The View from Shepparton: The Suns shine

I have had several thoughts about how I could set up this contribution because what  a great opening round this was.

My thoughts go back to my youth (21) in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea around about 1968. I was then, as I am now mad keen on what is generically described as “classical music”. I would purchase black vinyls by the half dozen and then return to the donga (4 bedroom living quarters adjacent to a common recreation “lounge” room which was shared by four blokes. As I owned what then passed for being a HiFi system I had a mortgage on the style of  music  played which was of course of the classical genre. Amazing and surreal as it might appear at this distance in time, one of my “donga mates” shared my passion for “fine” music.

As I would purchase so much stuff at a time I would frequently lapse into periods where I could not maintain concentration on the record I was playing and would grab something to read whilst listening. My mate would often stand in front of one of the speakers when I did this (and I still do) and exclaim, “you’re not listening to this, why don’t you buy less and listen to the stuff you do get, more”. Thus this day I had a  “Phase Four” recording of the 1812 Overture and had drifted off to not particularly listening mode when suddenly I was brought to attention by the final movement in which the Russian army is portrayed as having a final victory over the French invaders at which point the cannon and bells ring out with the associated  searing orchestral  accompaniment On this particular recording the sound of the cannons in particular seemed to ricochet around the room even though it was a very average sound system by today’s standards. I was now definitely listening!

So it was on Saturday afternoon. Although I have only been a FOXTEL subscriber for a few days, given the time and energy almost that I give to thinking about football, I have been thinking to myself that one can almost have too much of a good thing so that it is possible to let it totally rule one’s life. Neither I or the Minister for Home Affairs want that.

Having been at the Gold Coast Port held at the Gold Coast (Metricon) Stadium last year, I really want this team to succeed. They have the goodwill of at least some of the public behind them but this can’t be expected to continue forever. So it was that the Gold Coast got off to a flyer and were leading at quarter time. They looked all right at that stage but then the Saints got going with five in a row with Riewoldt getting two and looking like the champion he is as he ran the opposition off their feet with his phenomenal aerobic fitness. Milera a player who had never crossed my radar looked really good as well, fast and skilled.

So at half time I was only going through the motions of interest, only through the motions of being emotionally involved as I resigned myself to yet another game in which the Suns “showed promise”. I was reading the paper!. And then there was Ablett. I had seen him play once before, in the afore mentioned Port game and he had been OK, but nothing really outstanding. I suddenly stopped reading the paper as he tore around the left half forward flank and at full speed whilst dodging around opponents and belted the ball through the goal from 50 metres. What followed was a master class in how to play the game as he gained possession after possession and used nearly  all to perfection. He kicked four goals, as we all know, and as I recall made one mistake when he kicked loosely from defence resulting in a St Kilda mark and goal. He made up for that lapse soon after and kicked the last of his four goals as he slipped tackles and ducked and weaved from the right half forward flank.  I have to say that in all of the years I have watched the game I have never seen a player and this includes Voss lift his team by personal example the way that Ablett did. This was definitely my 2013 1812 moment. I am just cross that I haven’t been able to share this with the Minister as yet.

This get’s me to the next great captain’s example, Joel Selwood, in any other round, in any other era, his game would have been praised as being one for the ages as he too lifted his side by sheer will power, sheer skill, sheer guts as he imposed his will on the game after half time. I am afraid that Kennett’s “curse” is still irritating enough even this far on that you always hope that Hawthorn will get punished, as they always are, and yet the Cats gave them five goals in at one stage. I admired the way that Selwood held his ground with Franklin who is in view becoming one of the most over rated players in the game. At the end of the day he still cannot kick straight and that is what he is there to do.

On Saturday afternoon I was driving around the Milawa area with my extended family ensuring that the  cheese, wine, and provender was up to scratch and did not have a worry in the world as I knew that Brisbane would easily account for the Dogs. Imagine my schlock horror when I turned on the wireless and the Lions were five goals down. I had a sort of newspaper moment for the rest of the afternoon as I headed home to Shepparton  and intermittently turned the radio on and off as the situation gradually deteriorated even more. My first reaction was of course to jump into Brisbane, recant all that I had said previously about the NAB Cup and feel generally miserable and out of sorts and say how piss weak Brisbane actually were. The reality was of course that nothing should have been taken away from the Bullies, they were simply too good and it was  a great start to the season for them.

I thought that the Sprawls played OK against Sydney, as with the Gold Coast one dared to hope at various stages during their game that they could cause an upset but  wasn’t  to be. BTW why the “Sprawls”? As explained last year, they are ostensibly representatives of the Greater Western Sydney suburban sprawl, hence the “Sprawlers” or “Sprawls”.

Richmond held on to beat the Malthouse Blues in an absolute ripper. Was so sorry, not, to see Carlton get done.

Port Adelaide restored South Australian pride against Melbourne, and I hate to say this as a Norwood supporter but at any rate I hope that they really something this year. Not an inspiring sight though to see Melbourne supporters booing their team off the ground.

Collingwood beat North Melbourne, fair enough effort I suppose particularly given their outs but I can’t say that it particularly warmed the cockles of my heart.

Week’s Highlight. Ablett, way out in front, in a different code the Western Sydney Wanderer’s (again), and Jade Schulz’s mark, glad that it was paid.

Lo Light. Melbourne


About Peter Schumacher

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

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