Saints from afar

By Yvette Wroby

Friday August 20th Melbourne time:  setting:  USA

I am in San Francisco at the Acqua Hotel, on Election day, listening on my computer to the St.Kilda vs Richmond match and it’s a ripper.  Neck and neck since ¼ time, mostly Richmond to begin with.  Everyone is playing to win this, the commentators on 3MMM are raving and I, who needed an early night, am now totally hooked to listen to the end of this game.  All through our month long trip, i’ve kept in touch via my iphone.  My lovely daughter Rachel had put the Saints Application so it gives me news and results.  With my brother in East Bridgewater, we watched Round 17 and I couldn’t bear it and checked my iphone and went to catch up on my jet lag sleep.  My brother Andre and partner Zamir, listened and watched on Aussie Sports and what a cliffhanger and disappointment that there wasn’t a result.  We lost to the Bombers by 33 the week after, and in Las Vegas two days ago, I saw an Adelaide man with a Bombers sweater who I stopped and told, “I have to say something because your team keeps killing us.”  We laughed and joked.  It’s not often you see an Essendon gournsey overseas!  Then we watched Port Power and St.Kilda and at least it was a win, we watched in on a 5cm by 5cm screen on my computer.  Loved it, the winning and the watching.  That was in New York or was it Washington.  It was over 40 degrees celcius.  Who knows what town and who cares.

Then this week, we caught up with the North Melbourne Saints match on Zamirs sister Shoshana’s computer and it was a good match for the Saints.

So that brings me to today.  We did the tourist business for 7 hours today, lined up for the trolley ride up the steep San Fransciso streets, ate lunch at Fishermans Wharf and saw the seals and people and was totally exhausted, coming back to our hotel early for a simple meal and an early night.

Then I wondered if I could get election results and footy, and here I am, listening to the 3rd quarter, now Jack Reiwoldt is going for his 5th.  It’s wonderful that Kosi has found his stride, that Nick is back, that we are playing better but we just can’t seem to pull away enough to keep them in a box.  So it seems that it is going to the wire.

At half time, I felt my iphone ring and Rachel is at Etihad and rung me and here we all are, my uncle Bob and cousin Garry sitting out the seats next to where we have sat all season.  Rachel and her friend Justin are in the back row nearby enjoying the experience.  Zamir and his sister and my mother are all asleep.

I am listening to the lovely Aussie accents, to my lovely St.Kilda, to our great radio and I doff my hat to all the techno whizzes that make this bizaare experience of listening to my radio with my accents on my little computer notebook all the way in San Franscisco.

Another goal to our Reiwoldt, and it now looks like Montagna sent one to Peak and now Peak is going to make a point only, so we are leading by two goals straight.

Tonight, my sister Denise and her husband Jon, are going to our house to watch the Doggies play on our big TV, as well as listen to the election on the one in my bedroom.  We are a house of maniacs, and it crosses continents:  my brother waits for a break in his very busy life to watch our team.  He doesn’t pick up the phone or check emails until he has watched.  We are all trained not to contact him about results.  He’s come out the last two years to the finals but this year, his second daughter is marrying on Grand Final Day, so we have to win it without him.

St.Kilda by 12 points, Collingwood seems unstoppable this year, Geelong is always good and always a worry, but at least we are back in contention.  No Saints supporter is yet recovered from the Grand Final last year, so we watch and barrack and keep on hoping.  Now it looks like Reiwoldt has kicked to Kosi is 15 metres out and he has it.  How wonderful for him.  Now it’s an 18 point lead and I am starting to relax.  They are saying that Kosi is the wildcard in September and every St.Kilda supporter is hoping that these boys on 3MMM  know what they are talking about.

It is 11.01 in San Fransciso, the hotel is quiet.  I’ve given up on my knitting and am at the computer, close to the action, close to my team.  I’ve bought Boston Red Sox red/white and black hats and had “St.Kilda Saints” embroidered on them at a trendy hat shop:  LIDZ.  I’ve bought rocks from a spiritual workshop that are red/white and black and handed one to my brother, my mother, my man Zamir, to connect us all through the next few months.  I’ve got more for the mad ones at home.  I’ve bought red, white and black positive voodoo dolls in Vegas.  We bought New York Yankee red white and black caps as well.  I bought “I love New York” t-shirt, guess what colour.  How can I forget, I went to the M and M shop in Times Square and got 3kgs of red/white and black M and Ms. They can’t be eaten til after the Grand Final which I still have hopes of winning.  St.Kilda has never been far from my heart.  We came here for the first wedding of my brother Andres’ eldest daughter, lovely wedding, great time with family, and why we left our footy season to come over here.

While here, we’ve visited lots of family and I am ready to come home.  Richmond just missed a goal, we are still 20 points ahead.  There’s an interchange infringement, and we’ve just given Richmond’s Reiwoldt another goal.  Back to your box Goddard!  Come on, we have to get it back.

A muck up for Richmond and another point.

Cmon Saints, lets put this away.  Montagna, Goddard, long ball to Kosi, can’t take it, the umpire is bouncing.  The commentators are saying how good it would be for Richmond to get a scalp of St.Kilda here.  Nooooooooo way.  It’s in our possession, Peak to Reiwoldt/Kosi, but free kick to Tigers defence.  Richmond are within 12 points.  I hate these close games.

Patterson, McEvoy, Peak and then siren.

In and out of San Franscisco city, we kept passing Geary and Eddy Street, you see, it’s not just me, I can’t help seeing St.Kilda everywhere.

OK, last quarter.  Here goes. Del Santo kicks a goal.  A point to Richmond.  (Hawthorn lead  Freo by 112 points and I’ve accidently turned off the radio.   Noooooooooooo)

Ok, 10 minutes later, I’ve restarted computer, and we are now leading by 30 points.  I will now sit back and relax and listen to the last few moments.  Tomorrow after dinner, we will watch it all on the computer again, but I have now had the real time experience.

Jack Reiwoldt gets the Coleman, St.Kilda get the 4 points and the final score is 17.13 St.Kilda, 15.8 Richmond.

I can hear the theme song:  “Oh when the Saints go Marching in” and I am with them in spirit and soul.  Poor Ben Cousins.  Yeah for the Saints.  Replay of the song.  Thank you all and now I’m off to bed.  It is midnight here.  Replay once more.  And now the song from the players led by Milne.  That’s all folks. Very sweet dreams.

Yvette Wroby has just retired from psychotherapy practice to follow her own instructions to patients and follow her true loves: painting and writing and football. She is currently painting a large Nick Riewoldt painting as well as cartooning, photography and, you guessed it, more football. She still has hope for her beloved Saints in 2010 and writing for the Almanac. Her website is

Supporter saints 2009

About Yvette Wroby

Yvette Wroby writes, cartoons, paints through life and gets most pleasure when it's about football, and more specifically the Saints. Believes in following dreams and having a go.


  1. Thanks Yvette. Great read. There’s something about trying to follow the footie when overseas that makes it just that bit more enthralling because you have to make an effort to find out scores etc.

  2. Yvette,

    SF is one great city. You bring back great memories.

  3. “If your going to San Francisco- be sure to wear a halo in your hair”

  4. David Downer says

    Welcome Yvette …nice to have another Sainter hovering around.

    I’m currently holding a rather bizarre StK winning streak while I’m abroad, extending from 2003 to present – 18 games I’ve missed, with an 18-0 Saints record.

    The most notable occured last year, during my honeymoon. The epic Rd.14 StK-Geel clash saw me in Florence. It was Sunday morning, and the texts from mates at the game just weren’t enough. I listened to the second half at the hotel’s internet desk (right next to the breakfast room). I had the 3AW call streaming, Rexy was my only option. The Yank tourists alongside feared for their safety (and my sanity) at several points.

    When I screamed “Gardi” as the big man took that last grab, my earphones popped out and I was immediately confronted with complete silence – and overweight Americans staring. A momentary diversion back to reality. My internet credits had run out, and (for the third time)I darted back to the front-desk to buy some more time from my (now) good mate Massimo. The injury break prior to the Gardi kick was a blessing in disguise for me as I ran back and forward. It must have cost me 20 euros (about $40) to listen to the game!

    Rather poetically, the bells of the Duomo rang out very shortly after the final siren. Fair to say we headed off to Rome that day absolutely brimming with “la dolce vita”. Later that day at the Trevi fountain, sporting Jeld-Wen emblazoned Saints T-shirt, I flipped a coin over my shoulder and prayed for the Saints to win the flag. Although, I think the coin-toss here only relates to whether you will actually return to the Eternal city? A story for another day.

    But given this international streak of mine, Sainter friends are offering good money for me to disappear on the first flight outta here tomorrow morning.


  5. DD – what the hell are you still doing here?

  6. I agree with Dips. Leave the country quick. We’re watching the Pies slaughter the Cats and we need all the superstition we can get. The pies will be unbearable in the Grand Final, and the supporters worse. Footy gods – can you please at least injure a few???? Will both Doggies and Sainters want to lose tomorrow not to face the rampaging pies on and off the field.


  7. Good one mum, im watching tonight with you from perth :) CARN THE SAINTS!!!!

    Writing must run in the family!!

  8. Hi Rachel, love you and go the sainters. DD, you have broken your superstition and now we will win wherever you are. It’s a great week and lets enjoy every minute.


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