Highs, lows, trials & jubilations of my loves

Richmond wins the 1980 Grand Final

It just struck me I follow a lot of sport. I also watch a lot of sport. It probably drives @MoxNixChick – but she is supportive.

I’ve never actually outlined my sporting passions and committed them to page. So here goes.

It’s no secret I love horse racing – and winning on the punt even more than horse racing.

I had chills on my chills when – trackside – I saw Black Caviar  top the rise at Randwick Racecourse and stroll past Rain Affair like he was standing still. Seeing her win her last ever race will be a moment I won’t ever forget.

But to the round and oval balls is where my madnesses lay. My teams are top and bottom, a long time bottom and a long time top.

Richmond wins the 1980 Grand Final

The last time any Richmond footy fan celebrated. The scoreboard from the ’80 Grand Final against Collingwood

1. Richmond: The first sports team I followed. I remember sitting on my nanna’s living room floor watching the Yellow & Black smash the Collingwood Football Club. From that moment, the Mighty Tiges were my team. But it hasn’t been any fun since. 33 years and counting. This year was supposed to be a watershed. A return to the finals. But after yesterday’s (Saturday, May 25) loss to Essendon was a typical Richmond loss. Whimper, slight whimper.
Verdict: Pain. Lots of pain. #heartache

2. Los Angeles Lakers: Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, Byron Scott, Michael Cooper. Showtime. Wow! The @Lakers were my number one sports team in the 80s. I was a basketball junkie and these Lakers were simply the best. Their Finals battles with Larry Bird and the Celtics were awesome. But the Purple and Gold were royalty. Then came Shaq and Kobe. I defended Kobe to all my friends early in his career when he was finding his way. I saw his talent. I watched all three championships in 2000, 2001 and 2002 but then came the debacle. Shaq traded, Phil Jackson fired. The Kobe situation. My love affair with the Lakers was over. I felt like I’d been cheated on. I haven’t celebrated any of the Laker championships since. Perhaps only when Kobe retires will my love return.
Verdict: Love in the 80s and early 2000s. Out of love since.

3. Manchester United: My best friend growing up had a rats tail, wore bike shorts to school in Alice Springs (brave) and supported United. It pretty much meant I did too. Not for the first two reasons though. It was 1987. Since then, Sir Alex Ferguson has won almost 40 trophies, won the league 13 times, belted Liverpool, seen off dozens of managers, brought us Eric Cantona, David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Ronaldo … two Champions League trophies, oh, and some FA Cups.
Verdict: Joy. Lots of joy. #winning

4. Horse racing: Mug punter. Plain and simple. I read lots of blogs, follow lots of tipsters, experts, soothsayers, rating experts and tea leaves. I still lose (in the end). It reminds me of that great quote from 1988’s Bull Durham‘s washed-up pitcher Crash Davis (played by Kevin Costner).
“Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains”… too true. I’ve had some great winners and a lot more losers. But it’s a load of fun especially when I’m at the track. It’s how I spend most Saturdays now – except when Richmond have an arvo kick-off. How can I get that changed @AFL?
Verdict: Joy. But only sometimes (seldom) #winning

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