Friday, 25 May 2007

Rack up the lines, we're off to Subi

Demonblog contributor Peter M was on hand at Subiaco for last week's debacle. Here is his sorry tale - Supermercado

Everything started well. Our Perth mates had cooked a slap-up lunch of roast pork, we’d had a couple of beers watching the Swans pump Port, and I’d managed to get $5 down at $5.75 that the Eagles would lead by 1-12 points at half time. Good odds, and I figured there was nothing inherently disloyal about backing a half time margin, especially since I had the Dees to win for a fiver as well. I’d managed to forget the FatByron’s pissed text message debacle, and had even forgiven the Rev for dangling the carrot of McLean under our nose before cruelly snatching it away. This, I told myself, is going to be a good day.

Until we popped our tickets in the barcode reader and drew the dreaded red light. The Ticketmaster woman couldn’t explain, but we had to go to Gate 10. It sounded ominous. Where’s Gate 10? The other end of the ground. Now, I don’t know about you, but I get very antsy when I don’t see the first bounce. There’s just something that drives me mental being able to hear the noise and not being in the ground. The time I got stuck outside when we played North in an Elimination Final nearly killed me. By the time I got in half way through the second quarter, I was homicidal. And that was at the MCG. Add into that equation 40,000 Western Australians who think Daniel Kerr is a stand-up bloke and things were looking grim.

SUBIACO CURIOSITY #1: They play “We Will Rock You” just before the opening bounce. The crowd stamp and clap along. It’s like an under 10s basketball tournament.

At Gate 10, the guy at the window took one look at our tickets and passed us upstairs. We needed to talk to Michelle. She’d sort us out. Michelle had a list of ticket numbers. Ours were on there. Where did you get these, she asked. From a mate in Sydney, we parroted. (A lie). How much? Twenty-five. (Another lie). Did we know that our tickets were originally bought by someone the Eagles suspect is a scalper? At this point we faced a crossroads. Did we tell the truth, revealing that we bought the tickets for double the face value from a stevedore called Wayne in the carpark of the Railway Hotel in North Fremantle? Sure, that was the right thing to do. But Michelle was holding our tickets. The bounce was minutes away. We could see the turf. “No,” we said. “We had absolutely no idea.” Michelle gave us a letter from the club urging us to do everything we could to stop scalpers. And we were in.

SUBIACO CURIOSITY #2: They advertise the Eagles. Madly. Scooters towing little Eagles billboards put-put around the ground at the quarter breaks. Ads on the screen constantly. Put on your advertising hat for a moment, and ask yourself that if you had a product to sell, would you advertise it to the only 40,000 people in the world who already own it? Ah, what do I know? They’d probably buy it again, if their maniacal response to the guy with a microphone yelling “WHO WANTS TO WIN THIS DVD PLAYER!?!?!” is anything to go by.

Our seats were behind the goals. In the “scalped” section, it appeared, since everyone around us brandished a copy of the aforementioned sternly-worded letter. The scalped section, and the West Coast cheer squad section. We were metres away from the fat bastard who shat himself in front of the entire nation when Michael O’Loughlin got all up in his grill on Qualifying Final night last year. A moustachioed accountant was going apeshit in the front row. A middle-aged mother of two was beating a drum to a sombre, sacrificial beat. This, I told myself, is going to be a long day.

It was. Bugger the footy. We all know we got pumped and were very lucky it wasn’t a debacle of Richmond-esque proportions. I briefly entertained the idea of an epic comeback early in the third. Memories of Todd Viney giving the finger (recently bitten by Chris Lewis) to an enraged Subi crowd after a famous win danced through my head. Could this be the day, I wondered?

We all know how that turned out.

SUBIACO CURIOSITY #3: When they win, they play “Eagle Rock”. Kill. Me. Now.

To the votes. Must we? I was deep in the pocket so didn’t really see much of what went on. I have shamelessly cobbled this from my fleeting impressions and the paper.

5 – Travis Johnstone
4 – James McDonald
3 – Brad Green
2 – Colin Sylvia
1 – Jeff White

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