My footy team have been going through a rebuilding stage for quite a few years now. Oh, I remember those wonderful years when every other team in the AFL was scared to come to our home ground, where the opposition players & coaches would focus on the Brisbane Lions games, as games to be feared and suffered. Oh, I remember the horror years too – the bad news Bears, the Carrara crashes, the previous coaches & their rebuilds. But none of that was I responsible for ….. this time it’s different!
Having been a follower and supporter of VFL/AFL since my arrival in Australia from New Zealand in 1981, and an attendee at games since the foundation of the Brisbane Bears in 1987 and a member of the Brisbane Lions since the merge with Fitzroy in 1996 – some might call me a fanatic!
I remember packing up the food bag for our 3 boys and making our way to Carrara or the Gabba. I remember kick to kick after the games, where brotherly love was pushed and tested and all our boys learned to go hard at the ball – no matter how big or drunk the opposition was!! I remember the guernsey changes, the coach changes and the rule changes.
I remember the first trip to the hallowed MCG, by bus due to an airline collapse, for the first Lions Premiership in 2001. The party after, the long but happy bus trip home again, just 4 or so hours after the final whistle. I remember the back to back premierships in 2001 & 2002. I remember the 3peat in 2001, 2002 & 2003! And I also remember the devastating loss of the 2004 Grand Final to Port Adelaide.
I have ridden the ups and downs and have remained loyal but now, after looking back over the terrible last few years …. I suddenly realise that I might have been responsible for the terrible losses and injuries of the last few sessions – maybe forever!
One of my fondest memories of junior footy was when each Brisbane Junior Club was assigned a Brisbane Lion as “their” player. We got Justin Leppitsch, a young footballer yet to have a game. He was great for the kids and I remember bringing him a sausage from the barbie and having a chat. Silly, silly me! The next time I saw him, he was still to play a game but was on crutches after a full knee reconstruction! I’m sorry Leppa …. if I had known what was to come, I would never have given you that sausage!!! Leppa is now (25 years plus later) the Brisbane Lions senior coach and the team has an injury list as long as my arm. My fault, I’m sure!
That my friends is only the beginning….
Over the last few years due to poor health, my attendance at games has been sporadic. I began to notice that when I did attend, I didn’t seem to be getting to sing the team song after a victory as often as I was used to. I then realised that I didn’t get to sing the song for 2 whole years – which means that every time I attended a game the Lions lost! They were still singing it when I was home sick and they had a win, also it was sung when they had an away win but not when I was there!!
Then 2 years ago, I joined a footy tipping competition at work and the slide really began. If I tipped the Lions to win – they lost! So it had moved on from just when I saw them live. They could be playing a side they really should beat but if I tipped them, they lost. They also won the occasional game that they should not have – but always when I wasn’t there or had not tipped them.
My fellow members and friends are now questioning as to whether I should attend games, ever again! They say they don’t mean it but I see the look in their eyes ….. People are now checking to see if I will be at a game before they attend – this weeks attendance was only 16,000 and yes I was one of them. They call me to find out who I have tipped before putting in their tips. I am at my wit’s end. I want my team to win and be injury free so I am doing the only thing I can think of.
STATEMENT of APOLOGY:
I, Mandy Weber, do formally apologise to the Brisbane Lions and all their supporter’s for stuffing up their lives!
To Leppa – once again – I should never have given you that sausage all those years ago. You have my permission to use me as an excuse for any loss or injury from this day forward and you may also use me retrospectively – if necessary! I am sorry!
To my friends and family, who attend the games with me – I have nothing to say but sorry!
To the Women of the Pride, of which I am a foundation member, I have yet to attend a get together, as I would love the group to be an amazing success!!
Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!
Now that’s out-of-the-way.
Go the Lions!
And I’ll see you all at the Gabba – next home game!