TGOS hits the road for the GF
This started off as a one part diary but got a bit wordy (as is my custom) so I had to break it into 3 parts.
Sunday, 20 September 2015 – Brisbane
I hatch a cunning plan with one of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (contributing friends who are behind a veil of anonymity). If the Broncos and the Cows make the GF, boys weekend in Sydney. Anything is possible the way the Cows and the Broncos are playing. I am heading off on a road trip to Cairns but I will text the League if everything goes to plan.
Saturday, 26 September 2015 – Cairns
Finish watching the Cows knock the Storm over with my Dad. Immediately text the League. We are on like Donkey Kong.
Sunday, 27 September 2015 – Cairns
The League has bailed. He has bought a new puppy and can’t make the trip. He attaches a picture of the puppy. The puppy is very cute. Understandable, but the trip is off. I don’t have a million dollars to fly down to Sydney with Mrs TGOS to catch the GF. Looks like I’m going to watch it on TV again.
Friday, 2 October 2015 @ 4:00pm – Brisbane
I’m back in Brisbane after driving a billion miles to Cairns and back, sitting at my work computer with the worst dose of influenza (1 month) for some time. Suddenly I remember QLD has a new public holiday on Monday. An even more cunning plan emerges.
Friday, 2 October 2015 @6:30pm – Brisbane
I book my tickets to the GF. We are staying at Bass Hill. Apparently, it isn’t far from the stadium. We are driving down. Big call! That’s 950km on the open road and because the NSW Government is perpetually upgrading the highway that equates to roughly 11 ½ hours driving. Let’s break that down for those of you from other places. If you are driving from New York, New York you could get to Cincinatti, Ohio. If you left London and drove for 11 ½ hours (according to Google Maps) that would get you to Wick in Scotland. I’ve never heard of Wick but it sounds like a long way from anywhere.
Saturday, 3 October 2015 @2:30am – Brisbane
It is early but we hit the road. It is going to be a long day and it is. Nearly everyone on the road is going to the GF, all Cowboys or Broncos supporters. Go the Cows! Queensland is invading NSW and the Welshies don’t mind because we are expending exorbitant amounts of money for the privilege.
Saturday, 3 October 2015 @2:30pm – Bass Hill
We arrive. The accommodation is pretty good considering we booked it the night before. Nearly everyone who is staying here is going to the GF. Broncos and Cowboys jerseys are everywhere. The guy who owns the Motel must have been asked the same list of questions a thousand times because he rattles off, without much prompting, answers to the 100 or so questions we pepper him with. Nothing much of note happens for the rest of the day. We are smashed so we don’t do much. We eat a meal of very low nutritional value and get an early night.
Sunday, 4 October 2015 @11:30am – Olympic Stadium
We swing by Bankstown Rebel Sports to see if we can pick up some Cowboys or Broncos paraphernalia for the game. Mrs TGOS follows the Broncos. No luck. Unsurprisingly, they have 80% Bulldogs gear, a couple of Dragons and Eels jerseys and that’s it. We are in Bankstown after all.
We get to the stadium. The Buzz is awesome and I’m not talking Hermitude but that is awesome too BTW. It is almost as if 83,000 people are on holiday at the one time. Wait. That is exactly what is happening. Get parking right beside the stadium, 50 lineal metres tops. Seats are right beside the exit. It doesn’t get any better than this really. There is a feeling history is going to be made today.
At this stage I am so excited I pretty much text every single person in the World. Maybe not everyone but close to everyone. Next to no one knows I’m at the GF so I get a thousand “I can’t believe you’re at the GF” texts back. It is usually someone else doing the wonderfully spontaneous things so it is nice that I’m the one doing it this time.
We find our seats and there is an inordinate amount of people at the game already, probably because we are all from out of town and have nothing better to do. The ground announcer has felt the temperature and is wisely making his ground announcements very QLD-centric. We are cheering at nearly everything.
Holden Cup GF – Penrith Panthers vs Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
Start off going for Penrith because I generally don’t go for Manly on principle. BTW everyone hates Manly except Manly. Find myself strangely swinging around and hoping that Manly wins, I think primarily on the basis that they are getting towelled and I feel sorry for them. It ends up being a pretty good match with some actual defence played. Not too much, because after all, it is the Holden Cup and defence is not high on the priority list. That is probably why the Warriors do so well. Tom Trbojevic is dangerous but well covered. In the end Penrith are too good.
BTW, it is a million degrees Celsius. Everything about this day screams Queensland.
NRL State Championship GF – Ipswich Jets vs Newcastle Knights
The first game with a Queensland tie in and I actually do feel sorry for the Knights. There are about 30,000 in the ground by now and only 3 of them are going for the Knights. Ipswich wins this comfortably 26-12. Marmin Barba gets a length of the field try. That man runs as fast as the wind blows.
Everyone around me is freaking out about the tactics of the Jets. They’ve been doing short kick offs and drop outs all year people. Stop freaking out. The contract football Ipswich plays is a sight to behold and resembles Touch Football with wingers sweeping around to the centre of the field and off loads galore.
The pre-match entertainment is spot on. Cold Chisel are in good form and pleasingly are actually playing music that everyone knows. They must have done this kind of thing before. 83,000 people singing Khe Sanh is a sight (and sound) to behold especially because most people only know ‘the last plane out of Sydney’s almost gone’ bit. They leave the field and for those people who have driven a billion kilometres to be here or have arrived at the ground when it was still dark or both, the feeling is surreal. I can’t believe I’m actually at the GF. Being a Cowboys supporter in Brisbane it is an unusual feeling just to see the Cowboys playing live. I can’t wait for the game to start.
Part 2 will be next week.
What is sweeter than Jelly Bread?
- The drive to Sydney from Brisbane is actually way more picturesque than I expected. The Northern Rivers and the Hawkesbury River are probably the highlight. Views are awesome.
- Ashley Barty moving from the professional Tennis circuit to professional Cricket with the Queensland Fire. Gutsy move.
Final results as follows:
Grand Final – 1/1
Season – 126/201 (2014 – 117/201)
Final percentage – 62.69% (2014 – 58.21%)
Final Position – 8,750 from 220,294
Fire and Foe by Nick Saxon. It is the bomb.
EPL Tips Match Week 10
Aston Villa vs Swansea – Swansea 2-1
Leicester vs Crystal Palace – Leicester 3-2
Norwich vs West Brom – Norwich 2-1
Stoke City vs Watford – Stoke City 2-0
West Ham vs Chelsea – Chelsea 1-0
Arsenal vs Everton – Arsenal 3-1
Sunderland vs Newcastle Utd – Draw 1-1
Bournemouth vs Tottenham – Tottenham 2-1
Man U vs Man City – Draw 2-2
Liverpool vs Southampton – Liverpool 1-0
BTW I’m going head to head with Lawro (Mark Lawrenson of the BBC) again this year. He has gone and changed his scoring system (a correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth TEN points and picking an exact score FORTY points).
Me – 60 (6 from 10 with no perfect scores) and Lawro – 80 (5 from 10 with 1 perfect score)
Me – 100 (7 from 10 with 1 perfect score) and Lawro – 90 (6 from 10 with 1 perfect score)
Season so far
Me – 730 and Lawro – 730 (It doesn’t get any closer than this)
Stay tuned for the next exciting episode on Tuesday, 10 November 2015 titled ‘The Game of Sport’s 2015 NRL Grand Final Diary Part 2’