Preview Match Preview: Round 15 - The Waiting...

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Gekko71

Club Legend
Oct 18, 2013
2,002
4,419
Perth WA
AFL Club
Fremantle
Morning All :)

Okay then... so why the hell did I choose to write a game preview for Bye Week of all things (thereby forever confusing the very simple concepts of "game" and "preview")?

Frankly it was for a lot of reasons:

1: I thought it would be a fun challenge
2: I already had a lot of footy-related stuff rolling around in my head, and writing about the Bye gave me a chance to express them
3: I hadn't written for myself - just for the fun of it - in literally years... and I missed it
4: I'm a sucker for a soapbox, and a double sucker for competitions
5: But basically because a lot Freo people - MY PEOPLE - were really hurting at the time.

Freo's season had taken a massive gut punch with injuries before it even started, early performances weren't up to people's expectations, Cerra's signature speculation was rife, yadda,yadda,yadda...

As a result, this whole bloody Freo board (which is supposed to be something fun and entertaining to do with one's time) had seemingly become a haven for sack-cloth, ashes and preaching the Armageddon.

I get that its been a pretty crap season in a lot of ways... but some of the negativity in here was getting me down so much there that for a while there, I literally had to stop reading the boards entirely.

Of course people have the right to complain, and express themselves. And yes - mistakes have been made this season, and I'm sure the players and coaches themselves would readily admit their best performances are still before them this year. But they are also human beings, with feelings and weaknesses as much as everybody else.

While I'm a dyed in the wool optimist at heart, and while I know the playing group are trained and told to ignore the stuff they see online, I figured the negativity might possibly be getting to them.

The fact Son Son felt compelled to signal to all his doubters to go f*** themselves - immediately after kicking a goal in the middle of a match - ...well it kinda sealed the question for me: Freo's players and coaching staff either read these boards themselves on occasion, or else hear this stuff we say through second-hand hearsay... which frankly is even worse.

I respect people's right to say what they want to here, and will defend that right vigorously myself. But at the same time, I will quote Sir Laurence Olivier here, and remind people that the quality of their life is brought about by the quality of your thinking, and that words carry with them chain reactions like a stone that is thrown into a pond. (Please keep that stuff in mind on occasion when speaking about the team.)

At the same time though, I didn't want to sugar-coat things in my preview. The season definitely went a bit askew, this is a game based on performance and measurement, and whether we all like it or not, at times that performance has been decidedly sub-par according to the very measures decided on by the players and coaches themselves.

I originally wanted this piece to reflect all that, to express the realities of the whole situation and how everybody was thinking, and then try to get everyone's mindsets back on track... but that was too big a task, and frankly I don't have the right to tell people what to think - I can only express myself to the best of my ability, and leave other to draw their own conclusions.



This was the overall mindset I had when I went into drafting and writing the following piece - simply entitled "The Waiting".

Why call it The Waiting? ...because it's bye week (duh!) :drunk::drunk:;);):cool::cool::p:p:p ...and because to me, bye week always feels hugely frustrating.

Bye Week to me is always like "Footy is here (yay)... but then it's taken away again (Boo!)" and it always leaves me feeling listless, lost, at a bit of a loose end, and very, very frustrated. The end result of bye week on my mindset is very much like going through some horrible combination of both coitius interruptus, and waiting in traffic when you're late for work (...yeah - I have some interesting commutes!)

But I realised the frustration of Bye Week, and of waiting in general, isn't just confined to Freo fans. It's entirely universal... so when writing this thing, I really felt the pull of something deeper once coming up with that title and its subject matter... so I decided to really go digging for it in my writing.

There's a whole bunch of other reasons why I called this thing The Waiting... but now I'm getting ahead of myself. To learn the rest, you'll need to read it sorry.

This piece is longer than I thought it would be, and its late because I'm a pernickety bugger (insert joke about waiting for The Waiting here!)

...plus its only half finished at present, because there was just so much stuff that kept coming to me which I really wanted to say

Sometimes as a writer you spend a lot of time looking for a rich vein of content - but writing this stuff however was more like nicking an artery: inspiration came flooding out under pressure, there was an awful lot of it, the whole writing process was messy and frenzied, and it took a lot of time to turn it into something useful (think of THAT SCENE in "What We Do In The Shadows", when a really prissy vampire is trying to suck someone's blood in a neat and tiny fashion. Well that was me when writing this piece. XD

The piece was also inspired by "Under Milk Wood" by Dylan Thomas too, and makes the occasional reference to its language. It'll therefore help if you image the piece being read aloud by an Aussie version of Richard Burton (you can hear the original here - it's bloody long, bloody magnificent, very well written, and VERY funny on occasion).



Enough said... let's get on with it - the rest should hopefully be self explanatory... (because otherwise I can't write for crap and need to take up knitting.)

Part one is attached in image format below, and I've pasted the raw text below it (minus the standard disclaimer). The rest of it will follow very shortly, once I finish the graphic design.

Click on the thumbnails to view each full page, or scroll down to view the full text (apologies if I stuff this up, I've never uploaded pages like this before)

This one's for the lovers of language! Good people of BigFooty, for your reading and footy-related entertainment, I proudly present: "The Waiting - Part One"

Final_jpeg_1.jpg Page one

Final_jpeg_2.jpg Final_jpeg_3.jpg Pages 2-3

Final_jpeg_4.jpg Final_jpeg_5.jpg Pages 4-5

Final_jpeg_6.jpg Final_jpeg_7.jpg Pages 6-7

Final_jpeg_10.jpg Final_jpeg_11.jpg Pages 8-9

Final_jpeg_8.jpg Final_jpeg_9.jpg Pages 10-11

________________________________________

The Waiting (Part 1) - Text Version:

To begin at the beginning:

It is chill windless, full-mooned midnight,
in my lulled and dumbfound port-side town
at the very edge of the world.
on the icy and unloved Saturday eve
of our annual mid-winter bye.

Tonight is solstice to my townspeople’s passion,
winter to all our discontents,
and the much-hated mid-point
of an annual pregnant pause in the middle of football season
so most my sports-mad town is sleeping now.
Life’s rhythms for the next seven days
Will be subsumed into hours of footy-less, meaningless musing
deadening our senses and permeating our happiness with impatience.

Only you and I are out tonight
Hoodie-huddled in the shoulder-shrugged streets
Our coat-pocketed hands buried lock-elbow deep,
Steaming and striding our sleepless sport-less frustration
through frigid, starless, cheek-slapping cold,
on a night where nothing is moving,
A night with nothing to move us.

Robbed of its regular winter love,
the entire town is trapped
in perfect silence and eerie expectation...
the icy stillness so unbroken,
we can actually hear the townsfolk’s breathing,
and rustling in their beds..

But be still now. Hold your breath and listen closer.
Because on this night… of all nights –
if you let the silence hold sway...
and still the thoughts within you enough
to match the stillness without,

Bye night is the night
you can hear the people’s dreams.

Listen... the supporters are dreaming
The players are dreaming
The umpires and runners are dreaming
Commentator, coach, captain, consultant
Volunteer, administrator, physios and medicos,
The fans, the fanatics, legends and losers,
The has-beens, could-have-beens,
and those that never were...
all of them have their own particular football dream.

And tonight - in the stillness and sullen silence of bye week
Be they waking or sleeping,
this is the night when these dreams are overheard.
Because even in their deepest sleep,
the townsfolk’s tossed-and-turned,
bedclothes-rustled body language of somnolent frustration
rings out like a unbidden whisper.
Muttering their innermost secrets
out into the moonlit midwinter stillness of their bedrooms

So be silent now,
Look around you and listen as we walk.
And bear witness to the dream-whispered stories
from both some of our fellow, footy-manic brethren,
and their town that’s lamenting a momentary pause
of the sport which has come to define it.

If you do so, you will see,
that all of them (and all of us),
each in our own listless ways
are just trying to deal with the Waiting.

_____________

It is bye night in our fields and ovals.

In cosseted change rooms, black as boot and scattered sock
discarded strapping lies fallow over benchtop bed and concrete seat.
Shower spigots splash their intermittent tears
onto shower-misty windows studded with scale,
Empty hangers hang in empty lockers,
And in every room, at every field,
it is still as contemplation, as silent as failure.

Only the Humming-bird whine of exit signs
ring softly down concrete passages of our catacombic halls,
past meeting rooms, where minds only meet in opposition..
and change rooms where nothing ever changes save for the names,
to the heart of our cooch-clad temples.

Where weeks before,
colour-coded messiahs of our warring houses
strove with sherrins against external foes and inner demons
possessed by a lust for possession.
Where blind ball-toss bustled the rucks to reaching high as Cazaley
wrestling elbows, their fears and fortunes on tap
as mids dashed fervent out of the muddled middle,
Running their fifteen along a forty-five,
hurtling square-wards, eyes beyond the oval arc –
Looking only where others were going
And the forwards loped sly down invisible paths
wheedling forwards, coaxing back, gesturing sideways
drawn to the places others have fled,
All fluid as water – holding its shape.

While the poncho-clad masses of frozen faithful
Shivered and shouted tiers of rage, pleading for pea-whistle protests,
Awaiting the trump and the shout -- the claxton-herald end to all labours,
the exultation and lamentation of champions,
and the shuffle-standing exit of the half-happy throng,
funnelled car-bound through congested doors and hallways,
As crowded as matchsticks at match end.
But tonight it is bye-week..
So all our sacred temples are silent now.

But look harder tonight -- past the fields,
and up in our stands. Do you see it?
The sighs, cries and long-held breaths of the faithful
are still in the stands where we left them...
All the dreams, prayers, chants and curses
we bellowed into dragon’s breath together
Are all condensed to condensation.
They have formed into wisps of mid-winter fog
White as a chevron - silent as a snowdrift
Blending now with the glistening mists
that bead softly over our tiers and turnstiles,
on cooch leaf and beer cup,
folded seat and pie-crust,
fence post and goalpost,
the sauce stains splattered like blood stains,
and the wounded grass.

By morning, our cheers will become the dew
Feeding the grass, and help it heal.
And our chosen few - the noble twenty two
will run out again on grass made green
by our passions and sorrows made solid.
Tonight however, our fogs of war are still silent sentinels.
standing by the seats where we birthed them.
and looking East for the the sunlight,
Which will allow them to commence their noblest work.

It is cold misty midnight on our mid-winter bye,
and even the very air itself is waiting.

________

It is ten minutes past midnight
on our annual mid-winter bye,
And George and Joyce --
The husband-and-wife owners of Blarney's sports bar
and resident lifelong, geographically-displaced Cats fans --
are manning their Karaoke console.

They are happy, contented,
and pissed as a urinal - with not a stable leg between them...
And who for reasons incomprehensible to everyone but them,
are bellowing out (sans accompaniment)
a ball-strangling rendition of the Geelong Cats club song,
like a 1970's Tom Jones chart-topper,
at the very highest heights of their tone deaf,
Blue-and-white forever striped, Ablett-loving lungs.

They are selfishly hogging a long suffering mike
which even God himself would have
ages ago begged them to drop.
Amusing the ears of their cat-loving family,
And abusing the ears of the bar staff,
As they warble and croon their
heartfelt-yet-horrible caterwauled cacophony
out of their intimate little sports-bar home,
and into the spotlighted, patchwork-painted walls
and shadow-clad corners of inner city evening.

In the process, they are chasing
all their more Geelong-intolerant patrons
And we - the passers by -
ear-clapped screaming away from their rowdy row,
And back out into the evening’s chill.
With all of us glad to be passing by earshot,
of that drunken duet’s impersonation
of a clowder of alley cats brandishing chainsaws
in fever-pitch battle against a voice-broken choir
of Tom Jones impersonators,
and their kazoo-wielding, jug-banded orchestra.

George and Joyce boost their warble’s volume,
in the distance behind us as we flee.
Sending their sub-woofers off to meet their maker,
and bringing their verbal barrage back within earshot.
We can now distinctly hear their friends and family
laughing, cheering and clapping them on.

Somebody calls for an encore —
People start fleeing a little faster.

They are singing, laughing and are hugely happy tonight,
potentially simply because we have left,
and we are now happy and laughing too,
frankly for much the same reason.

Because during bye week...
bouts of tympanic membrane piercing,
Avoiding all people who are drunken Cats fans,
(or chasing away all those who aren’t)
are both understandable, acceptable ways
for some folks to deal with the Waiting.

____

Listen harder now,
For the next set of dreams
are softer, smaller, and therefore easier to miss.

It is bye-night in our coastal town,
And Auskick’s teeming hoard of future champions
are cosy in the snuggery of their beds,
And are also dreaming...

Of their tiny epic prize-fights on AFL weekends
before the distracted horde.

Of ball-chasing boundary games on the side-lines
of battles royale between sharks and bulldogs
with Mum and Dad watching in the shade of ancient fig trees.

They are dreaming of game-day weekends
of train tickets and duffle-bags,
Or their feared opponents in the bright Blue Tigers of Carine
and the Winnacotted Cats.

Of grazed-knee greens and ill-fitting gurnseys
Of splayed fingered hands shooting blindly skywards towards the blue
hoping to harvest the sky Sherrins that hide in dazzling sunlight

Of imaginary ice-creams being smashed into left-hand leather
Of kicks, and falcons, and tears in that order,
And the trench-coated semaphore flags

Of the compassion of umpires with intermittent blindness
Of the encouragement of supporting strangers
and the bitterness of opposing parents,
Of shoulder-patted niceties from school-mates and teachers
And shiny dusty ribbons hanging in the loungeroom.

Of turn-taking possessions with mixed gendered teammates
Of hair-ties and shin guards,
and what’s-that-girl’s-name?
And wishing that she were on their side.
Of vinegar chippy sandpaper-salt that cuts at their gums
Of hotdogs and mars bars,
soft-drink and sandwiches and orange peel grins,
bible-black onions and carbon-dated sausage,
Of smoke from the BBQ that wants to hug their eyes
Of volunteer labour packing lolly bags and fairy bread
And of guernseys that hide the spilled mustard

Of ebullient mothers, straightening sock and sipping lattes
of dad-guarded urinals the size of skyscrapers,
With yellow-wet concrete and swearing in the stalls
and studded boots skidding on the wet tiles

Of back-seated Taragos making multiple stops,
Or fish and chip congratulations after the game,
Of being with family, hair ruffle and loving hug,
Of two pointing fingers after the siren
And being called by their heroes on Draft Night

Tonight it is bye-week for our children too
And all of those innocents
with their wonderful dreams,
…they too are patiently Waiting.

___________________________________________

To be continued...
 

Purpletown

Club Legend
Sep 22, 2014
1,445
2,667
Restumping
AFL Club
Fremantle
Other Teams
SFFC Denver Broncos
Morning All :)

Okay then... so why the hell did I choose to write a game preview for Bye Week of all things (thereby forever confusing the very simple concepts of "game" and "preview")?

Frankly it was for a lot of reasons:

1: I thought it would be a fun challenge
2: I already had a lot of footy-related stuff rolling around in my head, and writing about the Bye gave me a chance to express them
3: I hadn't written for myself - just for the fun of it - in literally years... and I missed it
4: I'm a sucker for a soapbox, and a double sucker for competitions
5: But basically because a lot Freo people - MY PEOPLE - were really hurting at the time.

Freo's season had taken a massive gut punch with injuries before it even started, early performances weren't up to people's expectations, Cerra's signature speculation was rife, yadda,yadda,yadda...

As a result, this whole bloody Freo board (which is supposed to be something fun and entertaining to do with one's time) had seemingly become a haven for sack-cloth, ashes and preaching the Armageddon.

I get that its been a pretty crap season in a lot of ways... but some of the negativity in here was getting me down so much there that for a while there, I literally had to stop reading the boards entirely.

Of course people have the right to complain, and express themselves. And yes - mistakes have been made this season, and I'm sure the players and coaches themselves would readily admit their best performances are still before them this year. But they are also human beings, with feelings and weaknesses as much as everybody else.

While I'm a dyed in the wool optimist at heart, and while I know the playing group are trained and told to ignore the stuff they see online, I figured the negativity might possibly be getting to them.

The fact Son Son felt compelled to signal to all his doubters to go f*** themselves - immediately after kicking a goal in the middle of a match - ...well it kinda sealed the question for me: Freo's players and coaching staff either read these boards themselves on occasion, or else hear this stuff we say through second-hand hearsay... which frankly is even worse.

I respect people's right to say what they want to here, and will defend that right vigorously myself. But at the same time, I will quote Sir Laurence Olivier here, and remind people that the quality of their life is brought about by the quality of your thinking, and that words carry with them chain reactions like a stone that is thrown into a pond. (Please keep that stuff in mind on occasion when speaking about the team.)

At the same time though, I didn't want to sugar-coat things in my preview. The season definitely went a bit askew, this is a game based on performance and measurement, and whether we all like it or not, at times that performance has been decidedly sub-par according to the very measures decided on by the players and coaches themselves.

I originally wanted this piece to reflect all that, to express the realities of the whole situation and how everybody was thinking, and then try to get everyone's mindsets back on track... but that was too big a task, and frankly I don't have the right to tell people what to think - I can only express myself to the best of my ability, and leave other to draw their own conclusions.



This was the overall mindset I had when I went into drafting and writing the following piece - simply entitled "The Waiting".

Why call it The Waiting? ...because it's bye week (duh!) :drunk::drunk:;);):cool::cool::p:p:p ...and because to me, bye week always feels hugely frustrating.

Bye Week to me is always like "Footy is here (yay)... but then it's taken away again (Boo!)" and it always leaves me feeling listless, lost, at a bit of a loose end, and very, very frustrated. The end result of bye week on my mindset is very much like going through some horrible combination of both coitius interruptus, and waiting in traffic when you're late for work (...yeah - I have some interesting commutes!)

But I realised the frustration of Bye Week, and of waiting in general, isn't just confined to Freo fans. It's entirely universal... so when writing this thing, I really felt the pull of something deeper once coming up with that title and its subject matter... so I decided to really go digging for it in my writing.

There's a whole bunch of other reasons why I called this thing The Waiting... but now I'm getting ahead of myself. To learn the rest, you'll need to read it sorry.

This piece is longer than I thought it would be, and its late because I'm a pernickety bugger (insert joke about waiting for The Waiting here!)

...plus its only half finished at present, because there was just so much stuff that kept coming to me which I really wanted to say

Sometimes as a writer you spend a lot of time looking for a rich vein of content - but writing this stuff however was more like nicking an artery: inspiration came flooding out under pressure, there was an awful lot of it, the whole writing process was messy and frenzied, and it took a lot of time to turn it into something useful (think of THAT SCENE in "What We Do In The Shadows", when a really prissy vampire is trying to suck someone's blood in a neat and tiny fashion. Well that was me when writing this piece. XD

The piece was also inspired by "Under Milk Wood" by Dylan Thomas too, and makes the occasional reference to its language. It'll therefore help if you image the piece being read aloud by an Aussie version of Richard Burton (you can hear the original here - it's bloody long, bloody magnificent, very well written, and VERY funny on occasion).



Enough said... let's get on with it - the rest should hopefully be self explanatory... (because otherwise I can't write for crap and need to take up knitting.)

Part one is attached in image format below, and I've pasted the raw text below it (minus the standard disclaimer). The rest of it will follow very shortly, once I finish the graphic design.

Click on the thumbnails to view each full page, or scroll down to view the full text (apologies if I stuff this up, I've never uploaded pages like this before)

This one's for the lovers of language! Good people of BigFooty, for your reading and footy-related entertainment, I proudly present: "The Waiting - Part One"

View attachment 1158708 Page one

View attachment 1158709 View attachment 1158710 Pages 2-3

View attachment 1158711 View attachment 1158712 Pages 4-5

View attachment 1158730 View attachment 1158714 Pages 6-7

View attachment 1158717 View attachment 1158718 Pages 8-9

View attachment 1158715 View attachment 1158716 Pages 10-11

________________________________________

The Waiting (Part 1) - Text Version:

To begin at the beginning:

It is chill windless, full-mooned midnight,
in my lulled and dumbfound port-side town
at the very edge of the world.
on the icy and unloved Saturday eve
of our annual mid-winter bye.

Tonight is solstice to my townspeople’s passion,
winter to all our discontents,
and the much-hated mid-point
of an annual pregnant pause in the middle of football season
so most my sports-mad town is sleeping now.
Life’s rhythms for the next seven days
Will be subsumed into hours of footy-less, meaningless musing
deadening our senses and permeating our happiness with impatience.

Only you and I are out tonight
Hoodie-huddled in the shoulder-shrugged streets
Our coat-pocketed hands buried lock-elbow deep,
Steaming and striding our sleepless sport-less frustration
through frigid, starless, cheek-slapping cold,
on a night where nothing is moving,
A night with nothing to move us.

Robbed of its regular winter love,
the entire town is trapped
in perfect silence and eerie expectation...
the icy stillness so unbroken,
we can actually hear the townsfolk’s breathing,
and rustling in their beds..

But be still now. Hold your breath and listen closer.
Because on this night… of all nights –
if you let the silence hold sway...
and still the thoughts within you enough
to match the stillness without,

Bye night is the night
you can hear the people’s dreams.

Listen... the supporters are dreaming
The players are dreaming
The umpires and runners are dreaming
Commentator, coach, captain, consultant
Volunteer, administrator, physios and medicos,
The fans, the fanatics, legends and losers,
The has-beens, could-have-beens,
and those that never were...
all of them have their own particular football dream.

And tonight - in the stillness and sullen silence of bye week
Be they waking or sleeping,
this is the night when these dreams are overheard.
Because even in their deepest sleep,
the townsfolk’s tossed-and-turned,
bedclothes-rustled body language of somnolent frustration
rings out like a unbidden whisper.
Muttering their innermost secrets
out into the moonlit midwinter stillness of their bedrooms

So be silent now,
Look around you and listen as we walk.
And bear witness to the dream-whispered stories
from both some of our fellow, footy-manic brethren,
and their town that’s lamenting a momentary pause
of the sport which has come to define it.

If you do so, you will see,
that all of them (and all of us),
each in our own listless ways
are just trying to deal with the Waiting.

_____________

It is bye night in our fields and ovals.

In cosseted change rooms, black as boot and scattered sock
discarded strapping lies fallow over benchtop bed and concrete seat.
Shower spigots splash their intermittent tears
onto shower-misty windows studded with scale,
Empty hangers hang in empty lockers,
And in every room, at every field,
it is still as contemplation, as silent as failure.

Only the Humming-bird whine of exit signs
ring softly down concrete passages of our catacombic halls,
past meeting rooms, where minds only meet in opposition..
and change rooms where nothing ever changes save for the names,
to the heart of our cooch-clad temples.

Where weeks before,
colour-coded messiahs of our warring houses
strove with sherrins against external foes and inner demons
possessed by a lust for possession.
Where blind ball-toss bustled the rucks to reaching high as Cazaley
wrestling elbows, their fears and fortunes on tap
as mids dashed fervent out of the muddled middle,
Running their fifteen along a forty-five,
hurtling square-wards, eyes beyond the oval arc –
Looking only where others were going
And the forwards loped sly down invisible paths
wheedling forwards, coaxing back, gesturing sideways
drawn to the places others have fled,
All fluid as water – holding its shape.

While the poncho-clad masses of frozen faithful
Shivered and shouted tiers of rage, pleading for pea-whistle protests,
Awaiting the trump and the shout -- the claxton-herald end to all labours,
the exultation and lamentation of champions,
and the shuffle-standing exit of the half-happy throng,
funnelled car-bound through congested doors and hallways,
As crowded as matchsticks at match end.
But tonight it is bye-week..
So all our sacred temples are silent now.

But look harder tonight -- past the fields,
and up in our stands. Do you see it?
The sighs, cries and long-held breaths of the faithful
are still in the stands where we left them...
All the dreams, prayers, chants and curses
we bellowed into dragon’s breath together
Are all condensed to condensation.
They have formed into wisps of mid-winter fog
White as a chevron - silent as a snowdrift
Blending now with the glistening mists
that bead softly over our tiers and turnstiles,
on cooch leaf and beer cup,
folded seat and pie-crust,
fence post and goalpost,
the sauce stains splattered like blood stains,
and the wounded grass.

By morning, our cheers will become the dew
Feeding the grass, and help it heal.
And our chosen few - the noble twenty two
will run out again on grass made green
by our passions and sorrows made solid.
Tonight however, our fogs of war are still silent sentinels.
standing by the seats where we birthed them.
and looking East for the the sunlight,
Which will allow them to commence their noblest work.

It is cold misty midnight on our mid-winter bye,
and even the very air itself is waiting.

________

It is ten minutes past midnight
on our annual mid-winter bye,
And George and Joyce --
The husband-and-wife owners of Blarney's sports bar
and resident lifelong, geographically-displaced Cats fans --
are manning their Karaoke console.

They are happy, contented,
and pissed as a urinal - with not a stable leg between them...
And who for reasons incomprehensible to everyone but them,
are bellowing out (sans accompaniment)
a ball-strangling rendition of the Geelong Cats club song,
like a 1970's Tom Jones chart-topper,
at the very highest heights of their tone deaf,
Blue-and-white forever striped, Ablett-loving lungs.

They are selfishly hogging a long suffering mike
which even God himself would have
ages ago begged them to drop.
Amusing the ears of their cat-loving family,
And abusing the ears of the bar staff,
As they warble and croon their
heartfelt-yet-horrible caterwauled cacophony
out of their intimate little sports-bar home,
and into the spotlighted, patchwork-painted walls
and shadow-clad corners of inner city evening.

In the process, they are chasing
all their more Geelong-intolerant patrons
And we - the passers by -
ear-clapped screaming away from their rowdy row,
And back out into the evening’s chill.
With all of us glad to be passing by earshot,
of that drunken duet’s impersonation
of a clowder of alley cats brandishing chainsaws
in fever-pitch battle against a voice-broken choir
of Tom Jones impersonators,
and their kazoo-wielding, jug-banded orchestra.

George and Joyce boost their warble’s volume,
in the distance behind us as we flee.
Sending their sub-woofers off to meet their maker,
and bringing their verbal barrage back within earshot.
We can now distinctly hear their friends and family
laughing, cheering and clapping them on.

Somebody calls for an encore —
People start fleeing a little faster.

They are singing, laughing and are hugely happy tonight,
potentially simply because we have left,
and we are now happy and laughing too,
frankly for much the same reason.

Because during bye week...
bouts of tympanic membrane piercing,
Avoiding all people who are drunken Cats fans,
(or chasing away all those who aren’t)
are both understandable, acceptable ways
for some folks to deal with the Waiting.

____

Listen harder now,
For the next set of dreams
are softer, smaller, and therefore easier to miss.

It is bye-night in our coastal town,
And Auskick’s teeming hoard of future champions
are cosy in the snuggery of their beds,
And are also dreaming...

Of their tiny epic prize-fights on AFL weekends
before the distracted horde.

Of ball-chasing boundary games on the side-lines
of battles royale between sharks and bulldogs
with Mum and Dad watching in the shade of ancient fig trees.

They are dreaming of game-day weekends
of train tickets and duffle-bags,
Or their feared opponents in the bright Blue Tigers of Carine
and the Winnacotted Cats.

Of grazed-knee greens and ill-fitting gurnseys
Of splayed fingered hands shooting blindly skywards towards the blue
hoping to harvest the sky Sherrins that hide in dazzling sunlight

Of imaginary ice-creams being smashed into left-hand leather
Of kicks, and falcons, and tears in that order,
And the trench-coated semaphore flags

Of the compassion of umpires with intermittent blindness
Of the encouragement of supporting strangers
and the bitterness of opposing parents,
Of shoulder-patted niceties from school-mates and teachers
And shiny dusty ribbons hanging in the loungeroom.

Of turn-taking possessions with mixed gendered teammates
Of hair-ties and shin guards,
and what’s-that-girl’s-name?
And wishing that she were on their side.
Of vinegar chippy sandpaper-salt that cuts at their gums
Of hotdogs and mars bars,
soft-drink and sandwiches and orange peel grins,
bible-black onions and carbon-dated sausage,
Of smoke from the BBQ that wants to hug their eyes
Of volunteer labour packing lolly bags and fairy bread
And of guernseys that hide the spilled mustard

Of ebullient mothers, straightening sock and sipping lattes
of dad-guarded urinals the size of skyscrapers,
With yellow-wet concrete and swearing in the stalls
and studded boots skidding on the wet tiles

Of back-seated Taragos making multiple stops,
Or fish and chip congratulations after the game,
Of being with family, hair ruffle and loving hug,
Of two pointing fingers after the siren
And being called by their heroes on Draft Night

Tonight it is bye-week for our children too
And all of those innocents
with their wonderful dreams,
…they too are patiently Waiting.

___________________________________________

To be continued...
Great stuff.
 

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Gekko71

Club Legend
Oct 18, 2013
2,002
4,419
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AFL Club
Fremantle
Thank you so much for the positive comment everyone.

After you've spent most of your life writing adverts, brochures or internal documents as I have, it's an enormous challenge to write something more personal without a brand or communications brief to hide behind.

It feels very odd to put something that's more personal and driven by inner imperatives on the page, even though I once promised myself that's what I would do with my life.

Writing this thing has been the most fun I've had in years. Publishing it in public view however and exposing myself to potential criticism in the process was downright terrifying.

Or at least it was, until your encouragement and appreciation made it less so.

its quite a thing - to be told all one's life one has an enormous ability to express oneself brilliantly, but to then spend most of one's life utterly terrified of doing so.

Writing isn't just my living folks, it's also my therapy in a way, and a method of making some of the shaker parts of myself more concrete. Thank you all for making that process somewhat easier.

The next chapter should be uploaded sometime this evening after work. Hope you all enjoy it. 🙂🙂🙂
 

Purplrrr

All Australian
Jun 15, 2011
665
564
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A wonderful read! The snobby, intellectual side of my family just dislike ‘the sports ball’, and can’t see the beauty of it. I don’t really bother to defend it anymore, and just shrug, but youve put the poetry out there. Well done!
 

BarbieITFC

Team Captain
May 11, 2015
558
1,606
AFL Club
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Thank you so much for the positive comment everyone.

After you've spent most of your life writing adverts, brochures or internal documents as I have, it's an enormous challenge to write something more personal without a brand or communications brief to hide behind.

It feels very odd to put something that's more personal and driven by inner imperatives on the page, even though I once promised myself that's what I would do with my life.

Writing this thing has been the most fun I've had in years. Publishing it in public view however and exposing myself to potential criticism in the process was downright terrifying.

Or at least it was, until your encouragement and appreciation made it less so.

its quite a thing - to be told all one's life one has an enormous ability to express oneself brilliantly, but to then spend most of one's life utterly terrified of doing so.

Writing isn't just my living folks, it's also my therapy in a way, and a method of making some of the shaker parts of myself more concrete. Thank you all for making that process somewhat easier.

The next chapter should be uploaded sometime this evening after work. Hope you all enjoy it. 🙂🙂🙂
Totally agree mate.

I've just posted my preview for the Collingwood game and to be honest I was crapping myself. Like you, I have to do a lot of writing in the real world - less creative than you, my work tends to be external reports for Government - but as I hit post I had this real wave of terror about something so personal hitting the internet and being judged by strangers (albeit ones with a common passion).

But don't fear, your work is touched by beauty and genius (which to be honest has made me even more insecure about my effort).

Great stuff.
 

Gekko71

Club Legend
Oct 18, 2013
2,002
4,419
Perth WA
AFL Club
Fremantle
Totally agree mate.

I've just posted my preview for the Collingwood game and to be honest I was crapping myself. Like you, I have to do a lot of writing in the real world - less creative than you, my work tends to be external reports for Government - but as I hit post I had this real wave of terror about something so personal hitting the internet and being judged by strangers (albeit ones with a common passion).

But don't fear, your work is touched by beauty and genius (which to be honest has made me even more insecure about my effort).

Great stuff.
Thank you!

But please don't feel insecure about your own effort - it was genuinely great, I loved it.

I may be an eloquent bugger with a poetic bent, but I could never tell a story like yours, because I simply don't have that lived experience.

Your story was real, coming from your own life, told in your own words, and with your own measure and manner of creative license.

It was unique, and therein lies the magic.

Please write more stuff - you made me laugh this morning. 😉
 

Gekko71

Club Legend
Oct 18, 2013
2,002
4,419
Perth WA
AFL Club
Fremantle
Here's part Two of The Waiting.

I wanted to upload another three pages along with these four, but just couldn't get the layout right sorry.

These pages address some of the best and worst aspects of how AFL Footy can treat its indigenous talent... with the other three pages I wanted to upload being dedicated to a satirical skewering (literally) of the AFL itself for its propensity for screwing around with the rules.

The lack of the second three pages makes this section seem a lot more political than it is meant to be in the context of the piece unfortunately... but the eventual payoff ties it all together nicely and clears up any confusion (...I hope, I hope, I hope!)

There's another 6-10 pages to go or so after these four... will try to get them all up at once asap... with apologies again for the piece-meal fashion I'm uploading this.

All feedback welcome, including constructive criticism... but please remember... I'm still awfully emotionally close to this piece, so be gentle folks.

Thanks for the support everyone.

Final_jpeg_12.jpg Final_jpeg_13.jpg Pages 12-13
Final_jpeg_14.jpg Final_jpeg_15.jpg Pages 14-15



The Waiting (Part 2) - Text Version

__________________


It is now past midnight
on a mid-winter bye week weekend
And far up north near Yulparitja country,
A nine year old Indigenous legend in the making
Is running and snapping goals from impossible angles,
In a solitary portentous practice session,
that screams to all and sundry of future genius.

He is wheeling, leaping and honing his future highlights reel
To a tear-inducing level tonight, in near-perfect darkness
on the only four-pronged patch of cooch that exists
within an hour’s drive of his family’s ancestral territory.

Lit solely by the thin anaemic high beams
of his uncle's ancient Holden,
the shadow he’ll cast over the game has already grown enormous
The goal posts loom above him like ghostly giant fishbones,
Or four shining signposts pointing out the jaw-dropping
starscapes of his distant desert home.
The stars litter the heavens with their brilliance
and direct his gaze ever upwards
daring him to try and reach for them.

Here, tonight - in this less than half light
everything is shadow and instinct.
For despite his excellent eyesight,
the dazzling gaze of the headlights is
ruining his night vision.

He can barely see where the goals are,
So instead, he has to feel them.

Every twist and sidestep he makes
Is being burned into a centimetre perfect
growing mental map between his ears
Plotting the sightless directions and distances
between the posts and himself with uncanny accuracy.
and etching a future freakish goal sense
deep into his rapidly developing instincts.
In three years time, a passing talent scout
will make an immediate approach on seeing him play
And arrange a temporary homestay with a city-dwelling relative
to further discuss his AFL playing future with him.

In four years time, a family member will become an unwitting player
in a five-club tug of war, in a vain attempt by a greedy few
to try and get him transferred to a different recruiting zone.

In five years time, all alignment squabbles will be settled
He will find his place and set off towards his chosen career
He will grow up off-county, missing his mob,
his home, his family and his land,

In six years time, he'll first start to miss
the absence of racism that blessed his earlier innocence.

In seven years time
He'll grow to hate the vile, thinly-veiled scorn
and ignorant sentiments of malicious-minded others,
muttered in the schoolyard in earshot as he passes,
Or yelled out by some racist coward at a high-school match
spewing their hate while hiding in a crowd of hundreds.

In fifteen years time, he'll reach his greatest inflection point,
When the racism, loneliness, and attention become too much...
and a bitter toxic mix of unrealistic expectation, ebullient adulation
and incessant speculation over every facet of his life
whittles away his joy for the game entirely.

His previously private nature will be subsumed
into a sea of electric scrutiny.
He will lose sight of himself,
and of why he chose this life at all.
And all the slings and arrows of his current existence
will sink like lead into his boots, leading him into indifference,
Into social withdrawal and into depression.

It will take time for him to throw off these weights completely
Before he can fly and soar for his club yet again
in the manner his nine year old dreams are made of.
Learning how to escape the burdens of expectation,
and of the racism that still grows like toxic mould
in the gaps between our nation’s prouder moments.
will only finally to come to him towards the end
of his seventeenth year in the system.

Casting off the burdens of hatred and adulation alike
will remain the greatest, most noble loss of his career.
Requiring all his current strength to lose their weight
And a lifelong discipline of mind to keep them lost.
But with time, with effort, and no small measure of support,
he will eventually overcome his depression and malaise
and rediscover his earlier, purer love of the game.

In eighteen years time, he’ll enter the pinnacle of his career
And when commentators start to speak of the game's indigenous greats,
his skills will be compared to the Winmars, Kicketts, Riolis, Jettas
and Franklins of living memory.
By the time of his eventual playing retirement
In a good twenty-two years from now or so
All those same indigenous stars will be compared to him instead.
In retirement he’ll move back to his family, friends and country
He’ll work for the good of his community,
And fall once again in love with his home’s desert-borne litany of stars --
remembering with nostalgic fondness, the side-lit goalposts of his childhood,
and watching his heaven-bound sherrin blot out the Milky Way
as it passed overhead, navigating its way goal-wards by starlight.

But these are all matters for his future,
A future that will be tested, and shaped, with every decision he makes
and by every barbed sling and arrow his talent will attract,
which others are going to throw at him,
in the name of supporting their side.

Today however, it is still bye week, he is still only nine,
tonight is still his only chance to practice on grass for a week, and
he’s still booting sherrin-leather goalward as a child at play.
But now - just for the fun of it - he’s doing it over the top of his head,
With his back towards goals, and his body tumbling airborne
In a delightful and impromptu backwards-flipping bicycle kick.
His kick splits the middle cleanly
he sprints to retrieve his ball
then runs back and does it all again... this time with the other foot.

Even now - in the listless, dawdling, bided hours of bye week,
Legendary football heroes will put on a display for you if you’re looking.
But even here - in the playtime practice of an small unknown child
who has yet to glimpse his very first city skyline -
lies the same future spectres which currently afflict the dreams and aims
of every gifted brother and sister who went before him:

...the hate, ignorance, impatience and intolerance of others...
...versus their collective drive for achievement, recognition,
and a more inclusive society for their sons and daughters to live in.

A magical football career is taking very early shape on this field tonight,
for both his and our mutual benefit alike.
But it will only ever arrive via enormous effort from him,
via patience, encouragement and understanding from us
via mutual respect, via tolerance, via constant ongoing support,
and via the Waiting.
 
Last edited:

Gekko71

Club Legend
Oct 18, 2013
2,002
4,419
Perth WA
AFL Club
Fremantle
View attachment 1160208

Champagne previewing Gekko71! As somebody who used poetry in a game preview a few seasons ago, this is in my proverbial wheelhouse. Mazel tov mate!
Thanks Bob!

Gotta say I really loved your riffing on Edgar Allen Poe like that - but it also really pissed me off because I had the exact same idea rattling around in my mind at the time (just not as a preview)

I even got so far as drafting the opening and closing stanzas:

"It was on a morning dreary,
While I pondered - red eyes bleary,
Over just how many vodkas I had drunk the night before...

While I nodded nearly napping,
There came a flapping and a splashing,
Like a million sea-gulls crapping,
Crapping by my laundry door...

Like some dysenteric seagulls
Dropped their guts outside my door...

(...)

...but my heart - just like the bird sh*t
That now coats my Commodore...
Shall be shifted Nevermore!"



Your version however was far superior! 😂😂😂😂

I did briefly consider using this for my upcoming Derby preview, but again I'd be trying to follow your earlier effort, which just seems wrong in the wake of your version.

Dunno what to do for that next preview yet, but something will come to me.

No more poetry or heady prose though on my next effort meethinks. It's fun stuff to write, but crafting it is always right bugger, and that kind of language really kills a joke. 🙂🙂🙂
 

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Tonga Bob

Landowner
Oct 26, 2013
12,345
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Thanks Bob!

Gotta say I really loved your riffing on Edgar Allen Poe like that - but it also really pissed me off because I had the exact same idea rattling around in my mind at the time (just not as a preview)

I even got so far as drafting the opening and closing stanzas:

"It was on a morning dreary,
While I pondered - red eyes bleary,
Over just how many vodkas I had drunk the night before...

While I nodded nearly napping,
There came a flapping and a splashing,
Like a million sea-gulls crapping,
Crapping by my laundry door...

Like some dysenteric seagulls
Dropped their guts outside my door...

(...)

...but my heart - just like the bird sh*t
That now coats my Commodore...
Shall be shifted Nevermore!"



Your version however was far superior! 😂😂😂😂

I did briefly consider using this for my upcoming Derby preview, but again I'd be trying to follow your earlier effort, which just seems wrong in the wake of your version.

Dunno what to do for that next preview yet, but something will come to me.

No more poetry or heady prose though on my next effort meethinks. It's fun stuff to write, but crafting it is always right bugger, and that kind of language really kills a joke. 🙂🙂🙂
"Dysentric"

chefs kiss.gif
 

Gekko71

Club Legend
Oct 18, 2013
2,002
4,419
Perth WA
AFL Club
Fremantle
Hi everyone.

Here finally - after much regrettable and unavoidable delay - is the next chapter of The Waiting.

My sincerest apologies for this most recent chapter arriving so late... you'd be amazed just how surprisingly hard it is to find a suitable, copyright-free picture of a vintage sports car that looks like it might have been impaled by a 50kg throwing dart :huh::huh: (That, plus I also had a minor heath scare that required a brief stay in hospital - all good but, just a false alarm). There's about another 10 pages or so to go after these four give or take, which should arrive a lot sooner as they won't require a lot of photographic retouching.

On a related note, I've spoken at length with the mods about this mammoth (and still horribly late) Preview-Competition post of mine, and while the mods are pretty cool about it, nonetheless I've made the decision to withdraw it from the Preview Competition entirely. Apart from the facts its both still incomplete and very late (whereas other posters all managed to get their entries in on time and in one piece), the fact its arriving in instalments means that technically people can vote for it several times over... which is decidedly unfair in my view.

I've still got the last Derby of the year to preview (which will be a far simpler piece and completely devoid of poetry meethinks) so I'll call that piece my official entry for this year, and simply call this piece a wonderful and fun project I'm working on, which I decided to share part of with you for your reading enjoyment.

(I also keep thinking of new chapters I want to add. - while I'll definitely insert those other sections into this piece at some point in the hope of getting it published, I also kinda want to wrap this project up for now and get on with my next piece.)

For these reasons reason, with the next update, I'll skip some of the still partially incomplete pages that were supposed to follow this one, and instead skip right to the very end of the piece to the final chapter, which conceptually wraps up all the content that went before, and presses home the central point of this entire piece which I've been building towards now since the very beginning.

If anyone also wants to read those extra chapters I'm leaving out for now, please let me know and I'll reach out to you via a PM once they're finished.

Thanks for your patience folks - hope you like this latest instalment (the point this whole exercise was trying to make is coming soon I promise you :):))

All feedback welcome as always.

Final_jpeg_16.jpg Final_jpeg_17.jpg Page 16-17

Final_jpeg_18.jpg Final_jpeg_19.jpg Pages 18-19



The Waiting (Part 3) - Text Version:

____________

It’s now 3.00 am on a bye-week weekend Sunday
and somewhere, in the dimly lit stillness
of an opulent, leather-clad and rosewood-panelled office,
In the highest swankiest boardroom of some grand old ivory tower...

An AFL business consultant, faceless, nameless and suit-clad,
stares and glowers with hands on hips,
in flummoxed contemplation of an enormous pin-up board,
which is plastered top to bottom
with an inch thick wallpaper
of individual, bright fluorescent green post-it notes.

And on every note is hand-scrawled
just one of several hundred helpful ‘suggestions’,
potential rule changes,
playing list refinements,
hiring and firing ultimatums,
(and other such necessary improvements)
that the fans, the consultant, and AFL officials alike,
Now all collectively argue must be made,
to further improve a centuries-old method
of moving a small leather ball across a wide open space.

With a sigh of resignation, the consultant then turns and lifts
from its grandiose and mirror-polished mounting on the wall,
a single, gleaming, giant, ancient,
and deeply-revered throwing dart.
Then, in accordance with years of AFL tradition,
He hurls his gargantuan final-say-maker
towards the pin-up board with gusto!
The dart - sensing an opportunity for satirical commentary,
misses the board completely.
It flies majestically sideways across the room
At a truly ridiculous angle,
Pierces a nearby window pane,
and soars into the spectacular night-time vista
that lies beyond the tower window...
then it plummets -- hundreds of feet --
Down to the ivory tower’s car park,
And embeds itself barrel-deep through the windshield
of some rich w***er's obligatory, vintage, midlife crisis Porsche,
which is now having a mini-crisis of its own,
flashing its lights and bleating it's horn
In a desperate, mechanical siren-song call for a medic.
The AFL consultant watches the dart as it falls
And then, furious and embittered at his failure
to smash two inanimate objects together,
the wealthy middle-aged white man turns to the pin up board
and starts berating and cursing at it savagely
like its tender loving advice dished up To a September Saturday umpire.
He chides the ivory tower’s Board in froth-mouthed fury
Berating it for its stubbornness, Its failures and lack of insight,
And for it so selfishly moving out of the path of his dart like that...
(all the while claiming - both figuratively and literally -
that it was in fact the BOARD who had missed the point of the exercise).
His dummy spat, both breathless and blushing
He now scowls at the board for a moment,
then spins suddenly and stomps bitterly,
In a ragged and sullen silence
out of the board's room and down the tower's stairs,
to retrieve his much-loved decision maker,
To find a passing tow truck,
To hug his poor suffering Porsche
and call his insurance broker.

Meanwhile, now alone in the dark and silent of its room,
the pin up board says nothing at all,
but silently rolls a non-existent eye as its thoughts turn to kettles,
and pots of black, and the making of stupid comparisons.
While the post-it notes meanwhile feel nothing but relief,
On avoiding the potential negative outcomes which COULD have arisen,
from that single, errant, enormous and ancient,
monumentally misguided prick
Which had so suddenly left the building.

Alas, even the face of repeated attempts,
and repeated epic failures like this one,
nobody misses that dart board forever.
No matter how noble one's intentions may be,
or how misguided one's aims,
sooner or later that dart will be back
in the same demented, determined heavy-handed hand that threw it...
..and the ancient AFL missiles of an endless cycle of amendments,
will be loosed and airborne towards our favourite pastime once again.
And someday, some of those well-meaning post it notes
will meet a pointy, aimless and inevitable end,
at the hand of this indecisive tosser,
and for better or worse be written into rule --
like the poor punctured paper victims they are,
to the pointy ends of collective disquiet.

Because it is a central truth of change in football:
that if all things come to those who wait,
That would also includes the changes that suck,
Or frustrate ,or make little sense...
...or that otherwise (to this observer at least)
resemble some arbitrary attempt at placation,
Or rushed populist policy-making
Or just foolhardy fickleness
Or stupidity in general...

Or any other potential purse-full of penes
which some day is eaten by everyone.

Because the constant demanding
of rapid and radical change,
(by both fans and officials alike)
to combat some illusory regression
as well as the genuine obstacles to progress...
...are just a few of the many, many,
more-maddening ways,
in which some of us deal with the Waiting.

_____________

To be concluded...
 

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