Last year at secondary school, I used attended a monthly school leaders meeting up in the College Boardroom. We used to sit around a huge mahogany table and discuss how best to approach the increasingly frustrating issue of the overcrowded canteen, or of the broken water taps. Enthralling stuff. This is why I usually turned my attention to the delicious catered lunch options we were given. It was fantastic, and the only time of the month where I enjoyed what I ate during our break. (Sorry Mum, Peanut Butter Sandwiches become a bit boring after 5 years.) There were bowls of fresh fruit, cut sandwiches with turkey or chicken, warm scones, and even a tray of assorted cakes. But off to the side of the table, there was tempting a large pile of freshly baked biscuits and cookies. I grabbed what I thought was a tasty choc-chip cookie, and as I took I bite, I was bitterly disappointed. I was anticipating – and expecting – a sweet chocolate experience, but what I got in return, was a dried out, crumbly Raisin and Oatmeal biscuit. It shook me. It hurt, and I was let down. I vowed never to trust those cookies again. Hell, that’s where my psych says all my trust issues come from. Well, that, and the footy.
As soon as I think that the AFL cannot get anymore exciting, anymore dramatic, anymore fan-bloody-tastic, I am proven wrong. I can no longer trust the football. Every time I believe one thing, the other happens. Every time something extraordinary happens, it gets better. And every time I believe a team has it won, they don’t.
Take Friday night’s game. Trailing by 36 points at half time, the Dons seemed down and out. In enemy territory and greasy conditions, they produced one of the most outstanding comebacks ever, as Paddy Ryder kicked the winner with just a minute left on the clock. Essendon’s 5th biggest comeback ever from a half time deficit. An inspired victory, especially considering the controversy that surrounded the team and coach that week.
Or how about Showdown XXXIV? The Pride of South Australia had it under control during the 3rd quarter, leading by 5 goals. Yet low and behold – with much thanks to the Hoff – Port Adelaide charged home to win by 9 points.
The modern game seems to have got to a point where no team is ever safe. But this does beg an important question. Statistically, how often do team’s squander their lead? At quarter time? Half time? And how many three quarter time comebacks do we see? – And further to that, how important is each quarter of the game? How vital is the Premiership Quarter?
Looking at next week’s games, it already seems likely my trust issues will remain. But unlike the Raisin Cookie in disguise, the footy will always be a sweet chocolaty surprise. Hey it rhymes!!