Round 7 – Brisbane v Port Adelaide: Finally a Home Game Victory

Lions v Port Adelaide Round 7

Finally a Home Game Victory.

Well another season that promised so much but has delivered so little has arrived. Lions supporters buoyed by a big pre-season of undefeated glory started to believe. The off-field signings, the biggest names since he who must not be named (Fev) joined. The first few homes games were a groan affair, littered with missed targets and slow ball movement. The Jindalee Jags under 16 boys team looked taller and more muscular. A fixture full of Sunday games as no one but Fox will show them didn’t help the crews drinking and dining experience at the footy. The only thing to look forward to was the kick to kick with the nephew after the game, but they had been washed out so far.

So picture the crew when discussing the game, a 4.40pm Sunday game on a cold and dreary day against the powerhouse team of last season, the running machine who have smashed us. The memories of 2004 Grand final still linger. She who must be obeyed still can’t forgive the AFL for denying the Lions a proper home preliminary final. She still hates Port. Will we go or will we stay home in  comfort and have the traditional Sunday roast dinner with the knowledge if the game goes sour we can turn the channel to Masterchef.  We decided to go as we love the footy and we even made a solemn vow (Blood oaths were discussed) to stay to the end and cheer the boys off, we figured there would only be a couple of people left besides relatives of the players and the walk out of the Gabba would be easy.

Well the rest of the Brisbane supporters and the catering staff at the Gabba must have agreed. Every second bar and food outlet was closed, hardly any food was pre-cooked so you had to wait. The walk into the ground was eerily quiet; you nodded discreetly to fellow Lions supporters as you walked up the steps to your seats. You carefully avoided the port supporters who emitted that self-confident smugness you get when you know you are going to win by 100. We haven’t felt that way since 2004.

The members seats were empty around us, the oldies in front confessed they only came because they wanted to bring their nephew and his daughter along, who were adorned in port paraphernalia. The discussion centred on how long we would be in the game for, answers ranged from 5 minutes to halfway through the second quarter. Then we looked down on the ground and laughed loudly….

No banner for the players, but a big blow up jumping castle in the shape of a Lion. The oldie and my brother – in – law joked that the tunnel wasn’t very wide and the players were likely to miss the target as they ran on. This gave us all a laugh. The cheer squad there holding it down, I’ve often wondered how the squad is picked, there are some rather sturdy types, well today we found out why as they were required to hold it down and then jump on it to deflate. It was a great way to liven the atmosphere as suited people waving arms were everywhere. It was chaos, quite like our game plan of late.

The first quarter started and Port came out breathing fire, it looked all over but they couldn’t convert. Those who picked 5 mins were seriously wrong. The feeling was we would be blown away in the second quarter.

What a second quarter, the best anyone could remember. We kicked to targets, we ran, we pressured. At every contest we had 2 or 3 players. We ran both ways and our zone stayed intact. The loud screamer was back to her best. “Go Lions she screamed” and we cheered. A standing ovation at half time for the boys was given. We quickly raced down for a beer to quench our thirst. Our throats were dry. Standing in the queue we saw that the Pies were in trouble against the Tigers, my so far perfect tipping round was starting to unravel. We still didn’t believe we would hold on. Ken Hinkley would roast them, our young legs would falter, Port would win by 20. We didn’t care, we had showed some fight.

The last 2 quarters were a celebration, the oldie was giving it to his nephew, and we cheered every possession as we asserted out authority. (I didn’t think I would write this about the Lions.) I started to remind my brother-in law (The Blues supporter) that the Blues would now be bottom of the ladder and are the only team yet to win in Australia. I’ve reminded him of that daily ever since. (I’m sorry but Pies supporters don’t forget Wayne Harmes.)

The siren rang, we won, they played the theme song 3 times not 2, and we have to hear it sometimes this season. We waited for the boys, another standing ovation was given. We high fived, we cheered and we laughed. How happy we were to have been here. As I left I thanked the universe for 2 things: 1) Carlton on the bottom of the ladder and 2) I didn’t have to watch Masterchef.

Lions 15.12.102 v Port 8.17.65 crowd 15957 at the Gabba


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