have a bad effect on the team. I don’t go often. You might want to choose a different game to go to,” I suggested with a friendly smile.


“But they’re playing well, they’ve got a few wins already,” one whimpered desperately with a touching hint of naïve excitement.


“I tend to have a bad effect on the team,” I repeated. Smile free.


To be fair, the result probably wasn’t my fault completely. That morning’s Age had a gushing piece about the Saints revival that was underway. All supporters know that a piece in the media about your team’s revival guarantees a loss in the next game, that’s just how it works. Et ita fit, as it turns out.


Yet the mood was undoubtedly buzzing outside Docklands as I lined up with the expectant Saints faithful to purchase my GA Man of the People ticket. Thanks to Yarra Trams’ usual efficiency, I had only made it to the end of the ticket queue with ball-up fast approaching, but judging by the overheard comments, at least three of our Jacks were about to whip up something spectacular in cooking a delicious Crow pie with extra special victory sauce! Yum!


I was still outside as the first minutes of the game got underway and said revival was alive and kicking (straight). A few roars let me know that the Saints had come out of the blocks hard and were lighting up the dank autumn air with some scintillating Saints footy! The crowd was happy, the boys were (I assume) high-tenning each other all over the shop and my lame cooking metaphor was still very much in play.


And then I entered the stadium.


Cue a couple of Adelaide goals and a whole lot of pain.


It says something that standing outside the ground was as good as it got for me. The Saints soon reverted to their old routine of trying to win by scoring only behinds, while Adelaide revealed the hitherto unknown fact that you can actually get six points with just the one kick if you do it right.


My stomach sank. I hadn’t felt that much of a letdown since watching Bob Mould try to program a drum machine at Dingwalls in Camden back in the early 2000s. And the worst experience before that musical horror show was me sitting in front of an old tele, in a rental shack visibly crumbling in the unseasonal humidity of an early Brisbane spring, watching St Kilda visibly crumble as they were overrun in the ’97 Grand Final by … I can’t bring myself to even mention that damned place with loads of churches!


Look, credit where it’s due. Adelaide were too big, too strong and too well coached. They actually kick goals. We were probably too carried away with the number 2 next to our name on the ladder and we don’t kick goals. So now, all I can look forward to is the sapping sight of that big flag on the approach to the Westgate sliding dismally further and further west over the coming weeks.



  • Mighty Matty Parker’s leap for a helluva grab just before the half-time siren! Sure, the hope it gave us was flattened by Adelaide’s goal 1.3 seconds into the second half, but come on! And he doesn’t play Fortnite. Leadership group, now.
  • The fact that Jack Lonie’s knee bent so far in the wrong direction it had its own postcode – ouch! – yet it seems like he’ll only be out for a few weeks.
  • Some of the other injured players might be back in time for the 2023 season.
  • Those two nonnas sitting in front of me with the most gloriously home-made red, black and white halos ever witnessed. Let’s all take a knee for their pain.
  • Your man who politely submitted that Tex might want to ‘eff off back to Snowtown’.
  • The cheer squad, who I’m lead to believe attend games slightly more frequently than once every two or three years. As raging torrents of bitter tears burnt valleys deep into my downcast face throughout my early trip home – yes, I’m one of them ­­– I wondered how they manage to do it week in, week out, finding the will to shake those giant pom poms every time the deficit is reduced to under 50 points. Gawd bless the lot of yas!
  • Everything will be ok once the Saints get a kicking coach. (Sarcasm emoji.)


Oh, there was also a world record number of Sainters who had silently sulked onto the 96 tram home while the game was still playing out its painful end. I guess a world record is a positive. I’m just a bit reticent raising that one right now if I’m honest.


For more of Patrick’s observations on matters St Kilda, CLICK HERE:


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  1. george smith says

    Mr O’Brien – as a fellow jinx can I give you some words of advice. I have boycotted every Magpie grand final since 1981 after 2 losses and a draw live. The Pies can sink or swim without me.
    Result – two premierships!

    If you feel the jinx bug creeping up on you remember several things
    1 You are not Hawthorn
    2 There are several other pastimes to look forward to instead of footy, such as the movies.
    3 IF your mob win, watch the replay. If your mob lose watch the highlights on YouTube.
    4 Choose wisely – games against Gold Coast, North and Carlton are a strong bet for a peaceful afternoon.

    If your mob makes the grand final, then interstate drives, movies walks in national parks even work can be used to take your mind off the footy until the witching hour, when you safely emerge to find out what happened, for good or ill.

    In case you are wondering, I was taught all this in the eighties by my boss, who went for long walks on the beach until the game was over. And yes, he was a Hawthorn supporter!

  2. Rulebook says

    Patrick brilliant needed a good laugh thank you for providing it v clever also

  3. For the Crows – very pleasing to see the LONG TALL TEXAN starting to show some of his no doubted talent.
    The Crouch boys using the pill better (more kicks), less turnovers and some straight kicking.

    For the Saints – I was impressed with their endevour, run through their back lines and high marking. However, in the first quarter in particular, they let themselves down with poor goal kicking.

    Overall, my impressions were that the Saints will most certainly win more games than they loose and the Crows will need to keep improving.

    Am looking forward to the big clash – Magpies v the Power this coming week – pity 1 team will take the chocolates.

  4. Yvette Wroby says

    I was at Harry Potter and the Cursed Child not St Kilda and that cursed loss. Feel your pain buddy. Gave my tickets to Crows supporting friends who had a glorious afternoon, as did I. Next time come with us. I often have a spare. You can talk to Uncle Bob and Gary who go to most games for over 60 years and 40 years respectively. If they can withstand 1000 curses, you ain’t got nothing to fear!

  5. Dave Brown says

    Good stuff, Patrick. Took me many years to verify that there was no correlation between the colour of my jocks and my teams’ performances, precautionary principle be damned.

    As for the game, I actually got to sit down and watch this one. As much as the Crows cop it for not having a ‘Plan B’ it is pretty clear they had one that evening and implemented it successfully, aided by St Kilda’s injuries. They basically shut down the corridor after quarter time, even at times, ceding the wing to keep an extra player in the corridor. This ended the Saints’ switch and meant that the forward 50 entries thereafter were coming across goals and were easy pickings against an undersized forward line.

    Perhaps what needs to happen is a pairing app for the cursed. So, as you arrive at a venue, the app finds for you a supporter from the opposition who identifies as cursed. You then sit together and create a curse neutral area.

  6. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Enjoyed this Patrick.

    I was grateful just to be able to see the Crows, after wisely avoiding their debacle at the same venue against North. Adelaide finally had some forwards that wanted to/were able to present. Lynch and Walker hadn’t had a sniff until late in the first qtr, fortunately they showed up thereafter. Alex Keath was huge all night.

    A bad Bob Mould night, I feel for you Patrick. I had a similar Morrissey experience.

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