ATT: JH, TH, TK, AW, the two Jameses (the Headmaster and Mr Mercer)
Nannas 4 plays RMIT 12
At the end of work, I must admit I was thinking of going home. I was feeling pretty shit. Then I left work and it was a crappy outside too. It was dark, well windy, and it had that feeling that it might piss down at any moment (more on that later).
But, I dragged myself up to see Jezza. The last couple of weeks, he’d been a bit down himself with his broken leg and all but tonight he was somewhat better and it was good to see him. We went through our usually pre-game ritual; things started to turn around.
For a start, the ride from the Great Northern over to the game was ah-fucking-mazing. It was downhill most of the way, I had the wind coming over my right shoulder, and I was h!gh as a k!te sailing through Princes Park, down past the Juvenile detention centre and then up near the Coach’s old house.
I arrived at the end of the first half of the game before ours and one of the Dynamo Tehran boys asked if I either Andy or I would come on, as one of their players had gone down injured. After my ride, it was exactly what I needed; to get out and keep moving, and get rid of some of the pent up sadness that had been accumulating over the previous week.
I hit three goals for them. Issy on the sideline kept telling me to save it for the Nanna game but the ball kept rolling my way and I kept shooting. That first game ended up 8-4 in our favour.
Then the Nanna game started. I was feeling similarly into it but unlike the previous game we didn’t have as much control, and, crucially, the opposition was somewhat better. On about six or seven occasions we gave away the ball in mid court/our back half and they gratefully accepted the invitation to score.
One gets the feeling that if we weren’t so sloppy in possession we would have been a lot more competitive.
Afterward, we went back to the Great Northern to watch footy (Port versus Dogs). As per usual, I had to leave prematurely to catch my train home. Tommy came out with me, as he had put my bike on the roof of his car, and as we walked to where he had parked the heavens opened.
I was in a quandary: I couldn’t not go, but in that downpour I was going to be soaked within a minute or two, so I asked Tommy if he would give me a lift. Tommy did hesitate, mainly because him, Gilla and I had just visited the funk hole outside only minutes before, and I think he was a bit unsure of how he would handle driving in his state in a torrential rain storm.
He wasn’t the wrong. The windscreen wipers were on full tilt but were only half getting the job done. There were little rivers running over the road, making the lines almost impossible to see. And Tommy was playing some melodic, brain messing Stinky Jim tunes, which were making things only more confusing. But then there was the Nissan Micra of Safety. Oh thank fuck for that little white car that drove slowly just in front of us, leading us all the way down Rathdown and into the city, by which time the water falling from the sky had lessened. And thank fuck for the Coach too.
In loving memory of ‘Pat’ Patrick Francis Hannan: 25-12-1943 to 6-6-2018.