Sunday, 22 July 2012

Another Ghost article:4

And so here it is!

In all the history told about this club, in all the bar room tales where old men stand around the tables, shouting beers, reminiscing about the great years and sharing their love of the Old Dark Navies with their sons and daughters; in all the back slapping yarns between mates leaving the ground, their hearts warm, their throats hoarse after another great win; in all the cheer squad reunions and football memories shared between families, one thing about Carlton remains -Collingwood’s hatred of us is only matched by our hatred of them.

Essendon struts like a chain-jiggling pimp and pretends importance when it’d sell its soul for a glimpse of the cup. Essendon might win but it will never be satified, it’s the demon with the thirst that cannot be sated because at its heart Essendon knows it s just a parody of us but Collingwood just sits in the corner and glares. Malice pours forth. How could it not.? Collingwood people remember the greatest football story ever told. They remember ‘Jesaulenko you beauty’ like a voodoo chant as the pins prick their palpitating hearts. Oh how their hearts ache to redress the wrongs we’ve inflicted upon them; how they pretend they’ve forgotten or moved on - Pretenders one and all! Not in the Essendon way, not with the gaudy clothes, loud slash of red and silly war—glorifying song. They pretend a greatness, a claim as the best in the land but then they remember us.

They remember Harmsey’s thump and scream over and over again ‘It was out!’ It matters not. Me, I hope the ball was in the second tier, it just adds to their misery, and then I tell them, ‘It matters not, we held the cup aloft.’ They shiver sometimes in the middle of winter, more often than not when there is the scent of September in the air, or when they think of their centenary and how we walloped them again. Even Fev hurt them with 15 that mad millennium night.

It is fitting that we have the wood over Collingwood. It is right and proper that as they swarm through their suburban nightmares it is us they wish to eradicate. Us they wish to smash into a pulp.

And we, we Bluebagger lads remember too our great champions, our Swans and SOS’s, our Sheldons and Racehorses, our Woofs and Geoff Southbys. Each time they have risen, this mob with their black, wobbly teeth and squinty eyes, each time they have risen and began to think they might claim that perch, they meet us again, meet our champions in whatever era we find ourselves. For Carlton is the side of the Champions eternal, the Fin Mac Cools of Football, the Arthurian light to the Magpie darkness.

And so the time has come my Bluebagger brethren to remind the Magpies of our presence again. It is time for Judd to burst forth from the centre, for Murph and Gibbs to collect the ball time and time again, for The Giant to belt it forth, for Waitey and Tex to soar and for the blurs in our forward line to weave their magic and kick plenty of goals.

It has been a while since I have actually felt calm and quietly confident. They are good, make no mistake, They sit there atop the ladder, last year’s cup still shining in the eyes of all they come up against, and think only good times lie ahead. They are good - not great. Not yet, and that is where we come in. Not ever if the Bluebaggers have anything to say about it! Not on the evening when they unfurl their flag!

It is time for this young Carlton side to show the world Carlton are back again. Not in any ‘we’re coming, we’re cooking, we’re young and building’ way. Just it is us. It is Carlton. We’ll win.

Some call it arrogance. They hate us for it. Love to see us fall. It is not arrogance, not at the heart of it. It is, really, just a fierce desire to win. That is what I have seen building this year. That desire again; that old dark Navy self- belief - The bigger the game, the better.

And this Friday’s game is the biggest so far this year. This is our moment to shine. To send a shudder through the ranks of not just Pie supporters but all the depressed rest who have danced on our grave and drunk deep of our grief.

Time to set the world back on course again. Time to stand up straight and tall, shrug and play the game. Time to be Carlton again for a night, a month and forever and a day!

I think we will win because in the end I think we want it more. I think we have the weapons to hurt them. I think we have the strength of body now, and we have added beautifully to a list that was building. Young Ed, Watto and Laidler just to name a few.

It is time. Time to silence that Carringbush mob, time to send them pouring out of the M.C.G. again, angry, confused and just a little but bitter that they must always play the Bluebagger mob. Time to claim top spot and swagger, just a little bit, back to work on Monday, a small smile, a nod as they deliver their excuses, a shrug and to say, quietly, without argument, ‘and yet it matters not, for all that you say, we won.’

Go Blues!

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