Time Shifted Thrills

That week, Round 13, I was not going to be able to watch my Tigers battle the Lions at the Gabba that week, due to the fact that I was scheduled to keyboard St Kilda vs Geelong at the same time through my job with Champion Data. It goes without saying that it is an incredibly frustrating experience for a diehard Tiger fan such as myself.

Rather astonishingly, I tipped the Lions. Why? I was worried that the Tigers’ bus home from Sydney might disrupt their preparation, and that Jonathon Brown would prove too strong for our injury-hit defence.

Disappointed though I was, it was also necessary for me to be highly focused during the match I was keyboarding, and hence I tried hard to block it out during the quarters. I turned off a computer screen to my left displaying the stats. Rarely did I look behind me to see the score, so caught up I was in St Kilda v Geelong.

When my game was finished I nervously looked over my shoulder and sighed with relief. The Tigers game was still going and we were 5 goals up. And Dustin Martin had 4 goals! I couldn’t wait to see them as Dusty’s goals are usually all highlight reel material. By the time I’d finished editing the game was over, the Tigers had won by 31 points and Dusty had 5! I couldn’t wait to watch it.

Fast forward to the next day, when I got home from keyboarding the Carlton v Sydney match. I turned on the TV. We have a Telstra T-box which allows me to access replays of AFL matches on the TV post-game, and so 20 hours after Matthew Leuenberger and Andrew Browne contested the first centre bounce at the Gabba, I witnessed it on the couch at home.

As I already knew would happen, Brisbane got off to a quick start, kicking the first four goals. The rest of the family got home during this quarter and had to tolerate my shouts of disappointment after each goal. I was basically trying to convince myself I was watching it live!

Ty Vickery was looking dangerous but kicking waywardly. The commentators were cluelessly assuming his poor early kicking was a usual occurrence. Alastair Lynch, understandably, and Tony Shaw, somewhat less so, had a clear Brisbane bias.

The Tigers improved in the second quarter, kicking five goals to 2, but as the game progressed it became clear that the star of the match was umpire Stephen McBurney. At least in his own eyes. His umpiring throughout the game was so shamelessly attention-seeking that he made Razor Ray’s regular antics look reserved in comparison.  McBurney’s somewhat camp voice was rarely absent from the play – he pranced about issuing instructions to the players in the manner of a fastidious ballet instructor. Ludicrously soft 50m penalties were paid against both sides and the other two umpires barely got to blow their whistle all match.

Brisbane were hampered by an injury to Mitch Clark, resulting in the activation of first gamer Patrick Karnezis, a dead ringer for comedian Andy Lee. Early in the third quarter he fired a left foot snap through the big sticks with his first kick, to put the Lions in the lead. The Tigers banged through the next four goals, including two difficult contested snaps from Martin and Trent Cotchin, clearly the two best players on the ground.

Andy Browne and Alex Rance were holding their own against Matty Leuenberger and Jonathan Brown also, while Brett Deledio provided excellent run and carry from half back. The Tigers looked like they would enter three quarter time with a handy 22 point lead, before Karnezis goaled with his second kick in footy, joining a significantly more illustrious club.

The Lions bagged the first two goals of the final quarter. If I was watching it live, I would have been worried, as they appeared to have the momentum. A passage of play which included two excellent tackles by Chris Newman and Robin Nahas pushed the game back into Richmond’s favour as the Tigers subsequently bagged the next 5 goals. Vickery with a long set shot. Martin from 65. Nathan Foley in his 100th. Deledio on the run from 50. Nahas with a crumbing snap. The Tigers had found their stride, and when Martin banged through his fifth from 50m, an urge to raise a surrogate baby with Dustin Martin’s genetic profile materialized in me.

After the siren, I sat down with the family for dinner. Yes, Josh Barnstable, dinner.



  1. Nice report Adam, keep them coming!

    Almost missed your last line. How was tea?

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