THE EARLY YEARS
I was conceived on presentation night, on the centre bounce area of the Corro Foodworks Recreational oval and later born in a Hertz rental bus on the end of year netball trip. Soon abandoned I was raised by the Corro Chooks Football Club.
Forced to survive on quarter time orange peels and the kindness the canteen committee, I rose through the junior ranks winning 6 coaches awards along the way.
Over the years I played more than 300 games of senior football, all of which were in reserve grade. A big game player who thrived in September I was unlucky to be omitted in 7 of 8 grand finals. In the one decider I did play in, I played the thankless role of “decoy” ruckman which allowed more predictability for the midfield.
Unfortunately it didn’t help the chooks who went down by a point, inaccurate kicking for goal was blamed in the wash up. Although 3 consecutive 50 metre penalties conceded by me after the final siren in which the winning goal was kicked didn’t help.
After the game, in the change rooms I tearfully announced my retirement effective immediately. A touching moment that would have been even more poignant if the rest of the team had not already left.
Those who have tracked my career are aware I never knew my parents, but with all my physical limitations I believe that they were related, drug addicts or both.
For starters, I have literally no vertical leap, which is a challenge when you play in the ruck. My lack of spring can be attributed severely bowed legs, cankles and fallen arches.
I have the upper body strength slightly below an eight year old girl. I know this because a former coach's daughter slam tackled me once when I attempted to take some of her hot chips.
My aerobic fitness has never been a strength since I developed chronic foot pain in my teenage years, although doctors diagnosed it as gout. But I point to the fact that my alcoholism only took hold after the onset of a hormone imbalance that caused me to develop permanently engorged nipples.
But I overcame all of these hurdles along with a severe body odor issue, which I overcame by taping car air fresheners around my torso like a drug mule so teammates would tolerate my presence.
To me the offseason period between the last draft and first practice match is like attending a one year olds birthday party, every day for about 8 weeks. These mind numbing days seem to bleed into the next, you constantly check your phone for some, nay any news even remotely associated with our great game of Aussie Rules. You find yourself discussing with anyone who is unfortunate enough to be around you, Instagram pictures of AFL players on holiday or hypothetical footy trips whilst hunched over the fold out draw for the upcoming season like an Army General surveying a map.
It’s an uncomfortable feeling, like arriving to a party before your friends and not knowing anyone, or when a random dog sniffs at your crotch and there’s eye contact between you and the dog.
Well that time is finished for the year, the preseason has started and footy fans are more excited than a greyhound trainer at a pet store closing down sale.
The first week of the NAB challenge was a bit of a letdown, much like preparing to watch the Saturday night feature of SBS world movies only to find that the nudity that was advertised featured a morbidly obese German man unable to properly clean his “trombone”.
The Gold Coast Suns said goodbye to high profile league convert Karmichael Hunt, his move to Union mustn’t have been as lucrative as his AFL contract, and I have heard he is running a Coke distribution business. Although Coke vending machines are profitable, selling carbonated beverages in an already crowded market will be tough, good luck Karmichael.
Even the most rational people occasionally do things that in hindsight wish they could erase, a few years ago I went hunting with former Test fast bowler Glen McGrath. Sure I literally have an Ivory tower and a stuffed baboon that holds my TV remote now, but mistakes were made.
This game always seemed to be in the Pies control with the Hawks defense leaking more than my neighbor’s inflatable companion doll Caprice…that he left at my place…that I use occasionally…..as a floatation device in the pool.
LEDGEND OF LIAM JONES
Carlton travelled over to the west without most of their top line midfielders and took the first step without departed spiritual leader Mitch Robinson. The Blues also chose not to bring a forward line which affected their ability to score. Ex Bulldog Liam Jones brought his unique ability to provide a glimmer of hope for a few fleeting moments before crushing it in an orgy of missed timed leads, dropped marks, shanked kicks. Not since Beau Dowler, has a player had the innate ability to be where the ball isn’t.
Watching the Hawks v Kangaroos game last week in Shepparton, I devised a new drinking game. Every time Danny “spud” Frawley agreed with a comment with the phrase. “Correct Weight”, I had to skul beer. By half way through the second quarter a mate and I had decided to go into business together breeding miniature wombats.
During the game I noticed the very upright running style of the boundary umpire’s as they bring the footy back to the centre for the bounce, this must be a directive from umpire’s boss Wayne Campbell as it was like watching synchronised virgins running from danger. Also interesting to hear the great Dennis Commeti commentating with his protégé Basil Zempilas, Channel 7 seem to be like the family who buy a new dog that will grow up to look exactly like their existing old dog. If they are committed to this eventual hand over they need to start calling Basil “little Dennis” or “new Dennis” soon.
RICHMOND, LIKE A CRAZY GIRLFRIEND
Richmond by contrast have been rather low key throughout the summer, the Tigers are a lot like the crazy girlfriend you have had at one point in time. The type that you never know what you’re going to get from one day to the next, one minute she’s laughing hysterically, the next she’s threatening to separate your boys from their wrinkly purse because you complemented one of her friends on her parallel parking. That’s what Tiger fans endure each year, week to week is a roller coaster where most of the time they end up screaming like a banshee before throwing up in their mouth.