Saturday 9 April 2005

Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me

Or.. the night unbridled passion conquered all.

Three wins in a row. Unprecedented. Well, unprecedented in the last decade anyway. In 1994 we won the first six and made a Preliminary Final. In 2005 the sky is the limit. I don't want to get too excited early because we'll probably end up finishing with a 3-19 record if I do that. Cram the priority picks, I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore. Halfway through the third quarter I actually let my mind wander for a second and thought "this is a Premiership side". These are exciting times.

Tonight's game? Well it followed a familiar pattern when in scenes reminiscent of last week's game against Footscray we flattened Geelong in the first quarter and ended resistance early in the second. They showed flashes throughout the next couple of quarters but a farcical standard of goalkicking ensured there would be no outrageous comeback and heart-stopping finish this time. From the first few seconds when a 50m penalty out of the centre gave Matthew Whelan (later injured..) the opening goal and screwed up everyone who'd had a first goalkicker bet at the TAB we always looked the better side.

With Brad Ottens unable to get anywhere near a ball and Kent "Wave of the Future" Kingsley looking lost not having Nathan Carroll line up on him for once they were never close. The number of set shots the Cats missed would have caused me to slash my wrists in the middle of the Ponsford Stand if it happened to us. Wave of the Future somehow managed to snag three goals before cocking up set shots left right and centre. The Jeff Hilton section erupted into a massive "YOU'RE SHIT AND YOU KNOW YOU ARE" after the last one, but received absolutely no support from the spectators surrounding us. Disappointing. Various other Geelong stooges missed piss easy shots. Thanks!

Embarrassing moment when Neitz kicked his third and the entire place went ape. Like a bandwagon supporter who had just come on board and was wondering what the rules were I sat there and asked "why is everyone going wild?" Oops. He's done fuck all in the first two weeks so it was good to see the captain running riot tonight against one of the best fullbacks in the competition. Here's to plenty more where that came from.

And thus we went into the final change almost eight goals to the good. When Colin Sylvia kicked what 'the kids' would refer to as an absolute ripper from 50 metres out the result was sealed. And it was then that the gimmick was born. You may remember this post. We promised further communications, and tonight they came live and in person. In a cursory tip of the hat to the tradition of the gold jacket pioneered by some Collingwood bogans the black balaclava was produced at the start of the quarter, with the announcement that it would go on the moment the match was sealed and stay on until security/police/ASIO forced me to remove it.

Neitz kicked his fifth, the crowd went wild and on it went. The official timer started. Suddenly I had been transformed. I was Mr. Unbridled Passion. Going wild at everything, mocking Wave of the Future as his career went down the toilet and celebrating Brad Ottens getting a kick. Suddenly there were no boundaries, and as people started to turn around and point I felt superhuman. This, my friends, is the beginning of a new culture. As the game slipped from mere "sizeable victory" to "colossal porking" the crowd started to ebb out. High fives were exchanged with Demon fans who were leaving for some reason but a few of the Geelong types felt they should say something despite the fact that their side was being touched up. The most creative was a "I'd cover my face if I was a Melbourne supporter too". Absolute hilarity. Traditional responses about looking at the scoreboard were uttered, even though you couldn't see a scoreboard from where we were. The best thing about playing Geelong is that they, like Footscray and Sydney fans, can't even mock you about not winning Premierships. They've got nothing.

The plan was formulated for the ultimate in throat shedding theme song renditions. When the siren went (or, given that you can't hear it in the Jeff Hilton section when the game was clearly over) I was to charge down the stairwell and go ballistic at the top of the steps. And it was done. Game over and I was out of my seat and charging down the steps. Big Ultimate Warrior style "shake" (it didn't move, the effect was there though) of the railings and just launch into the song. I turn around and nobody.. NOBODY.. is celebrating it. In fact there was shock and disgust. Beautiful. Halfway through the song, somewhere around THE TEAM OF THE RED AND THE BLUE some moderately old man walked directly into the wild dance zone and copped a minor inadvertent hip and shoulder. He let rip with some "watch where you're going" and when I ignored him I got the tap on the shoulder instead. Whilst simultaneously yelling "WHAT THE FUCK DO WE SING?" into his face I received the minor lecture about being in the way. Absolutely no reaction, just continued singing the song. Then it was over. No applause.. Nobody joining in the wild scenes. The Ponsford Stand is clearly a taste-free zone. The long walk back up to my seat was interspersed with more UBP moments. I thought that I'd gone that far and I had better make it worthwhile. Eyewitness reports state that the general mood of fans of both clubs was anti-balaclava. Fuck them, it was quality.

The controversial, Carlos the Jackal inspired, head-wear remained on as we left the ground. Straight past the cops with not even a tap on the shoulder and a check for outstanding warrants. Disappointing. Then it was into the car for out of window yelling along Swan Street. A particular highlight, in my opinion, was the yelling out of one word from the theme song to each group of people driven past. I'm aware that the whole thing is unbelievably childish - but at least it's unique. The night was finalised by a colossal fence run at East Richmond station as a Glen Waverley bound train pulled out of the station - Connex staff loved it at least.

Sadly despite my best efforts it appears that I didn't manage to get on TV, nobody's talking outrageous gimmickery on the forums (nice plug for the people who run this site eh?) and I seriously doubt the news photographers will have caught it. Visiting celebrity Collingwood supporter AMUL had a top idea for making sure the media coverage is forthcoming. Somehow sell out everything I hold dear, worm my way into the cheer squad and wait for somebody to waltz into an open goal and look to the crowd for the high-five. Would be all over the news.

51,000 strong crowd there tonight. That's quite nice, and an audience of millions watching Neale Daniher's brand of sexy football unfold on television. Even the Pope scandal (vote for the guy on the left) couldn't stop us from achieving our rightful place on Friday Night Football. Odds on that Eddie McGuire was shedding a tear at watching such an attractive performance just a day before Collingwood lose another game. Player of the Year votes.
5 - Cameron Bruce
4 - David Neitz
3 - James McDonald
2 - Ryan Ferguson
1 - Clint Bizzell

Apologies to Moloney, Robertson, Rivers and 3/4 of the other players on the park..

Minus to.. erm.. I'm happy overall. Ground negatives to the MCG for not bothering to put speakers in the bottom deck of the Ponsford. The plus points of not having to hear a second rate television 'celeb' crap on about Vodafone Fan Cam is being drowned out by not being able to hear the siren. Thankfully we've pissed it in twice this year but it will disasterous in a close fourth quarter.

13 - Cameron Bruce
6 - Ryan Ferguson
5 - Brent Moloney
4 - Brad Green
3 - Aaron Davey, James McDonald
2 - Adem Yze, Brock McLean
1 - Jared Rivers, Russell Robertson, Clint Bizzell

End of season winner gets to be the next coach of Hawthorn.

Due to work commitments I've been rorted out of going to the St. Kilda game. If you'd like to provide a match report (you even get to hand out the votes and sledge my pissy match analysis skills. COME ON) please email or leave a comment. Otherwise I'll have to put up the match reports and give commentary on my dubious attempts to listen the game whilst supposedly working and nobody wants that.

Australian Football. We love you. Cross your fingers, your toes and anything else on your body that can conceivably be manipulated and hope for the best. We are a chance. Cameron Bruce for the Brownlow, David Neitz for the Coleman, Colin Sylvia for the Rising Star, Jeff White for Pope and Aaron Davey for Norm Smith Medallist and next Premier of Victoria.

Clearly, though, the gods were angry at my enthusiastic but morally dubious displays throughout the match as I got a lift home post-match only to be run into by a bunch of pissheads on St. Kilda Road. Mad whiplash action - if I die in the middle of the night it will be for a good cause. Give my 2005 membership to somebody who'll appreciate it and invite the following people to my funeral please.. Allen Jakovich, Phil Gilbert, John Howat, Darren Kowal and Jamie Shanahan. It's been emotional. Further communications as they come to hand.

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