Someone had to have something to say about Sunday's game. But more importantly, dare to suggest what it means...
We've had false dawns (2nd half of 2006) and Messiahs - Modra, Pavlich and Wiz - who were going to win us a premiership of their own boot. Bad luck, no luck, and good luck that went bad before we got any good out of it. We've embraced a victim complex, an inferiority complex and 14 different kind of complexes about having a complex, and turned it all into a celebration of quirky uniqueness.
The umps and AFL have noticed this and obliged along the way, adding to the pathological house-hoarding of complexes.We've had umpire marks, games almost pinched off us well after they've finished, umpire's checking with the opposition as to what they should do... a woeful tribunal/report record, with our latest goal sneak being pinged (despite being the wrong colour) for Assault by Fingertips... the list goes on, and it will.
Mostly though, on and off, except for some extended purple patches, we've sucked a fair bit too, which makes you a soft target for oxygen thieves like Robert Walls, anyone with a mic at 6PR, and social misfits forced to write sports copy through a fug of liquid lunches, and a tenuous grip on the facsimile they call reality over at the West, or the Sunday paper I can't remember the name of, but has lot of adverts in it.
But we've stuck with the ugly sister of the competition because we knew they'd undergo an Extreme Makeover at some point. Even if it took replacing 75% of the team to do it. I risk looking as silly as a WC eagles coach trying to say finals with a straight face, when I say the false dawns may be over. We just may have the team we wanted, the one that is actually heading somewhere, instead of one that thinks it was, but always fell over when their pants were pulled down, while they were still basking in the good press they were getting.
After a yawnsville of a nab cup this year, where nothing remarkable was evident, since then I've seen nothing but. The Freo that used to frustrate so regularly has all but departed - obligatory slow season starts, tackles that never stuck, static chips left and right, and fumbled handballs that left them boxed into a corner - and left the good bits instead, the ones that only used to make a guest appearance - like Oliver Reed on Parky during a brief sober period. Trouble is, I can't help thinking we miss Ollie when he was completely shizfaced; even though it raised a smile, it did get tiresome.
We've tackled as well as that before. We've won clearances, we've seen great goals kicked, and we've seen shows of skill, and character to come from behind and win, we've seen Freo take a game on before. Plenty of times. But never for 4 full quarters, over consecutive weeks, and taken down the premiers in the process. Geelong are a team capable of winning on the road, (despite needing hangers on to show them how to navigate an airport), with a couple of key men missing, a big game played 5 days prior, and the biggest pink Tutu-wearing midfielder in the comp. And win they nearly did. Because they're that good. And they cheat a lot and get away with it.
And the season has barely started. The West are in panic mode at the moment; they had a 'dud dockers, sack Harvey' headline all mapped out for every week of the season, and now they don't really know where to turn, so have to actually report relatively unfiltered news. The Duffer has to use a whole different set of player/game cliches, and he was saving all them up for West Coast.
So we'll get some media love for a while, and that will show whether the team will fold like a Chinese laundry worker, as has happened before. But despite its youth, I get the feeling this team has more maturity. Who knows. False dawn? Have they finally Unleashed the Mayhem, or will it just get pegged back on the chain next to the doghouse and go back to doing circle work?
My bets currently on the Mayhem. It's as much a part of Dockerland Lore I'm surprised shane hasn't tried to copyright it. But I've been wrong before. It was 1998. Or maybe my last blog. Either way, lightning can strike in the same place twice. Maybe, like Ollie I've just fallen off the wagon again; shizfaced on 3-0.