Well that was fun, given the trip from Sydney to Perth started with a near-miss with another Qantas plane above Adelaide. If I gotta go, please God don't let it be somewhere in, over, under, or in fact anywhere near Adelaide.
But it got better real quick after landing in Perth, as those lovely people at Hertz gave me a shiny new imperial purple Falcon XR6. How. Did. They. Know?
So after knocking over a couple of work meetings in Perth, this shiny purple beast deserved a trip down to Freo for some quality old-school bog-laps.
The port city looks great decked out in purple all over, and it was brilliant to get out and wander around some of the old haunts.
Just being in Fremantle makes me feel better. Always has. And having not been 'home' for some years, I wasted little time in heading down to Fishing Boat Harbour for some grilled sardines and some really bad Swan beer, which had to be washed down with a few more at Little Creatures and same again over at the Sail & Anchor. Great to see the crepes at the Markets are still there too, along with the usual colourful nutjobs locals. Love this town and I miss it very much.
Paid my respect one last time to Fremantle Oval before its major tenants get thrown out and replaced with a carpark. And of course FDFC. Hah!
Didn't get to Moss Street, but I've heard the cooch has taken root in the stands, so old WAFL hey-day memories are probably best left alone there.
Come PF gameday and heading to Subi, it was a great change for me seeing literally a sea of people decked out in various shades of purple (either bought, borrowed, stolen, knitted, crocheted or loom-woven), and carrying ridiculous but glorious inflatable anchors, with the odd dash of red and green thrown in for good measure. Seeing anyone in Freo garb remains a very pleasant and novel experience for me.
Subiaco, however, is another thing. By far it's the worst ground for footy patrons, and I've been to 'em all, including Darwin and Cairns. If Subi was a budget airline, it'd have the worst seat pitch and largest volume use of duct tape for dodgy repair jobs. It's also perhaps the stadium with the dullest field illumination. I wonder if this bothers the players at all?
The game itself, well, what a comprehensive performance was that? Stunning, in fact.
However, something perverse happened to me for the very first time... I actually felt some sadness for a team being systematically dismantled by Freo. I guess 14 years of living in Sydney has rubbed off more than I'd a thunked it.
Now I'm no two-team-supporting person. Freo will always win any battle there, but given I've been around the red and white for a bit now and witnessed their delight first-hand in'05, along with the sombreness of '06, (I was even there for Jude Bolton's first big-league game, and managed to eavesdrop in on a pep talk he received from Barassi afterwards), and add to that every second week in footy season involves heading down with family and friends to the SCG, I guess I kinda get The Bloods.
Going to the Grand Final to see Freo play still hasn't sunk in, though.
What has sunk in, is that the team I follow is a team who delays their winning celebrations to give an opposing retiring warrior a guard of honour, or breaks out the bagpipes to farewell entire teams. Whilst the barrackers of this same team are the loudest, craziest Mexican-wave loving bunch of inclusive fruit loops I've ever come across. This Saturday, win, lose or draw will be life-defining for us all.
Skip back to today (Monday).. Well this morning was spent ticket-hunting, which was thankfully successful. Thank you Collingwood Football Club… But that's another story.