Round 3 – North Melbourne v Geelong: A Different Tone of Blue

By Emily Leydin

 

My two favourite teams were going up against each other, the Kangas and the Cats. In the days leading up to the big game, I had been trying to work out which jumper I would wear. My Geelong jumper, with the navy blue horizontal stripes with number 35 amidst the players’ signatures, or my North Melbourne jumper, with the bright blue vertical stripes with number 9 plastered on the back, showing my love of Andrew Swallow, the captain of the Roos. It was a tough decision but after much scrutiny, I decided to stay faithful to the Roo boys and I slipped the blue and white jumper over my head. I picked up my bag and went to the train stop with my brother, who was also bearing a North Melbourne jumper.

We met my Nana and two cousins at the train station, with minutes to spare before our train arrived. My two cousins and my nana were all Geelong fans and were slightly disappointed in our choice to wear our North Melbourne jumpers. All the same, we boarded the train and soon arrived at Etihad Stadium where the air was thriving with passion and enthusiasm. There were some fans that had gone all out in their outfits and displayed their team colours in a very unique way. There were navy and white afros and outrageous blue and white accessories, all showing how much love the people had for their team.

‘Records, get ya footy records,’ the voices boomed through the crowd, as people searched for their loose coins to purchase their footy record. As we got closer to the stadium, we heard a different lot of voices shouting, ‘Hot pies, cold drinks!’ We had come prepared, we had chips, lollies and drinks in our bag. This wasn’t our first game at the footy and it certainly wouldn’t be our last. We found our seats and the banners were presented to the crowd. The team songs played and the fans were cheering with unbelievable devotion, there were flags flying and posters being held high in the air. The players were positioned onto the field and the first siren signalled the beginning of the first quarter.

The game continued, with lots of knocks, shocks and collisions, the game getting more intense as it advanced. I was stunned by the scoreboard. The Kangas were winning! They were beating the almighty Cats, the 2011 premiers. This was not what I had expected to happen. I had prepared myself for a thrashing. I thought that Geelong were going to kick goal after goal after goal, leaving the Roos in the dark, pushing them further down the ladder. But that wasn’t happening at all. I could feel myself becoming more involved in the game as the Kangas tightened their grip on the match. Could North Melbourne really beat the Cats? I guess I would have to wait and see. At the end of the 3rd quarter, the Kangaroos were leading by 36 points, 6 goals. Surely that would be enough to see them claim victory?

In the final minutes of the 4th quarter, I could feel myself transforming from a fence-sitter, not minding who won the game, into an absolute die hard Kangas fan! We were so close now, we couldn’t let that opportunity slip away now. The fans were going crazy, barracking wildly, the atmosphere was intense. Goal after goal was scored, a few kicks went slightly askew and headed through the point posts. The seconds were ticking away. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… The ball was flung into the air in celebration. The first beats of the North Melbourne anthem blared through the speakers and the Kangas fans sprung to their feet. We’d done it! We’d defied the odds and come out on top. Maybe this was the beginning of a fantastic season? Who knew? It was only round 3, there were a lot of games ahead of us. Maybe this was our season… or maybe not.

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