The boom fell hard on all sport this year. Not just international, but local sport too. While some competitions were able to finish before the restrictions hit, others were not so fortunate. At our fictional local cricket club the Lions the impact has been mixed.
The Angels are Flogs
On the clubs senior team facebook group “Lionz Ladz” the disappointment and fury is, in some voiced in all its rage.
“Ouch!” exclaims Rohan looking away the facebook feed from his phone.
“What is it now?” replies his mother looking up from her phone.
“Simmo just put up a link to the Angels facebook page. It has their teams celebrations as Premiers in the twos.” answers Rohan. Rohan holds it out for his mother to see.
“Oh no.” sighs Rohan’s Mum. “They are not social distancing very well at all. Are they drunk?”
On cue a door slams. Followed by a procession of heavy foot steps. Entering into the lounge room is Rohan’s brother Angelo. Holding his phone out towards the two seated. He begins to open his mouth but he is too angry even to speak.
“We saw it.” nods Rohan.
“Flogs!” seethes Angelo trying not to swear in front of his mother. “Look at them. We beat them both times this season and they parade around as premiers.” Angelo is absolutely indignant. He storms off. The front door slams. A car door slams. Angelo’s car starts up and drives angrily away.
“Why did they get awarded premiers?” asks Rohan and Angelo’s Mum.
“They finished on top of the ladder at the end of the season.” responds Rohan.
“But Angelo’s team beat them twice how did they end up on top of the ladder?” questions Rohan’s mum.
“Well the Angels got an outright when Ange’s team had the game washed out. You get double points for an outright and only half the points for a draw.” explained Rohan.
“That is very sad.” comments Mum. “I just hope Angelo is back home soon. I am sure that if he is pulled over by the police they will call it non-essential travel.”
Shaun and Frank Mention the Virus
It’s a sunny autumn day in Melbourne’s suburbs. Cricket has been over for what feels like years. It was only a month ago that the Lions had two teams play in the finals. On his morning walk Shaun stops at the local cafe to get takeout coffee. The shop is only doing takeouts, due to the thing.
Shaun sees Frank who plays in the fifths. Frank has played for decades. Frank has been President, Treasurer and Captain of the Firsts. The Fifths is the father and son team. There are five families that make up the team including Frank and his son Declan.
“Frank!” calls out Shaun.
“Shaun. How you going?” acknowledges Frank.
“It’s alright. Can’t complain, still working. Who’d have thought Fast food is an essential service.” chuckles Shaun. “What about you Frank?”
“I’ve been working from home, Declan is shirty he has to do school from home.” Frank pauses and adds “You know we did better than we could have.”
“Really...how?” asks Shaun.
“Well,” begins Frank “the virus hit Wuhan in December….if it came here earlier we wouldn’t have completed the season. We only got the sixes grand final in at that.”
Shaun nods his head, takes a sip of his coffee. “Yeah, you got that right. Pity about the twos, they looked like they could have won. Government held on till just after the Women’s T20 final.”
“Sad case for the twos.” muses Frank. “We might not even start local cricket till December?”
“Any chance of India being let in to the country for Boxing Day?” poses Shaun.
“Not until W.A and South Australia open their borders. More of a chance with New Zealand.” replies Frank. Frank’s wife emerges from the bakery and signals that its time for Frank to carry the bread to the car.
“Ok gotta go. Stay safe Shaun.” says Frank.
“Stay safe.” answers Shaun.
The facebook group “Lionz Ladz” has become a major connection point for the club. It began with the coach issuing fitness challenges. It has spun off with zoom poker nights and even tik-tok dance challenges. The latest is uno which is played through a phone app. With the awards night cancelled each award was posted on the clubs offical page. The Annual General Meeting was decided on-line. In the time of Covid-19 governance is swift and much change creates instability.
Flogs, the conclusion
At the oval an accidental meeting of friends out walking the dog and exercising brings Rohan and Shaun together.
“Has Angelo calmed down?” mentions Shaun
“uhhhh….kind of.” responds Rohan between squats.
“oi! Coco! Get back here!” warns Shaun. “Is it true he threw paint on Bojo’s driveway? Good Coco. Now give me the ball. No! Drop! Drooop!” Coco drops the ball. Shaun picks it up. “Sit….”
“Yeah...he painted ‘Flog’ on Bojo’s driveway.” explains Rohan.
“What!” bursts out Shaun. Coco barks. “Oh yeah.” Shaun throws the ball. Coco races after it.
“Does anyone in the Angels know?” says Shaun worriedly.
“Bojo’s got nothing on Mum.” relates Rohan grinning. “Mum forced him to apologise to Bojo and remove it with a karcher.”
Shaun bursts out laughing. Coco returns ball in mouth ready for another run.
“Drop it…..Good girl.” affirms Shaun who throws the ball again. “Eww! Dog slobber.” Shaun wipes his hands on his the back of his pants.
“Better wash your hands.” jibes Rohan. “Mum has us washing our hands before we enter the house now.”
“Did you hear what Jason Gillespie said about shining the ball?” segues Shaun.
“It’ll be over before cricket goes back.” states Rohan.
“What if its not?” retorts Shaun. “Spinners lick their finger all the time. And we’ve all been to grounds with no toilets let alone soap.”
Rohan shrugs his shoulders. Then adds “Did you ever see the leg-spinner from the Angels use orange rinds. Kept them in his pocket after tea.”
“The one who wears granpa fitover sunnys?” responds Shaun. Rohan nods. “Oranges...its a solution.” questions Shaun unsure of where this will all go. Like all of us.
Phillip Hall has been too long in Melbourne to see AFL in the same light as those back in Fremantle. East Fremantle born and bred, he would love to see the Dockers back in the eight. But would settle for just beating West Coast twice a year.