Things have been pretty hectic in my life lately which I won’t go into detail here suffice to say that I had no time or mental energy to devote to writing. As quickly as the vice started squeezing in on me, it eased off just a bit.
Its finals time in our two major winter sporting codes, Australian Football League and National Rugby League. These two sports, although national in scope, have their particular regions where they dominate. AFL is mostly played in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia whereas NRL is mostly played in New South Wales and Queensland. Being a proud Novocastrian, my youth was spent following the NRL but over the last 10 or so years, my allegiance has shifted to AFL. The team I support is the Sydney Swans, otherwise known as the “Bloods” since their strip is red and white.
One of the very few privileges of working in the financial industry, apart from the Damocles sword of unemployment hanging over you and the four computer screen pumping out negative ions, is the opportunity to be taken out on the broker’s coin. In other words, regular lunches and semi regular sports fixtures paid for by someone else. It is through this wonderful institution that I found myself at the Swans / Magpies semi-final last Friday.
Platinum seats in row nine just short of midfield. How good is that? Right in the middle of the Swans members area. I would not normally advocate taking young children to an equivalent NRL match due to the colourful language they will hear but the family atmosphere of an AFL match seemed to keep the rowdier people in check. And being on the bottom tier, it was only 20 very shallow steps and a 15 meter walk to both the food and drinks area as well as the toilets.
The only problem was the seating. Four blokes with large shoulders sitting next to each other made it pretty squishy and with another four idiots sitting just down from us and getting up and down constantly during the game to hold hands with each other in the bathroom or whatever they needed to do, was pissing us off immensely. You had to get up out of your seat each time they wanted to walk out and then 10 minutes later when they came back.
Beer selection was mediocre at best with only Tooheys New and Hanh Light available. I don’t drink often as my friends will know but when I do have a beer at an event like this, I like to wash down my over-priced, over-cooked, highly fat-saturated “food” with something drinkable.
Oh, the game? Well the Swans dominated from start to finish and beat the Pies for the first time in 17 games. Now it’s on to the Grand Final to be played at the coliseum known as the MCG.
“Onward to victory!!!!”
Post Script: A thrilling finally against the Hawthorn Hawks saw Sydney come up eventual champions. The game was a classic grand final with multiple lead changes and comebacks as well as some inspired football. Go the bloods!!