Round 8 – Sydney v Hawthorn: One of those Saturdays



It is very early Saturday morning, the sun is rising, there is no breeze, and the weekend beckons.

I woke during the night thinking about a million and one things. Things that find their way up into the conscious mind, when, perhaps, suppressing them would have been a better option. But there they were, staring me in the face and forcing me to confront them. You know? Those sorts of thoughts.

So, I jump out of bed, and straight to the computer. It felt the right thing to do, and before long I found myself tap, tap, tapping away. I also felt, or hoped, that by early evening, I’d be singing my team’s praises in whatever I was to write.

For three consecutive weeks now, my creativity has deserted me. Not because my footy team hadn’t been winning, but I simply didn’t know what to say – about anything really, such is our universe at the moment. I just wasn’t interested.

But today it is different. Today is my day off, I’m sitting at the keyboard, and the body and mind are telling me that the words will, hopefully, come. The body and mind are also telling me I need to rest.

Relaxation for me involves music and sport, and what better way to combine these life–essential passions than to indulge in them – simultaneously. I’ve trained my brain over the years, to do just that: watch sport while playing music.

Music must be listened to. Really listened to. Not have as a background noise. Especially classical music.

A few hours later, Beethoven’s String Quartet Opus 59, goes into the DVD player, and the volume is adjusted to how I like it. Plonking myself on our newly acquired reclining lounge, I turn on the television, and chose “Library” on the Fox box, click on the recorded Suns v Bulldogs game from Thursday night, and resume from where I left off two days ago, half time, then press the Mute button, and I’m at peace with the world.

At some point during the next hour, slow movements coincide, and while Beethoven’s genius has me spellbound, the footy can’t quite reach those levels of euphoria, although the closeness and anxiety in those final minutes, especially when wanting the Suns to win, certainly tested my listening powers.

It’s now time for a cuppa, and a change of DVD. Brahms gets inserted, and GWS v Richmond is selected. Not quite the same though, as I have no positive feelings for those teams and don’t care who wins. Brahms, however, compensates for any lack of real emotion.

At 2pm my five sisters, and my brother and I connect up to Zoom. Today is my sister, Julie’s, birthday. We’ve been forced to do a Zoom Happy Birthday celebration. Not the same! Nothing replaces greeting a loved one with a kiss and a hug, especially on their birthday. But, today we have no choice.

Julie from Carlton, Robina from the USA, Judy from St Kilda East, Marie from Ocean Grove, Polly from Coburg, Tony from Violet Town, and I, from Albert Park, spend nearly two hours doing as family do: celebrating, reminiscing, joking, rejoicing, updating, coronavirus–ing, Trump bashing, Black Lives Mattering, politic–voicing – you name it, the Courtin’s will cover it! It is rare that we all get together these days – even before the pandemic – so celebrating in this way is so necessary.

Now, at 4.15pm, it’s time for more footy.

I’ve obviously chosen a very bad time to become a Victorian again! I would normally have driven or flown to Sydney for the game, and right now would have been at the SCG. But, alas, I’m stuck in Melbourne with no alternative other than the television.

The 3.30pm start to the Swans v Hawthorn game has been recorded. I never watch live, as I can’t bear interruptions, even the quarter breaks, so the 45–minute delay in watching should be sufficient. No music this time though. No way known could I combine any sort of music when it involves my beloved Swannies.

At 7pm, I’m a happy Jan!

Mind you, I haven’t been an unhappy one after any of our losing matches this year. This is not a real footy year. More like a practice run for the years ahead. And, for the Swans, a great opportunity to Blood the new kids, especially given almost half our experienced players have been out, injured.

And, what a group of young Bloods we have! In fact, we are the youngest group playing at the moment.

It wasn’t all that long ago, that both Hawthorn and Sydney were at the height of their powers. Both were looked up to and admired, and rightly so. Both are now transitioning, and I, for one, am very satisfied with what is taking place in the red and white camp.

Apart from talent, which is a given, all anyone wants, from coach to supporter, is determination, dedication and effort. And we’ve had that in spades every single week this year. Add ability and brilliance at times, and what more can you ask for.

And today was no different. In fact, it was probably our best game of the year, especially after half time. Sammy Reid was back. Elijah Taylor, playing in the much–loved Goodesy 37 guernsey, kicked his first goal (a beauty!) in only his second game. Matthew Ling and James Bell showed their promise. James Rowbottom and Ollie Florent continued to impress. Harry Cunningham has improved from game to game. Jake Lloyd continues his excellence. Luke Parker – what more can be said. And Dane Rampe – best on ground performance, despite an injury to his hand. And Paps! His four goals were spectacular. This man is infectious. His confidence inspires those around him, and his talent is never to be questioned. As a vital cog in our machine, the Swans hierarchy must find a way of keeping him in Sydney!

As I head off to bed at 10pm, hoping I’ll sleep soundly and through the night, I smile and remind myself that the day has been a successful one. I have watched several games of footy and one rugby league match, listened to music I love, spoken with family I love, and seen the footy team that I love excel over our arch rivals. And, believe me, there’s nothing more satisfying than beating Hawthorn!

Go Bloods!



Read more Sydney Swans stories from Jan Courtin HERE



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SYDNEY           2.1       5.1       8.2       9.6 (60)
HAWTHORN    3.3       5.3       6.6       7.11 (53)


Sydney: Papley 4, Reid, Parker, Taylor, McCartin, Blakey
Hawthorn: O’Meara, Shiels, Gunston, Wingard, Burgoyne, Mitchell, Sicily 


Sydney: Papley, Lloyd, Rowbottom, Rampe, Florent, Parker, Mills
Hawthorn: O’Meara, Sicily, Shiels, Mitchell, Frawley 


Sydney: Rampe (hand)
Hawthorn: Nil





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About Jan Courtin

A Bloods tragic since first game at Lake Oval in 1948. Moved interstate to Sydney to be closer to beloved Swans in 1998. My book "My Lifelong Love Affair with the Swans" was launched by the Swans at their headquarters at the SCG in August 2016.


  1. Keiran Croker says

    What a day Jan! The courage and flair of our boys, young and old was inspiring.

    I love your passion for music too. I watched Thursday evenings game while streaming a Nick Cave concert via my phone and Bose speaker. Not quite Beethoven but quite magnificent all the same.

  2. Thanks Jan.

    This club has great spirit, great heart. That’s how the team plays.

    This is a massive win. Given the outs, and everything.

    John Longmire is very interesting on this. He knows he’s in a teaching phase. But he still expects players to give everything.

    He has spoken about this a number of times recently on radio – explaining a few of his in-game decisions in teaching/learning terms.

    Lloyd and Florent caught the eye – taking reponsibility.

  3. hey Jan what a satisfying story you tell! music abounds and up feelings all about. yes go Swannies indeed! thankyou for your most pleasant and informative tale! x polly

  4. Judy Courtin says

    As much as I try, I can’t really reconcile Brahms and footy. Maybe the big crescendos of some of Beethoven’s symphonies could do the trick if we were to win with a kick on the siren.
    I’m impressed jan with how you brain accommodates both.
    But a very full Saturday for a stay at home Covid style!
    Go bloods.

  5. Thanks, one and all! Cheer cheer

  6. Lynn Baker says

    Loved your post as usual Jan and can relate to your passion of Beethoven and Brahms .
    A great win by our beloved Bloods on Saturday . What a team of talented kids to develop …. the near future looks good fo our club
    Keep well Jan …… hope you are managing the new norm in this time of madness .
    Cheer Cheer
    Lynn Baker

  7. Lynn, lovely to hear from you! Many thanks, once again, for your comment. Very few people in the sporting arena, if any, ever mention my love of classical music. Nice to come across one! Cheer cheer

  8. Luke Reynolds says

    Great win by the Swans Jan.

    Love your family Zoom meeting. I had a cricket club committee meeting tonight on Zoom, I really can’t see us going back to meetings at the club when we can do it from home.

    Papley is a gun.

  9. Thanks Luke. Yes, the way in which we communicate has certainly changed, and I’m sure will continue to do so into the future. Very strange times, indeed! Sorry about your Pies this weekend!

  10. Julie Cattlin says

    Yes, Jan, it was a great way to celebrate my birthday in lockdown. I just LOVE Zoom.
    I can completely understand doing two things at once – I listen to a podcast and play 500 with real cards. Must be good to be able to watch a game (not the Swans!) and listen to your favourite music. I know you don’t like ballet music, Jan, but I can imagine a football game with ballet music. Now, that’s an idea for a modern ballet!
    Thanks again, Jan, for a great read.

    Julie xxxx

  11. Tony Courtin says

    Jan,it was a great win. I invariably mute the box when Brian Taylor’s verbal diarrhea blurts out at me. Unfortunately the ABC broadcast is a few seconds behind tv so I watch in silence. I doubt AC/DC’s Jailbreak would be appropriate background music to a football game. Go bloods.

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