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One day in September

September 30th, 2012 0 comments

There is one Saturday in September when I miss the races and head off to the footy. Grand Final day. The Swans versus the Hawks. The battle of the birds. And they even had another bird, a wedge-tailed eagle, perched on top of the southern stand to scare off the other birds, the wretched seagulls! I have seen some memorable grand finals. In 1962 as a little tacker I watched the Bombers from the old Grey Smith stand on a members’ ladies ticket. We used to bang on the timber floor with our feet after each goal and create a tremendous racket. In 1965, the year John Somerville was laid out by Duncan Wright, I was in the outer in standing room perched on four empty beer cans. In the 80s, the back-to-back years, I was still a restricted member and watched it on TV, but managed to see the prelims live. 1990 was probably the worst year when Terry Daniher ran the length of the ground and laid out a Collingwood player. Fights broke out in the members around me! Essendon lost the fights in the members, on the ground, and lost the grand final. 1993, the year of the Baby Bombers, was probably the most memorable, when Dean Wallis laid out Mil Hanna right in front of us, and Michael Long danced around the middle of the ground. 2000 was also good, James Hird showed his silky skills, and Dean Wallis probably won it for them again. The lowlight was the one that got away, the prelim in 1999, when Carlton did us by a point. Today my brother and I missed out in the ballot for tickets but managed to find a good standing room spot. I wasn’t sure that I could stand up for five hours, until I realised that I spend all Saturday afternoon walking or standing anyway! It was an exciting game and I’m glad Essendon wasn’t involved as I don’t think my heart could stand it. A point the difference in time on!

My mate, Stephen Alomes, the footy professor, has written a terrific book about the game and where it is headed. It even has a terrific endorsement by Sheeds: “If you love Australian football, its past, its present and its future, then you have to read this book.” If like me,  you like the footy, grab yourself a copy from Walla Walla Press.


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