Sep 10, 2021
A highly unhelpful guide to the Preliminary Finals
It’s your unhelpful guide to the Preliminary Finals.
First preliminary final
Melbourne vs Geelong Cats (OS) 7:50pm Seven/Fox
Am I writing this more freaked out than an ‘influencer’ just filmed snorting white powder (it was definitely not cocaine though), off a Kmart plate? Yes, I am.
Last week, I made a cup of tea during the game and the Dees kicked a goal while I was doing it, so I made about twelve more cups of tea before the game finished.
Such is the weirdness of being a supporter with a team in the Finals.
I may die of tea poisioning tonight.
It’s not like I have good memories of the last time Melbourne played a Prelim in Perth.
I went to that game and it’s fair to say it was more painful than major surgery.
After the game, I was in the pub next to the stadium afterwards, and the worst thing was Eagles supporters kept approaching me, and they were being nice.
The pity made me feel like I was on a date.
They kept asking for selfies with me, so there are about 100 Eagles supporters out there with selfies of me at the most miserable moment of my life.
As a fan, all you can think of ahead of a Preliminary Final are the ways your team can lose. The minute you start thinking about how you can win your brain shuts it down, screaming ‘are you trying to jink us?’
The reality is, Preliminary Finals are a test of a team’s mental strength as much as anything else.
If I can’t sleep, and can’t feel one side of my face, how must the players be feeling?
Melbourne does have the benefit of the week off, which means more with no pre-finals bye, but Geelong still has enough key players to beat any side.
Sure the win a few weeks ago was great, but all Melbourne supporters are thinking about are those nine consecutive Geelong goals.
Speaking to Geelong supporters this week, they’re just as nervous. The Cats may have lots of finals experience but a lot of that hasn’t been good.
Every conversation went like this:
Me: I’m very worried, I think you guys will win this.
Cats fan: Are you serious? Are you not familiar with the work of Chris Scott?
And on it went, both arguing the other team would win.
The reality is, we’re all going to be nervous wrecks until this thing is over, and while I’m glad to be part of it, it still beats being more concerned about the draft class at this time of year.
My head is tipping the Demons, by my heart say, well nothing, it’s just beating fast, irregularly and has an intense sharp stabbing pain.
Second preliminary final
Port Adelaide vs Western Bulldogs (AO) 7:40pm Seven/Fox
Being from Victoria, I’d forgotten Port Adelaide are in the finals, so rare has any mention of them been.
Which is weird given they’re the favourites in this, getting an actual home final, which must be nice.
The Dogs, however, do have a lot of fans in South Australia, they’re called Crows fans.
Bulldogs fans have seen their team pull off an impossible finals series before, and they’ve been looking for signs of a similar campaign.
The worrisome thing is Marcus Bontempelli’s knee, the last player you want carrying an injury if you’re a Bulldogs fan.
While Power fans will not be unhappy about the development, Bontempelli at 60 per cent is still 90 per cent better than most players. I think I’ve got those figures right.
Port spent a lot of the year seen as unable to beat the top four sides, but in the last month, they’ve gone up a level and took care of the Cats in their first final with a casual ease that has erased a lot of those thoughts.
One way to think about this game is to consider the celebrity fans. It’s essentially David Koch v Chris Hemsworth.
It seems an unbalanced match up. Chris is better looking, fitter and richer. He’s also more well known in China, which is Port Adelaide heartland.
But Kochie is a survivor and underestimate him at your peril, just ask Samantha Armytage and Melissa Doyle.
I’m tipping Port but it’s going to be intense.
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