Saturday, 13 August 2005

You're 1 point down, you come from a shit town

What a day. What a game. What a moment. I can't say I've ever been at a game decided in that fashion before, but it's fair to say that it now ranks in my top 10 matches of all time.

Standing on the concrete steps, in the bogan section with special Wide World of Blog guests 1 and 2 we stared down a seven game losing streak, a seventeen year record of failure in Geelong and a stadium full of toothless clowns and came out with the points.

The first news on arrival - other than a celebrity stalking moment when I walked past Paul Gardiner at the gate - was that Brad Green's new robotic claw hadn't come up fit, and our man PHILTHY PHIL was back in action. Godfrey and Read in the same team? Farce. The big news from the other camp was than Nathan Ablett was in, and didn't the Geelong mutants go absolutely ape (or more ape) when they heard that. No need to put too much pressure on the kid or anything - he actually started at full-forward as well.

But do we care about them? Not in the slightest. The fact of the matter is we came out playing like complete slop and by the 10m mark of the second quarter we were five goals down and even N. Ablett was getting amongst it - much to the joy of the clowns in attendance.. At some point in the first quarter Nicholson got ripped off by the worst throwing-the-ball decision ever, when he executed a perfect handball and was pinged. The Geelong player in question was good enough to realise the injustice and miss the kick. At halftime we were 30 pts down and it was a question of how early the first train back to Melbourne left so we could escape rural Victoria.

Special mention at this point to the rejects standing behind us doing the traditional "yell out 'hillarious' things in front of your mates to look butch" manouevre, but was dragging out some of the worst efforts in the history of that noble game. "LOOK! IT'S VAL KILMER!" he screamed out as some guy walked past. Who the fuck has heard of Val Kilmer in the last decade? Hillariously bad, and no pop from ANYONE for it - not even the sort of stooges that will laugh at anything their mate says.

Then, just as we were looking as healthy as Joe Korp, a moment. An epiphany if you will. Somebody kicked a goal, buggered if I can remember who to be honest, and then Cameron "Padded Cell" Mooney lost the plot in back-play to give Godfrey a shot from 30y out a few seconds later. The man who shouldn't be in the team, despite what Kevin Bartlett thinks, kicked the goal anyway and we were SOME chance. Not much though, let's be honest, and then when a shonky 50m penalty/evener up gifted them a goal it appeared to have shut the door again. Then something wild happened, we stepped up to a level not seen for two weeks, the Cats shit themselves something shocking and we stormed back not only into contention but into the lead. Russell Robertson was running riot, in the abscence of Neitz who had been shuffled from forward, to back, to the bench after his sticky tape knee finally gave up on him and Steve Armstrong, the most persecuted man since Chris Lamb, kicked another to see us take the lead into 3/4 time.

It should also be noted that at some point Shannon Motlop, who played another decent game, got belted and was pissing blood everywhere. When he re-emerged he was wearing #53. Why did we just have a #53 jumper sitting around? If was a 54 a'la Brent Heaver I would have fallen apart. As it was "The Mot" did more than enough chasing and groundwork to justify keeping his spot next week - especially in the abscence of any real standouts in the 2's.

Now I'd seen this before. Last year to be accurate, and if history taught us anything it was that we would fold like a house and cards and be belted by six goals after they'd given us hope of a drought busting victory. Looked bad as well, after we copped a couple of goals early in the last and were 15pts down at the 13 minute mark with Matthew Whelan knocked goofy. I had a unbridled passion moment when they goaled and a thing of indeterminate sex stood up in front of us and started clapping wildly in the air. My response to this is unpublishable just in case this person actually was a shemale and my stream of abuse contravened the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act of 1995. Was probably over the top but in the circumstances I'm not prepared to apologise.

Then suddenly the Robertson show took off as he added his 6th and record breaking 7th and we hit the front.

The next five minutes was officially the most tense thing I have ever been involved in during my life as we guarded a three point lead with our lives in the face of constant pressure. Even 90's References Man had shut the fuck up due to the tension. Somebody took a shot roll towards goal and saw it nutmeg Alistair "traffic cone" Nicholson and smash into the goalpost. If it were the Wizard Cup it would have stayed in play and been gleefully smashed home for the winning goal - but it's not so it wasn't. Bad luck.

We were now a point up with the time approaching 29m on the clock. Any minute now. People are running around going "how long is left?" as we desperately defended. Then suddenly out of nowhere the ball is kicked out of a pack and lands in the hands of my new favourite Geelong player Matthew Egan. I said "he's going to kick this after the siren" just as the fucking thing went and the whole place stopped. All I remember is turning around and slapping the concrete step behind me. He runs up and belts it, from our angle it looks as if it's flying through the middle and the Cat Bogans around us begin to celebrate. Then it becomes clear that it's shanked to the left and we've won by a point.

Oh. My. God. That was the scenario that the term "wild scenes" was invented for. I've never seen anything like it, people were jumping around hugging each other, complete strangers were exchanging high fives in celebration and god knows what else. I'd like to write a description of the picture I can see clearly in my mind but alas to commit that to words you'd need to be Shakespeare. You had to be there. I moderately lost the plot at anything and everything around me - I can't even remember hearing the theme song but I was yelling it out, doing crotch chops at random passing bogans and screaming something about people living in cardboard boxes. It was madness. At least if I'd been drinking there would have been an excuse. It was undoubtedly the biggest UBP session I'd ever been involved in. I can imagine that's the kind of scenario that would follow a Grand Final victory.

DEMONBLOG.COM Player of the Year Votes

5 - Russell Robertson (didn't see that coming did you? The man has ascended to godlike status)
4 - Brent Moloney (STICK Brad Ottens. We've got the class act)
3 - Travis Johnstone (Strengthening his grip on the title - even if I would give it to Robbo if I could)
2 - Jeff White (One of the few occasions all year when he's dominated out of the centre)
1 - Guy Rigoni (Probably his last top line performance)

Apologies to Davey, McLean and Holland.

Negatives to the two complete bogans who engaged us in conversation whilst trying to dodge the conductor on the V/Line train on the way back. They got away with it by fleeing at Werribee AND the clowns standing behind us doing jokes that The Comedy Company would have rejected as pissweak. Some minus points, again, to myself for the anti-ladyboy spray during the 3rd quarter and the completely random indecent and offensive gestures to passers by after the siren.

LEADERBOARD

31 - Travis Johnstone
26 - Russell Robertson
23 - Brad Green
21 - Brent Moloney
18 - Adem Yze
17 - Cameron Bruce
10 - Colin Sylvia
9 - Brock McLean, Aaron Davey, Ryan Ferguson
7 - Jeff White
6 - Clint Bizzell
5 - Jared Rivers, David Neitz, Daniel Bell
4 - Alistair Nicholson, Daniel Ward, Phil Read
3 - James McDonald, Brad Miller, Nathan Brown, Russell Robertson, Nathan Carroll, Shannon Motlop
2 - Paul Wheatley, Matthew Whelan
1 - Ben Holland, Guy Rigoni

Next week: Footscray on Saturday night at Telstra Dome. We couldn't could we? Not twice in a row? Can we still make the 8? Gah I don't know. We'll only find out next week.

Epilogue: I can never hope to describe what happened at the end of that game, but there are pictures of me going off my nut that should indicate some of the scenes. They will be posted soon - unless I decide I'm looking fat and frumpy and ban them.

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