Great write up love your work.So the event started at 4:30, thanks to a pre-pre-review meeting at work (not joking) I got there at 4:55, hence my willingness to let anyone else partake. Found a park, there weren't many, and walked in the front door. There was a subtle sign informing me that the player sponsorship function was in the function room to the back left as you walk in (basically behind the reception desk in the below photo).
Breezed in, found boydie, found the bar where I grabbed a cider. We chatted briefly, there had been a trivia element added to this evening according to a text message sent to our main man this morning. We were table 9. I'd barely touched my drink (and after my pre-pre-review meeting, I needed it) when the boys started filtering through the back door. We grabbed our man Marcus and had a chat, Ross hadn't let them have it straight after Saturday but the review was this afternoon and a lot of areas for improvement were identified. Not the fire-breathing Ross of old it seems.
The MC took over the PA and battled the crowd that wanted to talk to the players. We were asked to find our tables and table 9 was right in front of the MC's podium. We were asked to flip over a sheet and unscramble the name of three Saints legends and answer three trivia questions (4th highest Saints goalkicker, 2009 Norm Smith medallist, oldest living Brownlow medallist). No prizes, just a timekilling activity, we had only a few minutes. Marcus unscrambled Tony Lockett, I unscrambled Stephen Milne, we all got stuck on the name with two g's. Both names were scrambled together which made it more challenging. Possibly by eavesdropping other tables, we correctly answered Stewie Loewe, Lenny Hayes and Neil Roberts. For those playing at home, the other name was Leigh Montagna.
We got 5/6 but if any team got a perfect score, no-one was paying attention. Dave Misson came to the front and was interviewed, he spoke about the difference between his previous and current time at the Saints in terms of facilities and threw in references to Melbourne where he was in between. Talk of injuries, plus also shared the frustration which the boys are feeling as much as the supporters. The MC was asking very leading questions to help him out.
We then had half an hour for photos, food and drinks. The food staff were thin on the ground and worth grabbing if they came close enough, there were steak skewers with salt (very nice, one 2 metre unit I won't name caught the girl and grabbed a skewer in each hand). Mini hotdogs that I didn't sample, ask boydie. The sliders were really good, I was hesitant as I thought "Where's the cheese?" but really, really good.
Cue Saint Watto coming over for a chat and he was able to finagle an introduction to Max King who's been on my to meet list for a while. I've admired him from afar, gee willakers he's a big unit up close. We had a great chat, punctuated by many tiny people wanting his autograph, he didn't go to the Gold Coast, he reckons 3ish weeks, he's keeping up the running but doesn't enjoy it, he and Ben aren't the same person as they've played twice, both at Metricon, we also got more details about the infamous golf injury. He was quite embarrassed by it at the time and wished that he could've claimed that it was a footy injury. Thanks Saint Watto
I grabbed another drink and boydie had found Matty Allison (who the MC managed to misname during his chat with Misson). He's studying business, that degree you do when you don't know what you want to do but know you want something more useful than Arts, and living with Mason Wood who's being an excellent role model. He hangs out with Windy and Higgo in his spare time.
The night petered to a close, boydie had a prior commitment and the boys were floating out the door. Would've liked to grab Seb (my golf buddy) or Butler (who did one of those phone calls with me during lockdown and I really needed something happy), but they were otherwise occupied. So I left.