The 2017 Christopher Hitchens Cup

Greetings Tipsters

Nup, didn’t see that coming, we agreed at quarter time.  Ben came over with beer and I was a mite nervous, he’s a mate 0f long standing but I’ve seen him do some terrible things when Sydney lose.  But he handled it with that combination of quiet disappointment and rueful acceptance I’ve noticed on Swans fans since I jumped ship.

Neat timing, that.  Anyway, ten minutes into the second it was clear that the Swans had run out of puff, we went outside for a beer and a smoke at halftime and sat in the beautiful night air with music echoing from the loungeroom and we talked about stuff as blokes do and after a while Ben looked at his fone.

“Match is back on.”

“You wanna watch it? ”

“Mm… nah.”

We did stop in for a couple of looks but it was as obvious as Sydney’s win a week earlier.  Once Pat kicked his second goal, the swan was cooked.  They play one way.  It works seven times out of ten.  Throw ’em a curveball and they know not what to do with it.  Especially in finals.

Sateve Perky Girl and I went over to Jeff and Mandy’s place.  1986, I awoke late one day, went downstairs and met Jeff in the loungeroom.  He cooked up a storm, lamb kebabs, chicken kebabs, roast potatoes,  coleslaw, I piled up my plate and dinner was ready about seven minutes after the game started, we sat around the table and ate and talked and drank and talked, the conversation bounced around; our crazy friends, what is god, cinema plotlines, cooking meat, why not drink stout?

Every now and then I stuck my head in the loungeroom where lanky young Gus was spinning a Sherrin on his fingertip.  Yep Monaros further ahead.  Then we’d get back to eating and drinking and talking like old friends do.  The meal was fantastic, the company better.  It was a grand night with friends and better than any football match.

So, by all accounts the Monaros ripped it.  This week, Richmond at the MCG and the most one-sided crowd in football history.   Of course the Tigers will win, just like everyone said Sydney would.

This is Richmond’s match to lose.  700,000 manic Richmond fans, one staffie puppy in an orange beanie.  The weight of history, no history.  A white hot spotlight, are you sure the Tigers won’t wilt beneath it?

Club culture is a powerful force.  Say the Monaros kick 3.0 to 0.0 in the first seven minutes.  The Tiger Army go silent.  Or get angry and eat their own.  6.4 to 1.3 at quarter time and shredded 2018 membership forms rain down like confetti.

By then we’ll know whether Crows sticking to the plan or Cats pulling a swifty will have won in the city of churches.  Do you really want to tip these games?  Haven’t we been shown up enough this season?

Pykey has been on the blower to Blighty, asking what it takes to win a Prelim.  Tex to centre-half back?

It’s the spotlight again and we don’t know how the much fancied locals will react.  Ex-coaches, columnists, across the breadth and depth of this wide brown land are analysing this to the last degree of possibility.  Club culture, carpe diem.

Cheers, Tipsters

P&C, A Stop Privatisation Of Footy Production, a division of Trans-Dementia Inc.

Brought to you with the assistance of Cheap Trick ‘Live At Budokan.’

About Earl O'Neill

Freelance gardener, I've thousands of books, thousands of records, one fast motorcycle and one gorgeous smart funny sexy woman. Life's pretty darn neat.


  1. Dinner = excellent option, Earl.
    I haven’t seen any Friday night footy this year due to a (now) traditional ongoing battle of cards.
    The game is 500.

    Last year’s Qualifying Final winners’ formline would say –
    GF: Geelong v GWS

  2. Peter warrington says

    Dave do you ever play 5-handed? BEST. THING. EVER!

  3. PW – is that where you nominate a blind partner by calling in a card?
    It’s been a while.
    Love it.

    Thoughts on misere?

  4. Prelim finals? The answer is a pineapple. Chris Hitchens Cup? Always good for a feed and a chat. Cards? A lost art. Started on Canasta at the church hall. Moved onto Cribbage and Euchre. The Avenging Eagle’s Croatian heritage got me into Briscola a few times. Wouldn’t know where to start these days. Live at Budokan? Bob. Cheap Trick? Balmey getting the Tiges to whack a few if they are behind at half time.
    Onya Earl.

  5. Earl O'Neill says

    I’m hoping the G teams play in the G game at the G, I might write a terribly alliterative text.

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