NANNAS vs BENS BABES
3 v 4
TH, CG, CB, EC, GM, SJG (MOM)
2,000 squeaks and blood blisters to prove it. A masculine badge of linoleum movements.
Nanna’s were all heart. Scrappy, passionate and poetic.
The other team, let’s call them The Others were economical with their defence and sexless with their attack, but like Germans their progress was methodical and inevitable.
They were younger than us, they were faster than us, they were stronger than us but we were honest, more heartfelt and sincere, but sincerity wins nothing and poetry in the gymnasium impresses less, its a game of numbers and grit.
Our trophy horse Brazilian Guido trotted, twirled and netted us some swift goals. He was unflappable.
Elliot ran with the skeleton of a teenager, his skin holding on as he darted like a weed into the Others field of orange shirts, thin, winding, inevitable and flowering into the net through his doggeded persistence.
Chris was like a funky lightning storm, capturing the flashing rain balls with his slap action defences.
I wanted to win for Coach
I felt that coach was my father
He felt everything, saw everything and knew our form missed the dynamo of connection.
We chased the game, she never came to our side, flirted with us like a summer flame but extinguished by our existential desperation.
But let’s talk about masculinity.
The fuel that dripped from The Others curly haired attacking midfielder.
Irritable and discontent from first whistle to sulked handshakes, earning a yellow card early and sat at a idling ‘strangle-you-to-death-in-a shallow-pool-of-your-own-blood’ mode for the entire match.
I had my own dance with a young fellow toe toucher and shoulder rubber. The referee bless him corrected our dance steps, sought to the tune of his repeated whistles and explanations of the rules in slow threatening tones.
We clawed back to 4-3 just before the end, and I think began to believe in ourselves. Located our weaknesses and knew our straight forward truths of the game.
We were men who had seen the world, raised children, grown flowers, buried our friends. We knew of life, and this was our strength, the foibles of youth weren’t in our loins no-longer, and we could see their awkward self expressions and need for society’s acceptance.
Their fatherhood had not come from the mountain.
We had touched the lightning, grown the child, felt the blood of a dark night and spoken to ghosts.
For a game is just a war without weapons, a schizophrenic poem of sport.
What better way to understand the game than seeing Australia’s greatest jazz pianist collapse his newest compositions in a Brunswick jazz club post match. A Sax player ripping the instrument apart, fragmenting the sound into pure physicality, beyond emotion, into swathes of colour and then just black waves moving into daylight.