Saturday, September 25, 2010

Day 188: Black and white

Collingwood Football Club logo
Once upon a time there was a little girl who grew up in the southern states of Australia.  The religion of that state was Australian Rules Football.  The chapter of this religion was called the VFL which was made up of 12 tribes.  The tribes competed against each other for 6 months of the year, culminating in the two best teams competing in a mighty competion called the Grand Final.  All believers selected one of the twelve tribs to follow.  The mightiest of all the tribes and the one that polarised the people of the state the most is Collingwood - the warriors of the black and white robes, whose emblem is a magpie.  This was the tribe of the little girl.  But these mighty warriors had fallen on hard times by the time the little girl was born and they had not won a Grand Final for many years.  This continued on for a long time, although they did continue to get to finals.  One of the most painful losses was in the year the tribe lost to St Kilda by one point.  Another sore point for Magpie fans was an incident some years later when a favourite son, John Greening was hit and severely injured during a game against St Kilda.  The followers of the black and white have long memories.  The little girl grew used to her tribe getting to the end and losing, but swore never to watch a Grand Final match again after watching them draw in 1977 against North Melbourne.  The match was replayed the following week and the tribe of the Black and Whilte were comprehensively beaten.  She could not even bear to watch the match when the tribe finally won 13 years later, and only came out of her room to see the last ten minutes of that game.  Since then, the trophy cupboard has been empty.

Today was the first grand final match against St Kilda since 1966.  In a way, it was a handy day for the us; we had to look for things for the houseand I  didn't think I could stand the stress of watching the whole game, so I thought we might as well be out shopping   We also knew that from midday, the shops would quieten down as people would be heading home or elsewhere to watch the match, because a great game was expected.  It was a productive morning and early afternoon; we managed to sort out some light fittings, order the tiles, look at some doors and bathroom fittings before the game started.  While heading to our final destination we tuned in to the game and Collingwood took an early lead.  Fortunately at the last stop, I managed to watch a fair bit of the game in the shop in between selecting toilet holders and shower heads, then we headed on back to Catwoman's to hopefully see the mighty Pies take the flag.  Catwoman thought they were a cert to win.  But as we long suffering Collingwood supporters know, it's not over until the siren, and in the last ten minutes, the Saints took the lead.  I'd hoped for a good game but this was all a bit too much.  Then Collingwood goaled to lead by one point, which was looking like sweet revenge in the dying part of the final quarter until St Kilda kicked a point to equalise in the last minute.  Memories of the 1977 Grand Final came back.  The look on the faces of the players and the crowd was of total and utter disbelief.  The captains were asked to speak, but they were hollow words.  The champagne will have to stay on ice for another week, when they all go back and do it again.

No comments:

Post a Comment