Saturday 30 August 2008

Pitch Invasion Ole Ole Ole

For all the bollocks from the AFL during the week about rigourously enforcing fines for people who ran on the ground at Telstra Dome when the 100th goal was kicked the whole thing ended up being a bit of a fizz. You couldn't expect anything more though, Demetriou claiming that $6000 fines were going to be handed out left, right and centre was akin to the Georgia vs Russia war - a declaration of war followed by attempts to defend yourself with a shovel against an unstoppable invading force.

Despite what the AFL had to say it was obvious that Telstra Dome had the right idea (for the first time in history), as you could see them opening gates to the ground for people to run on rather than making them all jump the fence. I'm sure they could sense that some knob was going to take a sick bump trying to climb the fence and sue them over it. Once the invasion had taken place "play of the day" went to Robert Campbell of Hawthorn (who? I have no idea either) who was seen posing for photos with fans.

Now, we all knew that Demetriou and the AFL were full of shit. What's new? But in the spirit of the night, with the potential for dual 100 goal kickers and an allegedly sold out crowd that somehow still only got to 49k, I think they should have introduced a competitive element to the ground invasion. Announce that they don't give a rats arse if you run on or not, but after five minutes the siren will go and the last ten people off the ground - be they young, old, infirm or stupid, will cop the full 6 grand fine. Then it's fair for everyone - you get your chance to have a run, but if you don't get off before that siren goes then you're agreeing to participate in the inaugural Docklands scramble. Of course then when it's a bunch of 9-year-olds who have had their parents abandon them in the mad rush you don't actually fine them (or do you?) but at least it makes a point.

The only time I was ever at a game where somebody kicked the ton was Tony Lockett on a Monday night (why?) in 1998. I was in a corporate box for some strange reason so I didn't get the chance to do a lap of honour, but definately remember cracking the shits because we were winning and I didn't want to lose momentum. We won anyway, and despite kicking 4 Lockett was owned by Jamie Shanahan.

Retrospectively, were I to be hit with by a car and go back in time a'la Life On Mars, I'd like to go back and be at the Melbourne-Hawthorn game in Round 22, 1996. Having almost completely lost interest in sports at the time I didn't think much about it then, but now looking back I can't believe that the two sets of fans who were so against a merger (because, let's face it, the Melbourne "yes" vote was about so fraudulent it may as well have been held in Zimbabwe) didn't run on when Dunstall kicked him 100th and refuse to leave for 10 or 20 minutes until they had made their point. Tonight some peanuts erected a Buddy Franklin sign in the middle of the ground for a mere 100th goal, surely somebody could have made some about saving two football clubs. Were I not suffering from the same thing at the time I'd accuse everyone involved of severe apathy.

Meanwhile is there ANY danger that we'll ever see a Melbourne player kick the ton? Darren Bennett and David Neitz have gone respectively close in my lifetime and Allen Jakovich might have done it had he not spent so much time getting injured allegedly porking groupies, but it just seems destined never to happen. Yet another advantage of following a team that has won bugger all for 40+ years.

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