The View From Shepparton: Grand Final Pt 1

The human mind is fallible of course for example, I reckon that this has been the coldest spring in a decade, but it probably hasn’t been.

The Grand Final is the social event of the year in our household. Largely because of this I recently purchased a 63 inch 3D TV. Pity that the arrival of this form of telecasting in Shepparton will probably coincide with the next drawn premiership game.

Little did I know as my motley lot of friends filed in to our home that this would be the greatest Grand Final,ever played (but that’s where the human mind is fallible, what about Sydney’s win against the West Coast for starters and that Leo Barry mark)?

Anyway as a first for our household we had two Pies supporters present.  We also had 1 Hawthorn, 4 Essendon; poor blighted souls, they will never again experience a premiership in their life time, (bit like Geelong barrackers really), 2 Brisbane Lions supporters;ditto, and the rest were uncommitted who knew nothing of footy but doing the right thing by us in turning up to support the day. To set the scene I had made up the following ditty;


Well, here is the word,

It might be absurd,

But here in Shepparton at their behest,

There are some that would have this as a magpie nest.

Not just the bird but the actual Collingwood team.

Well bugger that, the thought makes me scream.

On the other hand,

This might seem bland,

For this Lutheran though and indeed saints of all time,

Not McKillop but Riewoldt is the name that I will mime.

The scores at the end, well they are any one’s guess,

The result, Colliwobbles to be a writhing mess.

We are a mild mannered lot we Lutherans, scarcely get really excited about anything, except at church meetings where 100 people (I wish), might be catalyst for 100 different factions on any particular point of view, the more unimportant the better! But here was this Pies bloke going berserk when Jolly got that first goal before the match had started, or so it seemed to those of us who had aligned ourselves with the St Kilda faction prior to the start of the game. And it got worse when Didak and McCaffey and Cloke seemed to be slipping into form as they goaled. In short the Maggies were all over “us”. People who arrived at our home just at the start of the last quarter, having just travelled hours to be present advised with seemingly irrepressible logic that by half time they had they had given the footy away and were listening to Bach fugues instead, as the only thing that could possibly be any sort of antidote to the ghastly scenario that was unfolding. And if Cloke had kicked straight before half half time the pies might have been up by 34 points at the long break. There were lots of hi fives to this point between the Collingwood faithful which actions only increased my gloom although manfully I put on a visage of indifference. But if I was hurting, then what about fair dinkum Saints supporters. Must have been gruesome torture for them I reckon.

I have to say though that to this stage Daisy Thomas had been the standout for me, so slick, so fast and so exciting to watch, when good players get going irrespective of whom one barracks for, you just have to sit back and enjoy their brilliance.

As the second half progressed the certainty of a Pies win started to gradually diminish much to the horror of our two Collingwood guests, of course most of the rest of us present were commensurately cheered up.

Thus at three quarter time the difference was only 8 points but somehow I was still expecting the Maggies to trounce the Saints and whilst it was obvious pretty soon that that wasn’t going to happen the fact that Leon Davis suddenly flashed into the game to kick a goal, leaving Collingwood 14 points in front seemed to be an omen for a Magpies win. My Collingwood friends were now visibly relaxed, I felt invisibly “unrelaxed”. But then Hayes whom the commentators said was out of his range at fifty metres somehow found the energy to just float one over the heads of grasping Collingwood defenders. The atmosphere in our lounge room, at the G, everywhere where their was a sports follower with any soul, was electric.

Goddard’s mark? Fantastic, really was particularly given the state of the game and then the conversion. St Kilda in front? Whaaaaaat? Had the Colliwobbles struck again or was it more the fact that St Kilda had found reserves deep enough to challenge any team? I think that it was the latter. Pandemonium everywhere. The younger Collingwood supporter said to his dad, “we’ve lost this”, his dad thought so as well. And yet, Cloke goaled and you had to feel for him, such a big game for him as well so that despite my dislike of Collingwood I momentarily thought to myself, Well done”, before despair again took over.

The last bit of play. I thought that that Milne might have latched on to that kick of Hayes which turned the wrong way in the square rather than wait for the bounce, however had he done this he may well not have had time to deliver a kick as his opponent was right behind him. We will never know of course. And of course before that Maxwell had done the captain’s act all day as he got to that bouncing ball just as it was going through the big ones.

This was a great game no doubt about it. As the final siren sounded there was a sense of unfullfillment, frustration and a lot of “what ifs”?

I agree with those who support the replay, it is the tradition of our game pure and simple.

About Peter Schumacher

Wannabe footy commentator and writer, used to be a wannabe footballer


  1. Very entertaining Peter.

    Are you repeating the function?

  2. Peter Schumacher says

    Wasn’t going to, reckon that one afternoon a year like this would normally suffice. Certainly some have pulled out but there will no doubt be last minute replacements really keen to be involved.

    Thus “we” (meaning mostly my wife who organises everything except the actual viewing of the game and thank goodness for that or all of our guests would leave both starved and thirsty)will do it again.

    I feel though that this may be an massive anticlimax with Collingwood this time winning easily but there is the glorious uncertainty of sport, St Kilda did finish on a roll.

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