Woot! A Western Australia Grand Final!

I love Melbourne, but it’s fairly ridiculous that the Melbourne Cricket Club was given such a stranglehold on things.

Anyway, about Perth. I’m dead jealous and bemused all at once. There are people, together in a crowd, WITHOUT masks! They are TOUCHING each other. Perhaps not in the way we’d all love to see on free to air TV but still. I’ve been banging on about going to Perth for years. I’m green with envy. It looks like they are allowed to go outside and speak to each other. This is too much.

We’re settled in on the couch watching the fellas come out on the field.

Max Gawn is towering over everyone. He’s brilliant. Looks like he’s going to shank someone, then encourages the little girl who runs out with them. Too cute. I just said to HB how great Max is, and what a shame it is that I’m not going for his team, but surprise! I am! I just forgot. Of course, I’m going for the Dees, I’m an Oliver/Petracca fan club member. And clearly a Gawn fan too. Of course, the Dees do have a downside. They are sponsored by not one, but two banks. I mean, HB always says the Dees are the fancy old money club, so of course they are in bed with two banks and a luxury car company. Anyone want to sponsor us? I’ll sell out pretty quick, especially for a food company.

HB is topping the Bulldogs. Whatever. I’m sure they’re fine too (I have to pretend to not care but also Caleb Daniels forever, and also they are sponsored by Pedigree and Mission which is a double whammy of goodness – bless the Bulldogs and their adorable ways forever).

It’s singing time! Is anyone a bit disturbed about how average our anthem is? It’s soooo… eh. HB can sing the Russian anthem and it’s pretty hefty. Pretty sure that’s how he scored a third date with me. Maybe it’s just that he sing-shouts it with wild abandon. Can we jazz up the anthem? Is that terribly wrong? Does anyone use the word ‘girt’? Can I say, “I am girt by snacks”? I am not by the way. There is no snack girt-age here, much to my disappointment.

I’m a little stressed by all this. Last year I noted that I wanted the Suns/St Kilda/Dees in the final and this time it actually sort of happened. I cannot cope with the idea that they might not win. HB didn’t make snacks and now I realise he hasn’t prepared enough for my possible disappointment. I fear for this house.

 

First quarter:

A bit of disappointment to begin with. Last year Geelong came out covered in oil. It was a bit sexy. There’s no oil this year, nobody is looking unusually shiny. I’m eyeing up HB and the kitchen but he’s got his concentration face on so I’ll just let that go for now.

The first quarter has started and there’s already a lot of whistleblowing. And it looks like there’s a Demon who wears a helmet as well! HB tells me it’s Brayshaw. I love it. He’s second to Caleb Daniel in the helmet wearing but still good.

The commentary is always hilarious, doesn’t matter which game I watch… “Brayshaw got a little fist in there”. HB asked “what are you laughing at?” Nothing. NOTHING.

Clayton Oliver to Ben Brown! Where did Ben Brown come from??? Isn’t he with the Kangaroos? I’m so puzzled but pleased. Maybe he just offered to step in for a bit. Can players do that? I bet he just wanted some time in beautiful Perth. The Demons have got two points now. They are obviously going to win.

HB is impressed by Clayton Oliver – he’s had six touches already at around five minutes. I’m going to assume that is excellent.

BANG. Pickett just smacked some guy into the ground like a rag doll. I love that, but if it happened to me I’d die on the spot. Actually, I think most people would. HB and I get hurt from sleeping sometimes, I don’t know how these guys do it.

PETRACCA GOT THE FIRST GOAL! I’m excited now. He’s a stocky fellow (the best kind). It’s genuinely too much for me. I have a pretty placid existence; I’m not used to this kind of sports drama.

Weightman (just going to note he’s a Bulldog) just smacked his head into the goalpost. That was brutal. It’d knock me out, and he just hops up and jogs off. Is nobody worried? Clearly not the kind of guy that would fake a sore ankle in school PE.

Bayley Fritsch just took a mark and scored a goal right after Langdon did some kind of scarily fast sprint down the field. Fritsch was RIGHT in front of the goal. Imagine if he missed? He’d be mortified.

Bulldogs just stole a goal off the Dees in pretty snazzy fashion – sent it back to their end then boom boom boom – Gawn somehow ended up with the ball. He looks pretty calm. Got a point and just shook it off.

Bailey Smith and his flowing locks are everywhere. After a little scuffle, HB is praising Petracca, saying he very rarely loses his feet. Roarke Smith kicks the first goal for the Bulldogs! HB is telling me what a great story this guy has – he’s been delisted twice.

How do people with heart problems watch sports? Do they just accept that they are gambling with death? Pickett chased everyone down like a mad thing, leading to Spargo getting a goal.

Max just fumbled (maybe? I don’t want to speak ill of one of my favourites…) and our friend Caleb scooped it up. Nice one Caleb.

Tim English takes a shot at goal and hit the post. Must be a bit heartbreaking when that happens. Imagine if that was part of the game, and hitting the post was 7 points – that would add a bit of drama.

Bayley Fritsch just got another goal! I’m not really sure what happened there. Ball is here, ball is there, ball is with Bayley and now in the air. LOL.

Ben Brown just did a fancy kick behind him and got a point. He should get extra points for flair.

I LOVE when intercepts happen. HB gets so mad about it when someone makes an error. A Bulldog kicked the ball and Gawn just hopped up and grabbed it out of nowhere. HB is grumbling.

And that’s it. Quarter over. Apparently, there are three more quarters of stress ahead of me.

INTERMISSION:

There are a few things about this footy season that need to be discussed. First is the ads that have been running. You know that freaking adorable Google ads where the dad learns about footy so he can help and support his daughter? “What is a blinder?”

Google, why you gotta break our hearts like this. MY GOD, you just nailed good and loving parenting. Your advertising team deserves a raise.

Next, I have to mention that amazing ad where the family discovers that their daughter has lost her Bun-Bun. They drive back the way they came (this is a Toyota Hilux ad after all) but are empty-handed all the way. The dash to find the toy leads to mum discovering it in her bag and flinging it into a bush for the dad to find. Amazing work. These two ads are world-class efforts.

SECOND QUARTER:

Clayton Oliver koala tackled Treloar. Gave him a full-on snuggle. A minute later and Treloar kicked a goal. I think it’s best that the Dees don’t give him any more snuggles.

Luke Jackson has appeared on screen. Why has nobody told me about him before??? He looks JUST like Ardeth from The Mummy.  Did you know that Ardeth has a bit of a following amongst the ladies? Anyway, Jackson takes a nifty little mark courtesy of Christian Salem.

Clayton Oliver gets a point after getting into the middle of what looked like a swarm of footballers. I know I keep calling him by his full name. It’s because I love it. It’s just such a  good quality name. Clayyyton Oliveeer. 10/10.

Viney gets what HB calls ‘a toilet of a kick’. Boo. Starts of the chain reaction which gives Treloar his second goal. Treloar looks like he’s ON. Lots of coffee?

Naughton smacks out another goal in very quick succession. I’m livid! I’d like to rant but I have a mouthful of apple so I’ll just chew angrily.

Bailey Smith got a point and omg, I am ready to just go downstairs to bed.

Jackson takes a mark. Do something Jackson! Ben Brown, our friendly loan from Nth, has come in and taken a snazzy little mark. His ankle wobbled and scared me. I can’t watch. HB lets me know it’s a goal! Hurrah!

Ha ha, one of the commentators said there was a ‘long penetrating’ something. Sounded like ‘kick’…  was it ‘lick’… I know what I heard but I doubt it’s what was actually said.

!!!  Is Clayton Oliver hurt? He’s holding his head!  I’m genuinely concerned. HB isn’t worried though. Somehow Max has the ball. I’ve only ever known one Max in real life and he was a massive dickhead. Our Max is quality. He gets a point. Still like him. Isn’t he a ruckman? Are they supposed to be kicking goals?

Tim English appears from nowhere. I wonder what he’ll dress up as at Halloween. He has a very sombre look about him. He’d make a great Tim Burton character. Thanks to the Covid 10kg, I could probably dress up as a fairly accurate Danny DeVito’s Penguin. Actually, that’s probably the most fun idea I’ve had in ages. The Penguin is an icon.

Bont has taken a mark. HB is saying that ‘Hodge’ is talking about the wrong player. That’s pretty unfortunate. Bont gets a goal and HB is pleased – “They needed that”.

HB says “they’re starting to spread them”. I don’t know what he’s talking about but he knows what he said to me and he’s smirking.

Hunter apparently leaned in and got a free kick. He gets a goal. I’m a sore loser and I don’t want to watch this game anymore. HB notes that “your mate” Caleb is having a great game. I suppose I can keep going.

The ball just sort of fell into Gawn’s arms like a beautiful accident. I don’t even know which side is which for the goals. I don’t want to ask this, but do they change ends??? I feel like they change ends.

I think one of the commentators just called Bont “pretty” lol. Now he’s sorted out his hair he really is a bit pretty.

The Dees have just had two points in quick succession. Bit upsetting. HB notes that Oliver has been out of sorts a bit since his head knock. Right after that, Oliver came roaring back into things.

Two Demons are holding Caleb. I may have yelled ‘Let go of him!’ and HB shakes his head at me. I’m pretty obviously going for the Dees but also Caleb.

HB is so impressed by Petracca shoving people away. Apparently, he’s very strong and vicious with his pushes. HB appreciates proper displays of brute force. Gawn shoves Bont (I think). And then Bont does his thing and gets a goal. Noooooo.

HB notes this is “a GREAT second quarter”. A look from me and he amends his statement… “I mean it’s a great second quarter to set up a comeback”.

 

INTERMISSION:

Are these breaks called intermission or something else? I’m going with intermission.

I’m not really into the Birds of Tokyo. Perth has a symphony orchestra RIGHT THERE. Play us Ride of the Valkyries or something dramatic. Yet another moment when I realise I’m old and should be quiet.

HB and I both said “Silverchair?” at the same time. HB asked if they could have gotten Silverchair? That would have been nice. Imagine bringing them back for a halftime show. I’d watch the shit out of that. But I suppose regular life combined with Covid gets in the way of almost everything.

Fashion watch. Daisy looks brilliant. She knows the deal. She’s put together. Abbey on the other hand has a real issue. STOP dressing her in op shop gear. The coat is drowning her. White sneakers, ill-fitting jeans and a stripy shirt. BAD. All bad. I cannot believe this is her own doing.

 

THIRD QUARTER:

Fritsch gets a point after some fancy work to get him the ball quickly. It looks rainy, but HB says it might be smoke? For real? That’s nuts. I hear breathing is important during sports.

Johanneson took a very nice little mark in the goal square and kicks a goal. So good but so sad for me.

Have the Dees got a bit of the blues? A commentator noted that two Dees made no attempted to go mark the ball. Maybe they are having a little rest before storming back. Right?

Treloar just sailed past Gawn to snatch up the ball, while Gawn literally did nothing. I’m a tad concerned now.

The Demons have had a few calls go their way that I don’t understand. They just seem to end up with the ball after the umpires blow the whistle. I can’t say Vic bias but also I can, because I can say whatever the hell I like.

Is the crowd going for the Bulldogs? Sounds like it.

I’m a bit tuckered out, to be honest. It’s 9pm. Let’s talk about that guy who does the shooting stars videos. At some point this season I told HB to stop talking footy to me for a while. No more stories, I wanted a break from the heartache and drama. He almost immediately sidles up to me with his phone and asks me to ‘please watch this’. I’m long-suffering at this stage but I agree. HOLY SHIT it’s amazing. I can’t stop laughing it’s so good. Now he knows that while I don’t care about someone’s fancy intercept, I do very much care when a new shooting stars video comes out.

Bont has taken another goal. It’s over. I’m devastated. I’m lying down and stuffing around on Reddit. It was easier to do this when I had zero allegiance.

Caleb tackles Gawn. I’m conflicted. The commentators call it David vs Goliath. Wikipedia says that some sources would suggest that Goliath was 2.06 metres tall, and Max Gawn is 2.08 so I’m certainly not going to look into it further.

Bailey Fritsch, he of the windswept locks, has the ball, and I think he’s close to the goals. HE GOT IT!

I turn away to look at my phone and somehow Fritsch has done it again! What an effort. Now do it a few more times, please.

Petracca grabs the ball, powers away and kicks it straight to Ben Brown. Skippy gets a goal!

Something magical is happening!

Why does Steven May walk so gingerly? He moves like everything hurts him. I feel a bit bad for him.

Steven May does something (though I’m not entirely sure what I’m looking at. Brayshaw goes for a run with the ball and kicks it out of bounds.

After some messy scrabbling, Brayshaw dives in and takes a mark.

He gets a goal out of that! I can’t watch so I have to tell HB I’m not watching so he can tell me the outcome.

Discussing My Little Pony with my daughter’s lovely sister. As we talk about the power of friendship, Petracca goes and kicks a goal. What a guy.

Holy shit. Sparrow just kicked a goal. Also, whenever Clayton Oliver and Petracca do anything together they look so smooth. It’s freaking adorable. That’s the real power of friendship right there. The Demons are up and I still don’t want to watch.

Clayton Oliver just smacked another goal, this is WILD.

Ben Brown took a mark, dropped it but apparently it counts. Doesn’t look like a goal but it is. It’s an optical illusion! Remember that period when everyone had those stupid bits of coloured paper and if you stared hard enough at it, the image became 3D? What was it called – Magic Eye? Glad that trend is over.

Bayley Fritsch has the ball again. When he concentrates he looks like he’s going to murder someone. Bit scary, but he gets a goal.

OH GOD NO. It’s the Christian Petracca Cash Converter ad. I hope he donated it all to charity because there’s no need for that.

Well, he comes in and kicks a massive… point. Maybe he sensed the ad was being aired again and was put off.

Pan to the Dogs fans, all wearing Bailey Smith wigs. What a look. I love it so much.

Petracca loves a good handball. He’s constantly thumping it to people and boy does it soar! How do these guys not hurt their hands doing that?

Shit, the Dees just got ANOTHER goal. Funny, I asked HB at halftime if it was over and I could go to bed. He said no, and was clearly right.

Langdon was at one end of the field, then suddenly he’s at the other! It’d take me 20 minutes to do that. He looks a little bit like Christian Slater. He then goes and kicks a goal.

Fritsch has the ball again. Murder stare. He kicks a point and looks pretty tuckered out.

Clayton Oliver smothers the ball, Petracca picks it up and kicks sideways to McDonald. It was so pretty. HB has reassured me that there’s NO way the Dees can lose. He says Petracca will get best on ground.

HB says Petracca has a record for disposals? At a grand final. That’s pretty stellar.

Treloar kicks a goal, I love that the Bulldogs supporters went nuts. So they should Treloar has been doing some hard yards

Just like his doppelganger swooping in to assist Rick O’Connell, Jackson kicks a goal. I’m just chilling out now.

Fritsch is now going for his sixth goal.

Mcdonald has gone and kicked a goal now. HB laughs and says he did bugger all for the first two quarters. That’s ok, sometimes it takes a while to ramp things up.

AND IT’S DONE! The Demons have won!

 

FINAL OBSERVATIONS:

Petracca is being interviewed by Abbey – he dropped the F-bomb, though HB reckons he only ALMOST said it.

The best part of this is that it’s now the time for the kids to shine! Nobody ever gets this right. It’s super cute. Does the hat go first or the medal or the handshake??? Nobody knows.

The players go running off to the crowds and their families. It’s like real life is happening in Perth and to be honest it’s quite beautiful to watch.

That’s it, everyone. Thank you, Perth for showing us a glimpse of reality and a huge congratulations to the Demons and Dogs for a very stressful game. See you all next year.

 

EBOOK: MELBOURNE DEMONS YEAR IN REVIEW 2021