Dockers make history!

13 08 2006

The Freo Dockers made history today in Adelaide! Woohoo! Here’s how:

  • They played like a team, kicking accurately and setting up passes for each other
  • They beat Adelaide, the top team in the competition, by 15 points
  • They won at AAMI stadium, where they’ve only ever won once before
  • This win was their 6th win in a row – the first time ever in their history they’ve achieved that
  • The win puts them at 6th on the ladder with only three games to go before the finals – they’ve never done that either
  • In reality, they are equal 3rd on the ladder with 3 other teams, but their percentage keeps them at 6th.

Three games to go and it looks like the Dockers are in the Finals for only the second time in their history! Way to go, Freo! More wins and we could have a home final against the West Coast Eagles – wonder how the AFL will manage the tickets for *that*…

The good Dockers came out to play yesterday

24 07 2006

I tossed up whether to go to the footy yesterday. It was another gorgeous winter’s day – sunshine, almost cloudness, warm-ish (compared to Saturday when it was BLOODY COLD) – but Paul wasn’t playing and two of my nieces and nephews weren’t going to go. If Michelle and Craig had pulled out too, I wouldn’t have gone. Going to the game is a shared experience for me; I don’t think I’d enjoy it too much if I was sitting by myself surrounded by 4 empty seats.

So anyhow, I went. And Michelle and Craig turned up. And we had a great time. This time ‘the boys’ played like a team – you could feel their spirit, and the crowd responded in kind. It was a much more up-beat match than the one two weeks ago against Essendon which the Dockers won by 40 points, but which was as flat as a pancake emotionally.

Oh, and the Dockers won too, by about 30 points. So we keep our position in the top 8 with only 6 games to go. ‘Carn the Dockers!

Where’s the passion?

9 07 2006

On Friday night, the Fremantle Dockers beat Essendon by nearly 40 points. It was a win that the Dockers needed, so they got the 4 points and some percentage gains. But it wasn’t pretty football… again. In fact, for most of the match it was pretty darned boring. The players don’t seem to have the passion that the Club has as its motto, and the crowd of 34,000 didn’t seem to have too much passion on Friday night either, even though we were winning.

While not all games can be as exciting as the derby against the Eagles earlier in the year, or the Round 21 game against St Kilda late last season, it would be nice if we had a few more games where both players and supporters could feel a bit more of an adrenalin rush.

Shocker Dockers – again…

18 06 2006

They played badly, they couldn’t kick goals, there appeared to be no on-field leadership… and they got thumped by Geelong at home!!!

The weather was fantastic, there was little wind, the temperature was mild, they were playing to their home crowd who just wanted them to play with passion – there are NO excuses for such poor performance.

At least by leaving 10 minutes into the final quarter I didn’t get caught in the traffic. Small consolation.

Just a little hoarse

4 06 2006

Well, the 'good Dockers' came out to play last night. You never know with this team – one week the bad team plays, the next it's the good team. Same guys; different attitude. The game against Richmond last night was a beauty – not as good as the Derby in May, and nowhere near as emotional and heart-stopping as the game against St Kilda last year in Round 21 when Justin Longmuir kicked the deciding goal after the siren… but it came close.

At half time the scores were level and by 3/4 time Richmond was leading by about 9pts. The Dockers had a resurgence in the final quarter and the goal by Shaun McManus put us 5 pts in front. Paul's brilliant goal in the final few minutes sealed the deal and put us 11pts in front – Shannon and I were ecstatic! The Dockers won and keep their place in the top 8 (currently 7th).

The big downside of tonight's game was an injury to the Dockers captian, Peter Bell. Like Shaun McManus and Troy Cooke, Belly has no concern for his life or limb when he goes for the ball. And he paid for it tonight with an injury to his lower calf that will keep him out of the playing team for a couple of weeks.

Did I have a voice at the end of the game? Nope! Did I care? Nope! Were Shanny and I over the moon? You bet! Pity the others had to leave earlier andmissed a great final quarter.
That's one of the things I love about going to the footy – unlike TV, you can yell and scream and no-one thinks anything of it, 'cos everyone else is doing the same! It's actually very cathartic – you can express emotions (highs and lows) in a way that wouldn't be acceptable in a work situation or perhaps even a family situation. You just can't get that with the TV broadcast. And the other thing you can't get with TV is the raw emotion of 35,000 people all chanting at the same time. Powerful stuff. (Despite this, I still watched the game again on TV when I got home… tragic!)

We’ll take the 4 points

22 05 2006

To say that the footy game between the Dockers and the Kangaroos on Saturday was good would be an extreme overstatement. It was boring, and at times, ugly football. Not a good spectacle at all. Ball handling, kicking, passing skills – all were pretty horrible. But the Dockers won despite all that. And got the four points for the win. 

We'll take the four points, but this was not a game that will go down in memory – or appear in any highlights reel. After the brilliance of the Derby against the Eagles, you'd be hard-pressed to even think this was the same team.

Shocker Dockers!

16 05 2006

I wasn’t going to write about the 3 hours I wasted on Saturday afternoon watching the footy live on TV, but I am… What a disappointment after the phenomenal game last week against the Eagles. In the Derby, the Dockers played well and as a team, with heart, passion, and soul. This Saturday they had a flash of brilliance in the first 90 seconds, scoring 2 goals (including Jeff Farmer’s 400th milestone), then…. nothing! Their next goal came about 15 mins into the second quarter. It’s not that they didn’t get it into their 50 – they did; they just couldn’t convert those forays into scores on the board. Invariably a long bomb into our 50 landed beautifully in the hands of a Melbourne player.

Did they play with heart, soul, and passion? No! Were the fans and supporters disappointed? You bet! Do I want to talk about it any more? No way. Let’s move on to this week…

The Derby!

6 05 2006

Wow! What a roller-coaster ride it is being a Fremantle Dockers member!

I went to my first home game today after five weeks away, and it was the Derby with the West Coast Eagles. This is always a good game with friendly (and sometimes not-so-friendly) cross-town rivalry between supporters. It was a Freo home game so the purple passion was out in force, although there were quite a few Eagles supporters in amongst the record crowd of 42,200+.

By the end of a classic game where the lead changed about 70 times (or so it seemed), the Dockers had won… but only just. At one stage there were 10 pts separating the two teams, but mostly there were only 2 or 3 points in it. A heart-stopper, especially the final few minutes when the lead changed 4 times. A goal from Paul Hasleby (Dockers) less than 50 seconds before the siren gave the Dockers a 5 point lead, which the Eagles couldn't match.

A great game – made even more sweeter because this is the first defeat the Eagles have had so far this season. Go the Dockers! (but a pox on those Freo supporters who boo-ed Chris Judd – he played a great game and was quite magical when he had possession of the ball; just because the team wins doesn't mean that the Best on Ground has to be from the winning team.)

New AFL season, 2006

3 04 2006

Game day today! Had to set the clocks back last night – very confusing when you're from a state that doesn't have daylight saving. Yes, we can see the oval from the motel room, and the day is looking good!! Clear blue skies, with hardly a cloud. And from the lack of movement in the trees outside our room, hardly a breath of wind. Excellent! Hope it stays that way for the game.

More soon…

Well, the footy was disappointing to say the least… but more on that later.

We met Suzanne and Bruce (her business partner), who'd travelled up from Hobart to see us and come to the game, and Clare (Suzanne's friend) and Richard for brunch at Aromas in Charles St, Launceston. The Deluxe Breakfast was just that – deluxe! Eggs, bacon, sausages, tomatoes, mushrooms, toast… Very yummy. Lots of chat and heaps of laughter – a very clever and witty group.

Clare had to fly to Mt Isa this afternoon so she had to give the footy a miss, which is why Bruce came along. What a lot of fun he is – highly intelligent, full of life, and very funny. No wonder he and Suzanne get along so well.

I'd received an SMS from Paul earlier to let me know the tickets were available from the Hotel Grand Chancellor where the Dockers were staying, so we stopped by there and picked them up – just as the team was boarding the bus. Couldn't see Paul – I think he was already on board, but briefly chatted to Rick Hart again, and at Reception we wished Jeff Farmer the best for his 200th game.

Where we were staying – Adina Place Motel Apartments – was walking distance from Aurora Stadium, so Bruce and Suzanne parked at the motel and we all walked down the hill. Glorious weather – sunny, blue skies, a little wind. A great day for the footy!

Found our way to our seats which were under cover – a necessity had it been windy and raining. I was SO looking forward to this first game of the season, but it was disappointing in so many ways.

While I love it when the Dockers win, I'm not fussed if they lose as long as they play with heart and passion and give it their all. Well, they didn't. The game was even at quarter time – even in score and performance – and low on both counts! There wasn't much difference by half time… in fact the game was boring to watch [did I really say that?]. In the third quarter, the Hawks took control and took advantage of the hesitant playing and inaccurate kicking by the Dockers, putting on a big lead. Hawthorn pretty much stopped playing when there was about 5 mins to go and they were 9 goals ahead. So Freo got a few quick goals from Paul at the very end but it was way too little, too late. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. But it would've been nice to have won the first one, if for no other reason than to boost the team's confidence.

After the match we adjourned to the Royal Oak Hotel up the road and had a nice 'pub grub' steak dinner each. Lots more talking and laughter, then we said goodbye to Suzanne and Bruce and headed to bed early as we have a 4:00am rise tomorrow morning for our flight to Melbourne.

It was SO nice catching up with Suzanne again – I miss her quirky, offbeat humour and her fantastic way of looking at life. And I'm so glad she brought Bruce along too – he's a lot of fun as well. They're a great pair.

Confession: I’m a football tragic!

29 03 2006

I've got to confess – after three years of following the Fremantle Dockers, I've become a footy tragic! I'm not as bad as some, but I'm getting there. Evidence to support this addiction:

  • We're detouring to Launceston, Tasmania this weekend on our way to the US – just so I can see the Dockers play Hawthorn in the opening game of the 2006 season. This is no small feat – extra flights (and associated expense and airport 'hang around' time), 2 nights accommodation, shuttle bus fares. And my LP doesn't even follow footy much – let alone the Dockers!
  • I've organised our flights home so that we don't arrive in the middle of the Dockers/West Coast Eagles derby! We are now catching the red eye from Cairns to Perth arriving at some ungodly hour of the morning, just so I can go to the game that afternoon.
  • I became a member 3 years ago.
  • I take pride in wearing a Dockers scarf – I'll probably even wear it on the flights and in the colder parts of the US using the excuse of "It's great for keeping my neck warm". I'm really just hoping someone will ask about the logo, then I can explain who the Dockers are!
  • And I'm REALLY looking forward to the season and going to the home games with my nieces and nephews (we all sit together).

I don't what it is about going to the game – it's just SO different from watching it on TV (and yes, I'll watch the game on TV later that night if they win… more evidence of a football tragic). There's something cathartic about yelling and screaming, and going through the highs and lows of rollercoaster emotions – and boy, do the Dockers ever put you through the emotional wringer… every game! There's not a lot of opportunity in day-to-day living where you get a chance to be emotional like that… except perhaps in the privacy of the car when you yell and shout at the driver who just cut you off.

So, bring on the 2006 season – and may the Dockers fulfil all the potential they've shown us over the past few years and make the Finals in September. (and Paul – kick a bag of goals this year, huh?)