Grand Final Feelings

The sizzle and smell of bacon and eggs hit me. I rush downstairs to the kitchen. My partner’s made me bacon and eggs for breakfast, my favourite on a match day. Washed down with a long black of course.  I wonder what the players are eating? Are they even awake yet? Surely. Breakfast demolished, time to get ready.

Lucky jersey? Check. Lucky jeans? Check. Lucky undies? You know it. Lucky socks? I’m not that crazy…

Out the door and off to the train station. The cool winter air hits a little harder than normal. Probably because I’m practically jogging at this point. I’m full of nerves. The adrenaline has taken over already. But there’s one thing that can relax me…

There they are, in our usual corner. I find my mates, and there waiting for me an ice-cold drink. This should settle the nerves. It’s prediction time…I hate this. 1-0, 2-1, 3-2 after extra time…I can feel my heart starting to thump already.

The band plays our song, it’s time to warm up the vocal chords. Arm-in-arm, with friends strangers, we’re all here for one thing…our team. Save your voice for later, we’ve still got a long 90 minutes ahead of us…

There it is, the stadium. One of my favourite sights normally but not today when I’m this nervous. As we traverse through the crowd it’s a sea of colour and noise. Banners, scarves, face paint, singing, dancing, the aromas coming from the food trucks…this is home to me. Through security and to our seats, this is it I tell myself. We check the line-ups before being interrupted by the referee’s whistle…how’s that happened I thought? The game explodes into life, as does the crowd.

Pass after pass, chance after chance, this game is on a knife’s edge but no one can seem to break the deadlock. Before I know it, it’s half time. Time to catch my breath.

The referees whistle goes again, the second half is under way. It’s end-to-end. We are being treated to one of the greatest games of all time here. Still, no one has put the ball in the back of the net. Substitutes. Here we go. Debate over the changes is quickly shutdown as the ball flies over the bar. That was close. So was the full-time whistle, there’s 10 minutes to go…then 5 minutes, then 3, then 1 and nothing. Does anyone want to win this I ask myself?

BOOM! The defender slides in and wins the ball, plays it up field to the striker who is all alone with only the keeper to beat. The keeper is way off their line, surely not? Yep, the striker goes for it, inside their own half. WHACK! The ball takes forever, longer than the last 89 minutes took to pass, as it gets closer and closer to the goal. Closer. Closer. Closer…and just under the bar and into the net! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! My alarm…you’ve got to be kidding me?!