Regular readers will recall my previous failed attempts to bring order and civility to the interpersonal conduct during the game where my partner Erin’s Magpies lines up against my Hawks. Earlier in the week there’s talk of going down to the game, not to sit together of course as that’s been tried – and failed – before. Walk to and from game together then Erin in the Ponsford, me in the Great Southern. While the light has been on the Hawks injury list, Erin’s growing realisation that Collingwood has a sick bay of it’s own filled mostly with their backline experience might foster an experience akin to witnessing the western ice shelf finally fall off the coast of Antarctica.
Thankfully we have no real estate on the coast so on match eve, we decide on Fox Footy. As 70,000 fans take advantage of a rare Saturday afternoon clash between two over subscribed teams (remember those pet memberships?) we respectfully hook up the data projector and stream the game hashtag on our mantel piece twitter wall as a distraction to jibes, cheap shots and sneaky underhand abuse that inevitably pour from the disappointments of the game’s ebb and flow. During this pre-match phony war we exchange polite observations, the odd compliment, make drinks for each other and bite our respective nails down to the quick in anticipation of the coming shit storm.
The game is a tight dour struggle until half time with the lead see-sawing. Half time the Hawks edge to a 9 point lead.
Erin is saved from what follows by a phone call from her mum in the premiership quarter that spares her the agony of witnessing the 5 minute 27 point Hawk turnaround kickstarted by a putrid umpiring decision that misreads a Pendlebury handball for a throw as he streams goalward with the Hawks in disarray. On the rebound Brad Sewell goals and the game melt begins.
By this stage, Pie coach Nathan Buckley is seething and there’s no safe place for his players when he decides to coach from the boundary line. Emerging ruckman Jarrod Witts running off the ground in surprisingly ignorance of his surname’s insight blindly cops the wrath for some unknown cock up and is man handled, pointed at and screamed to in a very public display of appreciation in reverse. Fans, commentators and aesthetes are divided between a “Never hurt anyone!” and “Wheres the dignity?” continuum but the mental kick up the coight kickstarts Witts into action with 2 last quarter goals.
By the time Erin’s call is concluded, her game is lost and after doing a cursory slient visual score update , she feigns any curiosity about how the Pies plummeted to this loss making position, choosing to return to her computer world of art, literature and film far from the ongoing scenes of destruction beamed live from the MCG. 6 straight to the Hawks, Pies losing touch with the top 4.
Later a world away, the Pie car crash metaphor is further stretched when a pedestrian runs out in front of Pie veteran’s defender Nick Maxwell’s car and contemplates an insight into Nick’s defensive driving skills. While no stats are recorded for this hit, the media is rampant in it’s concern for Nick whose had the surprise of his life but invokes the “stuff him” scope with which to view the pedestrians health consequences.
Incident with Wittsy says more about his coach than the player. Still room for challenges to be laid in this game but too overt today.
— Nathan Buckley (@ncb_cfc) June 21, 2014