Forking out a week’s salary to see Milli Vanilli at the Vienna Konzerthaus. In 2014, this is Adelaide Oval for the Crows fan.
Magnificent arena, miming charlatans.
Can anyone tell me if Adelaide has recently beaten Collingwood in a significant match?
No, I didn’t think so.
Connecting inside the centre square during the 2002 Crows and Magpies preliminary final at the MCG, Anthony Rocca’s third-quarter drop punt went straight through. The Sherrin had covered seventy ghastly metres.
It was an astonishing goal. It was a horrible goal. 88,960 people remember it. Although Rocca was down the City End, everyone around us at the Punt Road End knew as he kicked it.
How could Collingwood lose after that?
It was a month before I got married. We decided to go after the Crows defeated Melbourne in the semi-final. Now, this was a game of graphic mood swings. Like K. Rudd in a midnight cabinet meeting. Apparently.
Some Kapunda schoolmates and I drove over from Adelaide. In microscopic Singapore a decade on, and squeezed into a condominium with two boisterous boys (and one wife), there’s an otherworldly quality to this idea. Time passes.
Sweeping road, conversation, music.
You Am I escorted us into Victoria with their superb album, Hourly, Daily. Evoking boyhood and backyards, Kangaroos supporter Tim Rogers moves us through the skimming bliss and little deaths of suburbia.
The loose narrative arc recalls Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood, and the laconically pretty, “Please Don’t Ask Me To Smile” especially stirs memories of this weekend.
When I was in grade six
I used to hold open a door for a girl
And she called me a wimp
Said there’s just no need
To be so fcking polite
I politely agreed with her
I think she was right
Tradition urges a break at Horsham’s White Hart, before pushing on to our Carlton digs, and an animated slurp at the University Hotel.
Saturday. Preliminary final. Sluggish breakfast. Wander about the Docklands. Young & Jackson. Stroll to Jolimont. The footy. Disappointment.
Not being bucks and hens show types, we instead had an afternoon at the Victoria Park races in front of the heritage-listed grandstand. It was a sunny Caulfield Cup day, and Northerly saluted.
And the imposing gelding also collected the W.S. Cox Plate a week later, about three hours after we were married on the lawns at Cummins House, a couple furlongs from Morphettville racecourse.
Dane Swan is an ugly duckling. Despite years of resistance, he’s now among my favourite footballers. He presents as a dilettante. His expression is of joyless slogging on an assembly line. At any point, he could simply walk away. It is his unlikeliness, that is, well, likable.
It was Taylor Walker’s return following a serious knee injury. Last we saw, he sported a Broken Hill mullet, but now he models a Berlin coif and post-ironic hipster moustache. He could have launched into Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now. Tex was rusty, kicking four behinds, but got the pill seventeen times.
Adelaide and Collingwood often play close, scrambling matches. On this balmy May night, both miss opportunities. Neither grasps the ascendency. It’s pulsating.
Travis Cloke checks himself into the cloakroom. An early fumbled chest mark sets a dismal tone for the black and white power forward, and he remains ineffectual. His opponent, wunderkind Daniel Talia, demonstrates how he’s overtaken former tricolour Phil Davis.
Showing us his protean composure in traffic yet again, Scott Pendlebury is the evening’s best Magpie. When next juggling crates of live chooks by a feverish intersection, in, say, Ho Chi Minh City, I want him to chaperone me across the road, between the cars, honking trucks, and zipping motorcycles. Surely, a Pendlebury Brownlow’s coming.
Although there’s only a solitary goal in the final term, it’s oddly magnetic football. At the Boomarang Bar we know the Crows are never certainties until they’re up by fifty points with fifty seconds left. Eddie Betts is the scorer, and we hold on.
Our season flickers.