2005 09 22 - Bronwyn Evans - Off The Field - Did you know? THE SWANS ARE IN THE GRAND FINAL!
Did you know? THE SWANS ARE IN THE GRAND FINAL!
It's 5am, Thursday. I am sitting at my keyboard, dressed and waiting to be picked up for that flight to Melbourne. I've barely slept all week. Why?
THE SWANS ARE IN THE GRAND FINAL!!!!!!!!
My chest is constricted. I'm a bundle of raw, nervous energy. At 4.15am, I could bear it no longer and jumped out of bed. I'm packed, everything's ready and now I have an hour to kill. So writing is therapeutic and here I am.
Where did it start? Last Friday . . .
I rocked up to the Adelaide Qantas Club and presented myself for my boarding pass. My mate behind the counter smiled at me with my R&W on display and handed over the pass. An anxious wait until we could board, the plane landed early and sharp9 picked me up from the airport and we're on our way. He's a musician and leads me in a couple of chants, just to get us in the mood. Woohoo. A quick dash into the pre-match to find MJ and the husb who had come in from Sydney (sorry that should be SYYYDNEEEEY), but it was ending by the time I got there, so we dashed off to the game.
There is NOTHING like an MCG final. I could feel the energy swirling around, picking me up and tossing me in the air. How good is this! Those Saints come onto the field, OMG the crowd is loud. Here come the Swans, it's not quite so loud, we'll have to do something about that!
They line up for the National Anthem. I have to say, this is one of the best moments (apart from the final siren when we're in front of course!) of a final for me. My heart is in my throat, the tears well, I'm overcome with pride and joy - to be in such a fabulous country, to be part of such a spectacle and to love the Swans. How good is this?
The game doesn't start our way, but quickly the boys have regained the momentum. It ebbs and flows. In the 3rd quarter, they're working so hard, but it's not yet paying off. At 3/4 time, they rally around the bloody Kirky and re-emerge for battle. From that time, there's no stopping them.
We're almost behind the scoring goals and do we see some action. With each of those seven beautiful goals, the crowd surges. Half way through that quarter, we start singing the song, doing the chant, and doing the clap - I think all at once. Delirium has set in. I guess it's the equivalent of Joffa's gold lame jacket.
I think I heard the siren. But I didn't need to. All around people are hugging, screaming, crying ... and because it's 2005, texting, phoning. I ring my friend back in Sydney and my Dad at home in from of the TV and just hold the phone in the air so that they can be part of it all. I can't talk to them, all I can do is scream with joy. When some senses are regained, all MJ and I can do is scream "THE SWANS ARE IN THE GRAND FINAL". It's like we've died and gone to heaven.
We leave the MCG ... heading to a pub where we've gone after other games, the Duke of Wellington I think. Walking, singing, chanting ... everyone is happy, I'm sure even the Saints fans are smiling at us benevolently. Cars toot, people smile, all is right with the world.
We waft into the pub. A bottle of champagne, a couple of glasses and I need to clink with everyone in the pub, and hug them, and cheer cheer! My heart wells. We find Frosty and chat, but I can't concentrate on anything other than THE SWANS ARE IN THE GRAND FINAL!
Off somewhere else, every so often, my body reminds me that I haven't eaten anything more than some nuts on the plane. We head off to meet up with others at a bar where there might be food. But, the kitchen closed hours ago. I guess it is 1am. I can't convince the guy to make me a pizza. We head off up the street, this time with a wobble, in search of food. Mission accomplished, back to the hotel and collapse in a tangle of arms, legs and scarves with the refrain ringing in my ears, THE SWANS ARE IN THE GRAND FINAL.
After a few brief hours sleep, I'm awake. The immediate beloved (i.e. the husb), as opposed to the greater beloved (i.e. the Swans), is just as edgy as me at 6am. I sneak out of the room to the kitchen (we're in a 2 bed apartment hotel), and there's MJ on the lounge, hugging herself, delighted I'm awake and we shout it out loud - THE SWANS ARE IN THE GRAND FINAL. We scream it from the balcony, just in case there's anyone in Melbourne who didn't know.
We dress and pack, interrupted by moments where we just have to stop and hug or scream or dance or leap around. Yes, I know, we are adults, we are not even young adults. We are professional business people. But, the delirium has hit.
Off to the airport . . . .
Congratulations from everyone we see ... the girl at the desk in the hotel, the taxi driver, people at the airport. I graciously accept all congratulations, just like I personally had kicked those 7 goals in that last quarter - grinning like a fool. Did I tell you my face hurts from grinning.
Back home, clutching my scarf. Watching the replay. How technology has improved! I didn't need a 7 year old child to show me how to work the new DVD recorder. And it's been christened with that fabulous game. I don't know what happened on the weekend, apart from frantic phone calls to people to remind them - THE SWANS ARE IN THE GRAND FINAL!
Monday . . . .
I have to go back to Adelaide, to work. Whilst I'm in 7th heaven, it's a town in mourning for a lost opportunity. Whilst I am sympathetic to their plight, I'm happy they were beaten by the Wet Toasters as I think it's a better result for us. Not that it matters, the Swans are on a roll.
I waltz into the office, my scarf around my neck. I have an urgent meeting, we go into the meeting room, but first I have to scream, and hug, and have another scream. He smiles indulgently. They dissect the Bazza predicament. All will be well. The planets are aligned and the Swans momentum will make everything OK.
Monday night is Brownlow night. It's quiet in Adelaide, but a couple of us head out to a pub. I have to dash back to the office for a video conference with Europe at 8.30pm, but I'm getting text updates.
Back to the pub just after 9.30pm and I've missed Jude's votes, but he's leading the count. Just for something different, I let out a scream. The not-so-crowd smiles. Bazza is interviewed, he just hopes that all the votes go to Jude now. Well, I gotta say, we know, it's all downhill from there for Jude. And all the rest of the Swans votes go elsewhere.
Tuesday . . . .
I'm calm. Quietly confident of the right decision in Barrygate being handed down. I have to calm down a frantic MJ long distance. All will be well. But at 6pm, I can't bear it any longer. I'm heading home so I can watch TV, surf the net and listen to the radio so I hear it as soon as it happens. Well that was optimistic, everything is delayed half an hour in Adelaide, so I get it off RWO. I spread the news and head out for dinner with some of the team. A flash restaurant, they roll their eyes at my scarf. The guy at the table opposite clearly thinks I'm on drugs - yep you got it, I can't stop letting out a little scream. I'm with two Perth guys ... one who refuses to acknowledge the Swans and another who thinks it will be "good for the game" if the Swans win. They good naturedly recognise my delirium.
Wednesday . . . .
I have to go up to the Barossa for a meeting. I'm on the road half an hour before I need to be. I still can't sleep. I ring the husb ... I want to talk about the Swans, he's got to go to a meeting. I ring my Dad, all I can do is talk the Swans, he laughs at me. I ring MJ and sing the song. I ring Anna - how can she still be asleep? "I am abandoned here in Adelaide and I need to sing the song with someone" ... by the end of it she's sounding like she's awake.
I've got an hours drive, I ring and sing most of the way, then have to find a cafe to kill some time. Somehow, I wing my way through an important meeting. I'm back on the road again, and I think of someone I haven't screamed with. I call him and find out why. He's in Canada. Wow, but he managed to find a pub showing the game live in Banff last week and is organised for this weekend. We retell it all. Have a little scream or two. He laughs with me.
Back to the office. I can't concentrate. OK guys, understand this, I will have short spurts of coherency and you've got to pay attention during those! We make it through Wednesday, finish with drinks. I grab a pizza with one the guys. Back home, my beloved (the husb) is packing, we try to calm each other down long distance. Only three sleeps to go - well, in my case, only three periods of tossing from side to side to go.
So, here I am ... my flight is in an hour. I've got to work today. But I'm in my red suit, white shirt. I've got my scarf around my neck, my Swans pins on my lapel. Somehow I need to keep my stamina up for the big weekend ahead.
How good is this? And I'm not yet in Melbourne (only a couple of hours to go though).
Thursday's update ...
The pilot finished his normal routine with "GO SWANS". So I applauded and cheered. My colleague beside me cringed (Crow). A few high 5's as we left the airport. A couple of frantic calls to calm the nerves by singing the song. Did my presentation (great success), wafted off to the second meeting, I walk in, the guy says - "You're going for the Swans?" (dope), "How about we DO LUNCH AT THE MCG, I'M A MEMBER?".
Quite nonchalantly (now we know that is a lie) I say, "What a good idea". So I spent the afternoon watching the guys paint the grass. How cool. Spent the rest of the afternoon picking up my tix from the Club and hitting the shops.
At dinner, walk into the restaurant, here the cheers of "Go Swannies". Gotta say there are a lot of baddies here! Hopefully all the R&W guys are coming in tonight and tomorrow.
OK, watching the Footy Show, hopefully, I can get some sleep in anticipation of the biggest weekend of my life. AARRGGHH
And, did you know,
THE SWANS ARE IN THE GRAND FINAL!