I had everything set up to 'watch' this Newcastle vs Melbourne game in the best way possible. I had the A-League
'live' site up as well as the SBS live scoring site, and had Melbourne radio playing live meanwhile.
Jacob walked into my room. Neighbours had finished. He said, "Let's go."
"Let's go to town. This game decides the fate of Queensland man."
"Ok, we'll be late, but let's go. Put your shoes on."
We caught the train, and when we arrived at the Pig & Whistle, we had missed half an hour but it was still nil all.
I'd expected maybe a lot of Roar fans as the Pig & Whistle always play A-League games and I think is one of the official Roar fan bars. We could mostly only spot obvious Sydney supporters.
After the first Newcastle goal, I asked one of them (we were about one foot away from a whole table of these black shirts), "Who do you hope will win?"
"I actually hope Newcastle will win. You see I'm a Roar supporter." I stopped myself, in courtesy, from saying, "I really want Queensland to be the ones to knock you guys out of the competition!" So I probably didn't quite make sense.
"But if Melbourne win, then Roar are safe as well as Sydney."
"Yeah," I said, "but it will make it a cracker of a game tomorrow."
The bloke went back to his iced chocolate.
What? A bunch of young male Sydney fans drinking coffees and iced milk drinks?
They did look very uniform. I noticed their shirts weren't actually jerseys, but collared shirts, with all the sponsors upon them, and they all had matching track pants as well. They weren't drinking, and then one said, "I'm going to go for a massage. At 8.30 we can get a massage."
I turned to the bloke again. "You aren't the team are you?"
How silly of me. "Are you playing for the Cove in the curtain raiser?"
"Um, it's just that you all have matching track pants, and, um, none of you are drinking."
"Ok, we're the players."
"What's your name?"
I'll only make one real note. These guys clearly wanted Melbourne to win. They were noticeably stunned as Newcastle walked over Melbourne. In their eyes - each and every one of the eight or nine of them there - was, "Oh fuck, we might not make the finals." They did not look confident to me. As Jacob pointed out, maybe there were a bunch of Roar players somewhere looking the same way. The only certainty is, this one tomorrow night is really going to be a cracker.
As they left (as soon as the fourth goal was scored), I said to David Zdrilic, "May the best team win." He said, "Thanks mate," and I reckon that was about as much as either of us could have expected from the other.
I meant it though. May the best team win. I reckon the Roar are the best team, but in under twenty-four hours, we'll all know.
Labels: A-League, Melbourne Victory FC, Newcastle Jets FC, Queensland Roar, Sydney FC