“We’ve got the close one!”
This was the call from the radio broadcast team that THIS was the game you should be listening to. All the other games that Saturday were good to fair. THIS game, was the tight, close contest worth changing your radio station for.
These days you can keep up with the other games playing at the same time easily. Actually you can have two or three games on at the same time. I know, I did just that this Saturday. On one side of the tv was Geelong v Collingwood on the other Brisbane v GWS.
To have two AFL games playing around the same time is kind of rare. The AFL scheduling caters to a whole day of football. You can easily watch games from 1pm to 10pm. There were five games that Saturday and the close one that evening was over in Perth.
On Free to air Saturday night you could watch Gold Coast Suns walk over Hawthorn. Which I had to. Because the servers for Kayo were full. Seriously, I got the we are full and cannot add you to our system page. So I watched a developing Suns team give a glimpse of what they might become.
Back in the Day
Back in the day, in the 1990’s, I lived in Hawthorn and my friends and I would have our ears glued to the broadcast waiting. Waiting for the commentators to say “We’ve got the close one!”. Then it would be a mad scramble to work out how to get to that game.
You see, back then there was only one team in Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane. Most of the games were played on Saturday. If you lived in Hawthorn you could easily ride a bike, or, catch a tram or train to any of the grounds.
I can remember riding my bike up to Kew and down through Collingwood all the way to Carlton’s ground, Princess Park. Gasping we locked up our bikes and rushed in to see the final quarter. And we got in for free.
Back in those halcyon days the gates were opened up at three quarter time. You got in to the game for nothing. You saw a tight game unfold and maybe some brilliance on the field. Then, after the third siren you had a kick on the ground. What a great day!
Geelong Banks Another Win
This Saturday I was rugged up, watching Geelong do enough to beat the woeful Collingwood. Which for the Pies only got worse when their Ruckman Brodie Grundy got injured. Geelong blunted Collingwood all game holding them at arms length.
Only as the game drew to its conclusion did Collingwood thread together a few late goals. It was like shifting the chairs on the Titanic. No consequence to the result, just a more respectable scoreboard. Geelong had done enough and that was the job. Bank the win and move on.
Suns a Joy To Watch
The Sun’s. Well that was more joyful. You could see this team begin to realise as a group what they are capable of. A full fit list of Suns players will make 2022 look very attractive. Maybe not a destination club yet, though a player with his contract up could do a lot worse than consider the Suns.
Hawthorn are obviously biding their time. Clarkson may be the coach to take them back to top of the table. He certainly is giving games to the youth. Once Sicily and others return just what are they going to be capable of? Hawks fans should go watch a few Box Hill games. See what the future holds.
Bombers Soar In Last Quarter
Essendon beating West Coast has the Bombers flying up, up the ladder. I could not resist it. When the Bombers are on they are hard to stop. If you can hold them down and keep their influential players quiet you have a chance. But you have to do it for the whole game.
Essendon usually kick 3 r more goals in the fourth quarter. Winning from behind is becoming a habit for the Bombers. They have lost eight to three in third quarters this season and won seven to four in final quarters. Despite this, beating the Eagles at home is a great season win for any club.
That was my lockdown Saturday. I capped it off with my twenty first time watching Lego Batman. It wasn’t kicking a ball on the MCG but it was a good end to the day. For those in Lockdown get some sunshine when it happens. Get tested if you have symptoms and remember to call friends and family.
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.