3 clubs, 23 rounds, A slab of passion….

Wall of Sound

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Everyone talks about the noise, the sheer wall of Adelaide oval sound. There’s over 50,000 stuffed into every seat, burrow and bow at the ground. It’s an unsettling surprise, reminds me of an incident last summer while in search of forgotten rail up through the ancient side lines of the Bendigo line. Once we follow the route of the Daylesford – Carlsruhe line, we stand on the station platform in Kyneton as an older diesel with goods load drifts through hav an earlier at speed modern Velocity passenger train.  Out of nowhere appear a possee of foamers complete with SLRs ready to spit out the digital Kodachrome as self styled train spotting paps whose work is bound for another blogpost and a lost weekend buried in comments, cross postings, model disputes and engine reminiscences.

It’s a pure world of fascination, nostalgia, heritage and obsession.  As the Diesel and it’s manifest traverse the crossing,  the noise subsides and we turn to find the snappers have scarpered. As we walk back to the car, we hear the noise of a long forgotten steam train slowing moving off a siding. It’s building momentum, getting louder, closer. But where is it? There’s no smoke. Only the precarious vibrations of the old beast rattling us. Suddenly one of the gunzels in his beat up Ford Escort pulls slowing past us. His Pioneer cassette stereo is up full bore and he’s captive listening to a “Great Engines of the Steam Era – the Goods Train Years Sliver Series – Volume 27″ CD. After serious greetings, he mentions in passing he’d discerned from the recording impending maintenance was required on the boiler and a pistol valve was just about shot.

This world is in direct parallel to the world at Adelaide oval where there’s a pre game “crowd sourcing” activity to push the noise meter past the 105 Decibel benchmark through a series of visual stimuli. Independent acoustic testing suggests up to 50 dB is due to the intestinal effects of consuming the local Southwark brew. To put this into perspective standing as close as 70 metres from the explosion of a 1 TNT ton bomb generates a decibel count of 210. So much for that crowd. That old freight train and it’s broadband frequency horn you’d hear rumbling past the now lonesome footy park is well in the hunt for that record.

This is a crowd that likes the sound of it’s own voice. So its important the Hawks quieten it early. From the beginning, the Hawks get the space that eluded them so glaringly last week against North Melbourne. Gunston is playing one out 30 odd metres from goal. He snaffles a hard ball get in a pack, pivots and pitches it onto the boot half standing up as he’s slung and drills his first. Then, a pack mark hanger and goal followed by a regulation mark and goal. Sammy Mitchell gets punched in the throat which requires the umpire to ping him for holding the ball. In the forward pocket, the scene of  two recent goal of the year contenders, the whole bay is wearing yellow “Eddie Betts pocket” t-shirts, many of them a few kg’s over their playing/grazing weight. As you know, yellow abhors a vacuum.  When Matthew White goals from there, it’s almost a disappointment to the bay, his outstretched messiah like hands sniffed at by the fans because it’s simply not Eddie. But strategically in bracing the fortress qualities of Adelaide oval for opposing teams, why would you fill a bay with your own supporters in the colour of your opposition? At least they’ll generate plenty of reflected moon light on the pedestrian bridge back into the CBD. A thousand likes to  those agile “working out loud” hipster marketers hyping something out of nothin. Not all campaigns are meant to be as tonight Eddie is shut down in his 200th with only 7 possessions. Grabs a cheapie off the ground but Litherland gives the lesson in reverse marketing.

The Crows get to within 2 early in the second and the jug is back on the boil in the crowd. Geelong refugee Podsiadly is in everything, goals off a mark and free kick;  drags Hodge down in a tackle unleashing the bog standard Adelaide oval caterwauling. When they re-take the lead at the 8 minute mark after a Taylor Walker bomb you’re googling the nearest Government funded hearing test. Bruest plugs his 28th straight goal and the Hawks go into the break a goal up.

The third opens optimistically for the home boys with two more from Jenkins in 2 minutes. The Crows are within a point. Bang Bang crows number 5 for game, then Gunston and Bruest to equal that record with Tony Lockett of 29 goals in a row. Crows white hot in the middle but Hawks punish them off the rebound. Durea’s bomb pushes it out to 16 points.

Umpire Ray Chamberlain pulls up Luke Bruest as he negotiates Crows defenders and the boundary line on the way to goal. Claiming to have heard a siren in his headset that no-one in the stadium, watching TV or communicating with the spirit world or monitoring transmissions in a surveillance satellite hears, he blows time. When told by a boundary umpire “I dont think the siren’s gone Ray” he utters the immortal “Oh Shit”. The look on his face carries an allegiance with that look seen by every Homicide cop as the accused realises his story has more holes in it than your Uncle’s moth infested Hawaiian button up surf shirt.  Guilty of stuffing up – majorly. Blame the noise again – the noise in Ray’s head that’s only an echo of his mind.

In the last, a bevy of points from Bruest (the first blot on his goal kicking streak since 29 goals ago) , Langford (woodwork from 15 metres out) and Ceglar leave that ol barn door ajar and Brodie Smith goals to push the argument. What a game! Langford finds Bruest in the square and he marks and goals, Ceglar seals it at the 8 minute mark as Hawks take a 26 point lead before a couple of junk Crow goals missed by most streaming for the exits.

Earlier in pre-game SMS interplay with Crow acquaintance who mentions the likelihood of a cold front sweeping Adelaide during the game. It holds off until just after the final siren much to the joy of cross town rivals.

Crows now derailed in the journey to make the final 8 needing at least 5 wins out of the 6 remaining games. Hawks however maintain a grasp on top 4 for now with that most difficult of runs home ahead and Sydney, Collingwood, Geelong and Fremantle lining up to make some noise. The intrigue remains with us!

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