Patrick Dangerfield is the opening chord of A Hard Day’s Night by The Beatles.
George Harrison’s Rickenbacker strum is pop music’s most thrilling moment, and Adelaide’s most dynamic midfielder also electrifies. Both are anticipation and frisson. Dangerfield exhilarates just like The Fab Four’s two and a half minutes of frenzied, intoxicating genius. Both are astonishing illustrations of their respective art.
It’s a Mother’s Day game so I offer to listen to the footy via a radio app. The wife urges me, “to watch it live, so you’ll appreciate it better.” Radio streaming is brilliant, and one morning I found a local Mandarin station. Despite having limited Chinese I quickly establish that the show, certainly called the Wacky Breakfast Zoo, features a zany guy, a straight guy and to use media industry jargon, a chick. Sound familiar? Doubtless, there’ll soon be a Black Thunder stalking my Singaporean street, giving out icy cold cans of Coke and Whispering Jack CDs.
The Sydney Showgrounds arena is fetching in the autumnal sunshine, but the wood chopping at the Royal Easter Show makes more happy noise. Iconic Tassie axe man David Foster would have been terrifying in a forward pocket, and I once saw him departing the Adelaide Show in a 4WD, fresh from dichotomizing a feeble log. Struggling to mount a speed hump, his car appeared to have been assembled around his singletted bulk. Like the Bluesmobile outside the Cook County Building on Richard J Daley Plaza, it would surely disintegrate.
The Crows and Giants begin before lunch Singapore time. I’m at The Boomarang Bar, and not wanting to evoke the ancient Barossa rule of, “One at 11, or eleven at 1,” I get a frosty pint. With a cornucopia of splendid Australian beer from which to choose, Boomarang’s management could have Coopers Sparkling Ale, Little Creatures or Fat Yak as their ambassadorial lager. No, Pure Blonde is on tap. It’s like Phil Tufnell being Wisden’s Cricketer of the Century. Still, come June I’ll be watching the footy back in wintry Adelaide. A glass of Dutschke GHR and a boisterous fire will then suit.
GWS. The acronym suggests a K-Mart quality law firm to which Dennis Denuto of The Castle might have aspired. GWS, I’d also argue, could be a mildly exotic skin infection. I can hear my GP grimly saying, “I’m afraid you have GWS.”
And Giants? The Icelandic nu-folk listening, hipster marketer obviously said, “Greater and Giants totally share a ‘G’ and that is, you know, like, alliterative, so let’s go with that.” However, I hear you retort, your team is mascotted by a hostile bird, best known for Graham Kennedy’s 1975 infamy. Faaaark.
The dazzle from the empty orange seats is as sorry as the AFL’s probable excuses for the attendance: catastrophic competition from Mother’s Day luncheons, the eight race card at Gunnedah, Col Joye headlining the roast and three veg fixture over at the Rooty Hill RSL. In a pulsating heartland of three million people, that only 5,800 bother is alarming. GWS will be successful eventually, but I think they should become successful elsewhere.
With a population of over eighteen million, that Los Angeles has not hosted a NFL club for nearly two decades might indicate a vast community is not itself a guarantee of football permanence. Green Bay is a small municipality by American standards, and its team continues to thrive. Similarly, supporters in Tasmania, Cairns or Darwin would have attended a Crows and Giants encounter with an increased and vociferous presence.
Tom Lynch provides the best breakout performance by a carroty-haired youth since Richie Cunningham’s work in season one of Happy Days. With Arthur (Tex) Fonzarelli’s knee having jumped the shark, and Potsie (Tippett) taken by a swan on his lonely way to Inspiration Point, Lynch presents himself. When he laconically kicks his tenth, and becomes the first Crow to do so since Tony Modra in 1994, the few spectators remaining are glumly playing paper/rock/scissors to see who locks the gate.
Adelaide wins by 135 points, a solitary behind shy of their record, but I remark that it’s not a game I’d buy on DVD. All at The Boomarang nod agreement. We stroll out into the tropical afternoon.