The view from base camp

Is it possible to fully enjoy watching a game of football involving your team? Apart from the three seconds between Leo Barry’s mark and the siren in 2005 I don’t think I have been able to watch a game of football involving the Swans with pure joy. Am I unique or do others share my affliction?

The Swans victory over the Eagles illustrates my point. Deep into the last quarter and with a 45 point lead and top spot on the ladder tied up the following thoughts were running through my head:

* I hope the Eagles don’t kick 2 or 3 late and dillute our percentage
* lets pray for no injuries or reports
* How will the trip back from Perth affect the game against the Saints?
* Is Mike Pyke on the same steroids Ben Johnston took in Seoul? (I apologise for the 48 derogoratory Mike Pyke comments in previous articles)
* if we play Collingwood in the GF and get flogged will I be able to eat my scarf and make an anonymous exit?

All this while I should have been sitting back with a nice ale and enjoying watching the Swans in full flight.

For me there appears to be no release from the expectation and drama that a season of football can provide. The only real release is when the premiership is won and there are no more hurdle’s to jump.

I recall watching the 2007 GF and wondering how much fun it must have been for a cats supporter to watch with the game in the bag shortly after half time? (some may argue after 5 minutes into the game or even when Nat Bassinghwaighte sang the anthem)

Am I just one pessimistic bastard or just a ‘normal’ supporter?

I can enjoy a great win, passages of the game, a great jetta burst or mummy shirtfront and even manage a chuckle with Marty Mattner tries to step 6 blokes off the half back line and gets caught holding the ball. Despite this there is never true peace and always the next week to concern myself with.

I guess the burdon of expectation and setting high goals is a nice problem to have. Since Roos took over I have always expected the Swans to be in the mix. Following the Swans in the early 90s my head was filled with more trivial concerns such as:

* Was Sanford Wheeler Terance Trent Darby’s long lost brother?
* Could Jamie Lawson ride the rollercoaster at Wonderland?
* Could Dermie string 3 games together?

Perhaps I enjoyed the football more back then without the burdon of expectation?

I can hear many of you shouting “drink a cup of concrete, enjoy the view from the top of the ladder and thank god your not a Richmond supporter”.

The Swans are currently sitting at base camp and the next few months will tell if they get to Everest. My challenge for the rest of the year is to embrace the successes, live in the moment and place football in its rightful perspective.

WIll I succeed?

About craig dodson

Born in the sporting mecca that is Wagga Wagga and now reside in Melbourne with my lovelly wife Sophie and son's Jack and Harry. Passionate Swans supporter and formally played cricket at a decent level and Aussie Rules at a not so decent level! Spend my days now perfecting my slice on the golf course and the owner of the worlds worst second serve on the tennis course.


  1. I think you underestimate Geelong fans, Craig. At 3/4 time in the 2007 GF, I was still worried Port would storm home.

  2. Jeff Dowsing says

    I share your sentiments Craig. Sometimes you wonder why you put yourself through such torment every week. It’s bad enough in the home & aways, let alone finals. Those 2005-06 GF’s must have had you rocking back & forth in the foetal position!

  3. craig dodson says

    good to see i’m not unique, cookie I think you could have taken 13 blokes off at 3/4 time in 07 and still got the choclates. Yes Jeff 05/06 took 10 years off my life!

  4. Jeff Dowsing says

    I reckon 2010 GF1 and last year’s PF took 7 years off mine!

  5. craig dodson says

    perhaps we might square off in the big dance this year jeff? I’ll be the one at the G with his eyes closed and 4 leaf clover

  6. I’m a Collingwood supporter – expect nothing. Don’t be disappointed.

  7. I was with Cookie in 2007. but in fairness, we didn’t know what it was like to win one back then.
    Last year’s GF, after Jimmy kicked his goal in the last quarter and I quickly did my maths to work out that we were five goals up and less than 10 minutes to go, I began to enjoy it. And I did.

  8. David Carr says

    During the 1980 Grand Final my mum was worried that we were getting too far in front. True story. As a Richmond supporter we don’t often get to enjoy a game but when we recently thrashed Hawthorn (did it really happen?) I was enjoying myself until a couple of junk time goals to Hawthorn cut our lead from approx 72 points to 60 (give or take a point or 2). Couldn’t believe how annoyed I was given the rarity of such a win.

  9. Craig – whether its ‘normal’ for a footy tragic or not; its definitely not good for your health and enjoyment of life inside and outside of footy (seems to me your pessimism runs deeper than the Swans). Join Brett Kirk in a Buddhist retreat, and meditate on the transience of all things – ‘good’ and ‘bad’ – in our brief lives (serious advice).
    You will enjoy the ride a lot more, and be able to take the piss out of Phantom without caring about the abuse he returns (ommmmmmm).

  10. Stainless says

    You might have read in my reminiscences of the 1980 season that there were games that I attended where I had absolutely 100% confidence that Richmond would win (and they did), to the point where I was hoping the opposition would actually kick a few goals to make the game more interesting.

    The footy gods have punished me for the last 32 years for this youthful bout of hubris!


  11. craig dodson says

    loving the 80s updates Stainless, will take note of your tale and not dare get ahead of myself.

  12. craig dodson says

    Pete will take your words on board, am actually getting a better perspective (slowly) and the joys of recent fatherhood have made a difference

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