Rivalries in sport are all very nice, but what do you when your team has nobody? Any combination of Essendon/Collingwood/Carlton will do nicely for a blockbuster game, you can throw in Richmond too if you want. Freo/West Coast and Port v. Adelaide have obvious bragging rights issues attached to them as well, but what about the other 8 teams in the league - are we destined to walk this life alone without anybody to look forward to beating twice a season?
Well, i'm looking to change this for my team at least. Melbourne has a rivalry with Collingwood dating back many years, but I think that it's fairly one-sided. Our fans might look forward to playing them but they've got blockbusters against Essendon and Carlton to think about rather than some team who hasn't won anything in years. In the early-mid 90's we had a bit of a feud going with West Coast because we had a Jakovich, they had a Jakovich (ours was better), Chris Lewis bit Todd Viney and most games between the two encompassed some kind of melee - and then there was that debacle involving Peter 'bloody' Matera all but signing for us and then changing his fragile little mind at the last minute and staying in Perth but that's all over now so I'm proposing that we officially adopt St. Kilda as our hated blood rivals. I've been doing it since 1998 and it never fails to liven up what is otherwise a fairly nondescript fixture.
It all started for me during the 1998 finals when thanks to the shithouse unusual Ticketmaster system of seat allocation I ended up next to the entire St. Kilda cheersquad. Now, these were the typical toothless bogans you find in most cheersquads but they took it so much further. Their risky strategy of claiming victory when their team opened up a 20 point lead in the second quarter backfired when we made a storming comeback and went home 41 point winners (I had to look it up, i'm not that sad). Not before Barry Hall had executed what would be known in the WWE as a "flying knee drop" on poor little Matthew Febey. "He's faking it!" cried the bogans as Febey writhed around on the turf with the imprint of a knee plastered across his face. Hall eventually got suspended for two weeks, I would have given him life. Not before Jeff Farmer had taken a screamer in the goalsquare just a couple of meters and was greeted with calls of "what a fucking fluke, you're shit" (His four goals for the day would argue otherwise) and not before some toothless old hag had turned to the 10-year-old kid next to me and said "why don't you follow a real fucking team". I found it ironic that anyone who follows a team that has one won premiership in 107 years can seriously refer to themselves as a 'real' team but she was quite large so I restrained myself from commenting.
So, Melbourne won. We lost the prelim final the next Friday night to North. Stan Alves got sacked as St. Kilda coach and for reasons still not entirely clear to anyone Tim Watson was appointed in his place.
The next ultimate clash between the teams came in round 2 the next season at Waverley. Suffice to say we were useless and despite a stirring third-quarter comeback went home 46 point losers (Matthew Febey best on ground for the good-guys, for those who are taking score). During that fateful third-quarter I was engaging in another one of my rants about how shit Scott Chisholm was, and how we should never have signed him when some old fart told me to shut up. Now readers, you should know that I was seriously mentally ill for the first half (at least) of 1999 which is a good explanation for the utterly ridiculous crack I made about him being a good candidate for voluntary euthanasia. Suffice to say it almost ended with me being smeared across most of Artic Park, which would probably have been less than I deserved. Incidentally that was the game where useless Scotty Chisholm was racially abused by that well-known drug user idiot Spider Everitt.
It's been hard to maintain the rage in the last few years with all my most hated criminals leaving them - Hall, Heatley and Everitt and having to sit through Sean Charles' painful comeback to the game. Nevertheless I put it to you that this is the rivalry we should be concentrating on for the upcoming season. Forget Collingwood/Carlton, i'm doing my best to make sure Melbourne vs the Scum is going to be the biggest blockbuster clash on the AFL calendar. Remember, we now have the chance to pay back that ungreatful shit Steven Powell for running out on us because we wouldn't offer enough cash. Rememeber who payed your wages when you were sitting on your ass for a year injured and smoking dope (allegedly)? Well, hopefully after this game he'll be on Workcover for a few more years.
Saturday, June 28th - Melbourne vs. St. Kilda (MCG, 2.10pm)
We only get one chance to embarass them this year, so make sure you're there to see it!