This was driven home to me with a certain potency this weekend, when I approached the Manly Storm game with a modest amount of anticipation after being in a 2 week long football void, and a hearty dollop of cold, weary distaste.
Was that a game or was that a GAME?!
Astonishing. I have never seen anything better (or worse, depending on how you choose to view it or whether or not you're David Gallop). It was vigorous and aggressive as all get out -and this was before the brawl. We really didn't need the brawl to demonstrate the intensity of emotion out there but wasn't it a lovely extra? Like free prawn crackers with your Chinese takeaway, only infinitely more entertaining. A little more brutal, too. Prawn crackers are a kind of passive. Also, they're pink.
The second phase of that brawl was deadset incredible. There are few things I enjoy more than a vigorous, muscular display of hegemonic masculnity. Buttered white bread is about the only thing that springs to mind to trump it. Anyway, those Sea Eagles flying 30 metres Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon-style to hurl themselves at Adam Blair was a glorious and blatantly destructive act and I just adored it. What a way to be welcomed home and enfolded once again into Australia's wantonly violent bosom.
According to the Sunday Telegraph, Adam Blair and Glenn Stewart
"unleashed on each other after the Storm forward said to Stewart 'let's get it on' as they left the field""LET'S GET IT ON"???!! I die. I die of awesome. What marvellous use of a marvellous, no-frills phrase. And entirely by the way, don't those Stewart brothers have faces that would frighten babies?
|who knew "let's get it on" could lead to the most vicious sideline brawl in league history? Blair did, bitch!|
Additionally, I appreciated the confirmation that Manly truly are the embodiment of a fundamentally rotten and brutal team. I adore this, too. It's a lovely, soothing feeling; having your prejudices confirmed and justified. The refreshing rush of truth really adds to your sense of general well-being. Try it.
On the other hand, I had one of my pet irrational-hatreds shaken and challenged in the same game - i.e. Billy Slater came across as likeable. Again. Goddamn it Billy this has to stop happening. People will start to talk. But Billy ending up in an inadvertant Mills and Boon style full-body embrace with a floppy-necked and screaming in savage agony David Williams after tackling him was too too much, even for my rag and bone shop heart. He didn't so much hold him still, it was more like an intimate, post-coital snuggle while wearing a look so tender it was almost unseemly. I mean, there wasn't a trace of the shitlicking expression that he wears by default, and definitely no sign of the shitlicking grin.
Okay, so he's not a wholly repellant human being, well what of it? The truth of it is that every time I see a glimmer of humanity in Billy Slater I come out somehow diminished, slightly less sure of my identity. I was grateful when the medics arrived and allowed Billy to extract himself from Williams and the macabre embrace because had it gone on for much longer I could see myself having to stagger from the building to be sick in the bushes and I try not to do that so much nowadays. Billy Slater: positively destabilising.
I understand, by the way, that this says far more about the balance of my mind - and that it may be a tad skew-iff - than it does about Billy, who is by all accounts a stand-up bloke. Whatever. Let me have this orright?
Anyway, what is up with David Williams - why so flimsy? He's more fragile than Josh Dugan for chrissakes. Word to David - pioneers were made of strong stuff, so lose the bushman beard or toughen up. Alternatively, you could just lose the beard, although I kinda appreciate you hiding your hot under it - way to make us work for it, bitch! As for Dugan, well, he had Bambi legs. It's biological.
|May or may not be the actual David Williams|
|Ditto for Josh Dugan|
So. there was that fabulous game of flaming intensity that I watched pie-eyed, mopping my fevered brow with one hand and tipping clinkers into my mouth with the other. Then there was the Raiders playing the Panthers, to flaccid effect, and it was midway through this flabby non-event that I realised, with a barking laugh, that I was truly back and truly home. Mazel tov, bitches. LET'S GET IT ON.