All my people right here, right now, d'ya know what I mean........


All my people right here, right now.......d'ya know what I mean


By Becca Hayne


Of the myriad of songs I play to kill time in the lead up to St Kildas debut AFLW game against the Western Bulldogs, it's Oasis's lumpen lead single to Be Here Now that resonates the most.

All my people
Right here
Right now
D'ya know what I mean

I carry with me a lot of the guilt that comes from being a transient immigrant, with the duality of living across two countries in my life.

Live in Australia? I don't make family commitments in New Orleans

Live in New Orleans? I don't get to the footy......

I've had strange mixed emotions in the lead up to St Kildas first AFLW game, primary amongst them is "I should be there....."

I missed Steve Gleasons block against the Atlanta Falcons, and it chews me up inside....this is gnawing at similar emotive nerves.

Then it hits me.

I am there.

Emotively, not physically, sure, but there's no way this day doesn't belong to me, and the many, many Sainters who have waited with growing impatience for this moment.

Without St Kilda, I wouldn't have stayed in Australia as long as I did.

Without the kindness of strangers, without old ducks clocking my accent, and giving me soup and letting me be part of the St Kilda vs Sydney game of footy in 2002, I would have been back to New Orleans within weeks.

This is MY club......

I belong....immigrant guilt be damned.....

This is my day, even if its just flickering on the screen.

It's OUR fucking day.....

This isn't a particularly good match recap.

It's hard to bring you play by play action when you sit crying for 5 hours straight.

The live stream opens with flickering, low def images of Moorabbin past across the screen, and then they transition to my favorite St Kilda player, Kate McCarthy, smiling and casually handballing a footy to herself.

That's when I emotionally lose it, and the rest of the game is spent in various emotions, mostly tears, but also joy....

In the emotive state, I see my Twitter family member and confidant Shae out on the ground, a fellow Sainter, knowing what this day means to her.

I rattle myself so much I yell out HI SHAE like she'll turn around and hear me, then giggle a little.

It proves my point though.

She is my people.

THESE are my people

All my people
Right here
Right Now
They know what I mean.....

Our opponents are the Western Bulldogs, or "Brookes team" as I like to call them.

The Dogs kick the first three goals of the game.

They've swung Bonnie Toogood forward to pretty devastating effect, and in an unforgettable moment after one of her goals, Daisy Pearce on commentary can't work out why Bonnie has TOO GOOD tattooed on her fingers.

None of this matters though, because of what happens next.

I had to look it up, because it was such a blur of emotions mixed into one.

Our young superstar Georgia Patrikios gets the ball 55 from goal, plays on with what I like to call our already trademark dare, and kicks to Molly McDonald, who marks, plays on, and kicks our first ever goal with her left foot.

Cue bedlam.

Cue a very incoherent tweet.

There's a passage in the book Fever Pitch where Nick Hornby talks about Perry Groves and Charlie Nicholas dancing behind the goals after the winner against Liverpool in 1987, and how they could never have imagined being frozen in time for that moment as their careers played out.

Our girls, our women, converge to celebrate our first ever goal, and there it is, frozen in time for ever, a disparate group of women each with their own individual story, and bonded together in time.

Right here, right now.....

And a woman in New Orleans who grew up dreaming on somehow being quarterback for the New Orleans Saints sees a sporting dream play out in a very different land....

Our goal

Our people

Our fucking club.....

There's even some old fashioned Saints mongrel, the kind we gravitate to.

Kate gives the umpires plenty, we bury Hannah Scott on the wing in a tackle like she's a visiting player in the 80s, and after our second goal from Jess Sedunary (a cult Sainter if ever there was one), she pushes Ellie Blackburn in the chest.

Ellies genuine "What the fuck" look is priceless.

It later emerges after a different collision with Scott on the wing, Nadia Von Bertouch has done her ACL, which is a surprise because post collision she gets up and jogs back on to finish to game like nothing has happened.

Saints tough, Saints mongrel.

Squint a bit and it's like the Animal Enclosure is reborn.

The Dogs are too good (no pun intended) on the day, better positioned, more experienced, especially their defence.

They read our kicks, they position themselves well, they get goals when they need them, they are a little bit more clinical in the midfield.

I genuinely mean this, I can't tell you the exact score without looking it up - this day wasn't about that.

Just like that, it's over, the Dogs sing their song and life moves on...

The lockout crowd files out, and my overheated laptop needs a rest.

But genuinely, this is one of the best days of my life.

I take a moment to reflect on not getting a team twice, of Team Angelica, of the disappointments, of the envy of seeing other teams run out.

Of having another team, GWS (who I won't and can't abandon, there's that duality thing again) because we didn't have a Saints team to cheer for.

And then, on this particular day, we arrived.

We belong.

I belong.

They belong.

We have our team, our girls, our cult heroes, our color, our hopes and our dreams, writ large, space they can't touch.

It's tribal, it's passionate, and it's everything.

Space trolls can't touch, space we understand, because life is more beautiful when you have to fight for something.....

Stand for something.......

And it made a battered old laptop be coated with tears....

All my people
Right here
Right Now
They know what I mean.....





Comments

  1. Ah shit, it didn't work. 2nd version: I am so happy for you and all the Sainters that you've finally made it. {Ellies genuine "What the fuck" look is priceless.} - that was one of the greatest AFLW moments ever for me; I love EB.

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    Replies
    1. Oh I absolutely loved it, Jess Sedunary immediately becomes a cult Sainter just for that! And then Ellies face......just wonderful.......

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