This afternoon I journeyed again to the Melbourne Cricket Ground to watch the last game of the season. The team that I follow, the Richmond Tigers, took on the lowly Port Adelaide Power in a twilight game. There wasn’t a great deal on the line, other than a potential Coleman Medal (awarded to the player who kicks the most goals in the home-and-away season) for Jack Riewoldt and a little bit of pride, both for the players and for departing club captain Chris Newman, who’d announced his abdication from the Richmond captaincy earlier today. Poor old Chris, notorious for being the AFL player to have played the most games without playing in a single final, stepping down at a time where the club looks to be in as good a position as it’s been in several decades.

I sat in the outer, basking in the early September sun as it liberally and indiscriminately painted the 3rd tier of the Great Southern Stand with glorious sunshine as the Richmond Tigers that I’ve come to know and loathe (begrudgingly love) put on one of the more pitiful footballing displays that I’ve ever borne witness to. I’ve only ever actually seen Richmond win twice in all of the times that I’ve seen them play live (which is more than a dozen) and today did not help to square that ledger in any fashion.

Chris Newman – suffering mediocrity since 2009.

The game ended in a draw, which is the footballing equivalent of having sex without achieving an orgasm. No theme song, no ecstatic supporters, nothing. I left the ground feeling like a novelty pyjama bag with all of the PJs pulled out of it; deflated, dejected, desolate. The whole time that I was at the game I’d felt like a Richmond win was a sure thing, a fait accompli if you will. I wasn’t even that engaged with the game at the end; we were 12 points up with a couple of minutes to go. It couldn’t go south from there, surely?

Later on this evening on the couch at home, I felt a cold sensation on my face that instantly awoke me from an impromptu slumber. Turns out that while watching TV I’d fallen asleep holding a beer and had inadvertently poured it on myself, causing a great deal of confusion and reinforcing the dejected feeling I’d dragged home from the footy like an unwelcome bag of coal.

My open letter to Richmond?

Dear Richmond,

Learn how to fucking win. I’ve gained nothing but abject disappointment from you as a fan since I hopped the sinking ship that was the Fitzroy Lions back in the nineties. If I die without seeing you win a premiership, I’ll fucking kill you.

Yours Sincerely,

Disgruntled fan #103045

/end communication

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