November 14, 2005
Round 8: Kangaroos 13. 14. (92) def. by Western Bulldogs 18. 10. (118)
After the unexpected victory in Brisbane last week, I let myself get excited about football again. People in the press were calling it the upset of the year, which is what it felt like, but still I ignored them, preferring to believe that the Dogs were finally maturing into a force to be reckoned with.
One of the only games we won last in 2004 was against North Melbourne. It was Matthew Croft and Simon Garlick’s farewell game and emotion was running very high. Garlick ended up kicking 2.1 and Crofty kicked 5.1 from full forward. I still smile, remembering screaming “kick it to Crofty!” from high above the half forward flank. Good memories.
Anyway, North Melbourne was one of the few teams that we didn’t fear, so, filled with arrogance brought on by our win in Brisbane, we were set to play two first gamers: key position prospects Cameron Wight, a lanky looking guy who it was later pointed out to me bears a striking resemblance to Urkel, and Tim Walsh, a much more built kid, who also happened to be the son of North Melbourne president Geoff Walsh.
I invited Ben (a North supporter) and Simone (a Dogs supporter) to come along with Emily, Laura, Patty (another North supporter) and myself. I met up with Emily at The Lounge on Swanston Street with my scarf in my pocket–I didn’t want a repeat of The Green Room a few weeks before, where I was denied entry for being a footy fan–and headed down the the Dome. I was excited, but the North supporters amongst us were cocky–they’d started the season very well, and were expected to win.
The first quarter was a bit of an arm-wrestle, but North looked the better team. Sav Rocca booted a monster goal in the second quarter from the centre square, which even I had to applaud. Tim Walsh looked pretty useless playing on the half forward flank.
The cockiness of the North supporters was really starting to grate on me, so the next time I went for a beer I found a seat in the middle of the Footscray fans I was there with. The second half was a completely different story, with the Dogs romping away with it in the third quarter, outscoring the Roos seven goals to two. Chris Grant managed to sneak forward and pop through a fantastic blind shot at goal. Patty was saddened, and you could see the metaphorical storm clouds gathering over Ben’s head.
In the end, the Dogs pissed it in, winning by 26 points and gaining thier first back-to-back wins since Peter Rhode took over the reigns and won in Round 22, 2002 and Round 1, 2003; before that, our last consecutive wins were in Rounds 17 and 18 2002.
Grumpy Ben, Simone, Emily and I then headed to Robbo’s housewarming party, where we regaled Neil, Rachael and anyone who wanted to hear with tales of a great victory.
November 14, 2005
Since the point of this blog is to give my little writing projects a decent home, future installments of my famous Footy Season in Review series will be posted here. For the uninitiated, however, here’s the first four episodes: