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Soup of This Day #53: It’s A Long Way To The Shop If You Want A Chico Roll

August 21, 2011

Bon Scott Statue in Fremantle, Western Australia
A statue of legendary ACDC frontman Bon Scott, erected at Fisherman’s Wharf, Fremantle, Western Australia – Photo: Greg O’Beirne, 2008. Greg O’Beirne has no affiliation with Longworth72. Image cropped by Longworth72.

This blog has rules. To be fair they change at the whim of the author but mostly I like to think of them as evolving. For instance the word limit used to be 2500 but the posts started to get rambling and unwieldy and the author got lazy so now the limit is 1500 and there’s a fair ol’ sweating process that goes on prior to publishing. Hemmingway once said that, ‘The first draft of anything is shit,’ so this seems to work well.

There are also rules about the titles. Almost always now they are lyrics from a song that is playing as a kind of mental soundtrack while I write. Occasionally the lyrics will be distorted slightly to fit the theme of the post, sometimes via a bad pun or a mondegreen. Which leads us to another rule, the author needs to curb his natural tendency to be a smartass so I generally try to reduce the lines which are at first read witty but subsequently show up as pretentious garbage with it’s head up it’s arse. I’m not as funny as I think I am is a mantra that this blog goes by.

I have rules about numbers – They almost always appear in numeral form rather than spelled as words. Not because, like Homer Simpson, I figure only rich folk spell numbers with letters. Nope, it’s just because this is a sport blog and in sport numbers are almost always numerals.

And finally there is a rule that surprises most people who know me well. This blog by and large doesn’t do rants or general negativity. Instead it tries to be pragmatic and constructive, seeking out the sunshine amongst the roller coaster that is this sporting life.

There is no rule about mashing together metaphors in a dysfunctional cacophony of imagery. Sorry.

This optimistic view of sport isn’t easy when you consider the 3 teams at the heart of Longworth72’s sportactular (I am allowed to make up words) world:

The Boston Red Sox took 86 years to win a World Series. There may have been some missed opportunities there. Character building it was. As it is when they out-hit opponents yet still find a way to stuff it up and lose. Usually stranding enough runners on base that they could start a whole new United States of Sox Runners. The USSR? Hmmm, can’t see that failing.

But in the past 7 years they have won 2 World Series and are now regular heavyweight contenders.

Liverpool FC have not won a title for 21 years and have frittered away countless millions in pursuit of mediocrity. They routinely take more shots on goal than opponents while still finding a way to lose. Krusty the Clown would surely bet on Liverpool FC.

But in 2005 they won the Miracle in Istanbul, a magical 6th addition to their firmament of European Cup trophies. They’ve also not been relegated since 1953 and are perennial contenders for the title.

And the Fremantle Dockers.

Ahhhh, the Dockers. The truly great test of my resolve to not rant and to extricate the positives from a not so good legacy. Take their game last night against the North Melbourne Kangaroos.

North are mediocre. Although, only a place below the Dockers at the start of the match and at home, they signified a test for a Freo side that had lost 4 on the trot. The Dockers were however approaching full strength after a horror run of injuries and their season was on the line so they would surely be up for the fight. How did it pan out?

Well 3rd-from-bottom Brisbane fought hard but the table topping Collingwood were too good for them at the ‘G’, running out 14.18 (102) to 13.6 (84) winners in a tighter-than-expected game.

Ahhh, Longworth72, weren’t you writing about the Dockers vs Kangas match?

Good point discombobulated italiccy person. I’ll get right back on track now. You see, Hawthorn jumped Carlton early, getting out to a 40 point lead but the Blues stormed back in the 2nd half to go down narrowly 8.18 (66) to 10.18 (78). The Hawks are real contenders while question marks are being raised over Carlton.

Yeeeeaaaaah, Longworth72 that’s still not the Freo vs North match now is it?

Yep. Can totally see where I’ve gone wrong. Adelaide easily accounted for Gold Coast with a late burst after the Suns had threatened in the 3rd to be…


Sigh. Ok. You got me. It’s this dumb ‘Can’t be negative’ rule. It’s problematic because the Dockers were awful. Truly, truly shit to be blunt. And I can only find 1 positive and that’s is, that unless Sydney, Essendon and North all lose the plot in the final 2 rounds, we’ll be spared the suffering of watching these Dockers play in the finals in 2011.

See, in a match where it needed to be all on the line the Dockers rolled over like a thing that rolls over with a pathetic whimper. They went into quarter time down 6.1 (37) to 3.1 (19), having been level at 2 goals apiece early. In the 2nd quarter they conceded 4.6 (30) while scoring 0.3 (3). It’s almost wrong to call it ‘scoring’. They at least improved on that in the 3rd, spluttering home 2.3 (15) but sadly North knocked in a lazy 6.3 (39) and a rout was on. In the last the Dockers kicked a bountiful 1.2 (8) while the struggling Kangas limped in with 5.7 (37). The final margin was 21.17 (143) to a Dockers season low 6.9 (45). So not quite 100 points but in the context of a must win encounter a shellacking of epic proportions nonetheless. North have now leapfrogged over the Dockers into 9th while the Dockers have limbo’d into mediocrity and an early holiday.

Excuses? Matty Pavlich left early with a calf injury. That’s it. We lost the captain and then the season.

The lyric in the title of this post is an oft-quoted parody of the ACDC classic Long Way To The Top.

And yes, those are bagpipes. Rock. And. Roll. Baby.

Legendary ACDC frontman Bon Scott belted the original out from 1974 until 1980, when after a night of heavy drinking he was sadly lost to us all. Following his death he was cremated and his ashes were interred in the town his family emigrated to when he was 10. His grave can still be found in Fremantle cemetary today, not far down the road from where the remains of the Fremantle Dockers 2011 AFL season are buried.

I may have gone a little negative but at least I kept it to under 1100 words. Hemmingway would be proud.

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