Just 12 months ago we celebrated the Kanga’s extraordinary win over then flag favourite Geelong. The bloke in front of me in the members hugged me joyously sensing he’d witnessed a rebirth. A summer of ’67 descended upon Arden Street with the conviction that while the 2013 season was road kill, the golden dawn of 2014 surely would bring light into mouldy September corners.
With September now a month away, we’re still no closer to understanding, knowing or possessing a deep familarisation with the Kangaroo character which this season has moved beyond enigma into nervous erratica.
As a Libran, I know well the uncertainty principle, with long hours spent weighing pros and cons of a particular decision that can unpredictably climax into either complete “what if” inaction or bouts of glorious gusto to affirm my final choice. “Let me think about that” is no longer a tactic, it takes pride of place in my own cliche wardrobe along with various excuses and of course favorite pat phrases and fob offs designed to buy more time or avoid the decision completely.
Project these traits onto the Arden Street psyche and you’ve got yourself a masterclass in multiple personality. I celebrate my registration with a supermarket trip fuelling up on party pies and sausage rolls, a frozen pizza and limited edition honeycomb magnums – essential block buster fuel. My mind refuses to submit to satiety, your hypothalamus in denial as you shovel in the sauce washed pastry until your system belatedly reboots and you realise your condemned to spending the next 12 hours digesting.
Roos jump the Cats early before the disastrous second quarter where Brent “Boomer” Harvey gives up two free kicks as a result of umpire over reaction to slaps on his opponent. Both acts results in goals. Daws gives away 50 metres turning a maybe into a gimme. Desperate drag down and holding efforts from Firrito and Scott Thompson prick up the nostrils as we speculate the shinbone’s been left out of the fridge. Cat pressure encourages the old Roo’s foibles – poor disposal, inability to run freely, and an incomplete forward line whose 3 talls – Black, Petrie and Daws take only 5 marks between them.
Small forward Lindsay Thomas tries all night and provides a real option up roo forward snagging 3 goals. He also provides the highlight of the night in a 1 on 2 marking contest. Feeling the tiniest hand in his back his propels himself forward as if ejected from a fighter jet with the kind of force that’s out of all proportion to the originating energy. Such actions bring respect in the world of wrestling, here at Etihad he cops the derision of Cat fans but he wins a free kick and goal.
The night before, I’d introduced my father in law – a keen iPad communicator – to the “Face Time” concept where callers can have a video conversation. I’d entertained him by moving around his house exploring various treasured ephemera to his echoed guffaws that followed my one man crew. He’s hooked on the concept now and as the first party pie hits the epiglottis at around 79 degrees Celsius, I get a text from him “I’m waiting for Face???”. We chat for a bit, film the footy food and then back to the game. Another SMS – “More Face at Interval?”. Refreshing that as an octogenarian Irishman he couches the game timing into the cinema visit language of his 1930’s youth. This was the age for the birth of the shinboner spirit, another tradition in decline.