It’s not often you catch my Mum, Dad, brother James AND me all together at the footy but this is the once a year Kardinia Get Together.
But when you do, you ought to write about it.
The usually empty car is now full with four, and talk is no longer about game tactics or match predictions. Instead, topics range from music, school, work – anything BUT football.
A relaxing Sunday in Geelong is much needed today.
We arrive, taking in the sights of the new stand that Mum and James are admiring for the first time.
We settle into our seats and we are relaxed (As relaxed as you can be at the footy!)
It’s a scrappy first quarter, the Cats lead 12 to 7 going into the second.
It’s all Fremantle as they dominate with a 7 goal to 2 second quarter. Lachie Neale is on fire. Geelong are not.
It’s not pretty to watch.
Suddenly, we’re not so relaxed anymore.
The third quarter sees Freo settle as we Cats fans shuffle nervously in our seats. We barely gain momentum in the final minutes of the quarter with a late goal from Dan Menzel, but we are cut short by the siren.
We win the quarter by three points but are still 19 points down and things are looking grim.
We’ve lost a courageous Joel Selwood, pocket rocket Darcy Lang and a calming source in Tom Stewart as we begin the final term.
We are definitely not relaxed anymore.
It’s left to the remaining 19 players to give us something.
Dangerfield and Duncan lift. Then up steps James Parsons. With two quick snap goals, then Hawkins. Amazingly the Cats lead by a mere point with 20 minutes still to play.
It’s back to congested scrum around the contest, with Stanley and Hawkins, as well as Shane Kersten (this time in purple) failing to capitalise in front of goal.
The ball seems to find its way to the Dockers forward line and is crumbed 20 metres out in front.
Michael Walters picks it up, misses directly in front.
Siren sounds. Crowd erupts. Cats win.
I’m in tears, jumping up and down. Mum and James are looking at me like I’m some sort of freak as the Cats song blasts Kardinia Park once more.
The four family are happy in their own ways. I’m ecstatic that we’ve won, Dad’s shaking too, Mum’s happy because we’re happy and James is happy to tick another nail-biter game off his bucket list.
Today was far from relaxing.
Geelong showed up and played for one quarter, but it was enough.
We leave our home away from home the same way we entered – with smiles on our faces.
Geelong, you’ve done it again. Just.