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No gain, no pain
I played my second game of footy, and my first lining up for the Swansea Magpies. Due to a few people pulling out at the last minute, we were light on for numbers. There was a guy who was preparing to run sprints nearby for rugby pre-season. We co-opted him into the side. An hour of coaching pre-game (and a fair bit of on-field coaching) and he played really well.
The game was played as 7-a-side due to low numbers (they had one on the bench), and we were all fairly tired at the end. Everyone on our side played really well, and only inaccurate kicking for goal kept Swindon in it. We were 21 points up at 3 quarter time but they finished strongly as we held them off to win by a single point, to give Swindon their first loss of the year.
I played a good game, holding down full-back well, repelling lots of attacks and having lots of kicks. At one point, I picked up the ball 20 metres out and was beset by 3 forwards. I straightened and put the ball straight through the centre of the goals. The umpire quickly retracted his call of a goal when I pointed out that I kicked it, so it was a point. I was too tired at that point to fight off 3 players while facing away from goals. We got a goal from the kick in, too, so it was a good move. My kicking was a little suspect, but the captain soon worked it out, running past for handballs whenever I had a mark or free kick.
It was a game of pain for me. It's difficult to know what hurts the most. The pain of general soreness from a hard game? The pain of the full-forward's hands around my neck in a marking contest? The pain of an accidental thumb in my eye (although the resultant free saved a goal)? The pain of having my hands kicked as an opponent came through with his boots in a pack? The pain of one calf cramping and having to keep going? The pain of the other calf cramping at the end as well? The pain (and embarrassment) of getting sun burnt (I forgot it is summer)?
Or the pain of, after scraping a win, having to celebrate with "Good old Swansea forever"?
I then walked home slowly, and started doing chores before we left. After dropping the microwave off to be repaired, we made our way to the hotel where we were staying before getting ready and going to Jess and Joe's wedding reception. It was a good night - very Jess and Joe. Dinner was a professionally done barbecue, although Bec and I got caught out by the British way of doing things, whereby people pay for their own drinks. It didn't matter - we just had to go and get some cash.
Commentsh3>Comment from gelfen
well it couldn't have been as painful for you as being forced to sing "Good Old Collingwood Forever", although I would pay money to hear you do it.
it also couldn't have been as painful as if you had seen Melbourne's disgraceful effort against Richmond last Friday.
I may have been singing Swansea, but I just couldn't help thinking Collingwood.
I've seen Melbourne lose in the past, and I will see Melbourne lose in the future (apologies if I have any Fitzroy supporting readers). Sport is a zero sum game. Melbourne can only win if others loses. By extension, Melbourne needs to lose sometimes so that others can win. All of which is a long way of saying: I followed the game. It wasn't pleasant.
But given the choice between beating Collingwood and an insipid follow-up, and losing to Collingwood and beating Richmond, I think the answer should be obvious...
My favourite procrastinations
The Head Heeb - Jonathan provides a balanced view on various Israeli and (former) colonial states in less developed regions of the world.
The Bladder - a sports satire site. Well worth a look.