I’m Sorry …. The Story of a Jinxed Footy Team!

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.

Homemade Premiership Flag with all the signatures of all the players to play in the 3 apremiership 2001, 2002 & 2003
Homemade Premiership Flag with all the signatures of all the players to play in the 3 premierships  2001, 2002 & 2003

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!

Leppa the early years!
leppa the coach
Leppa the Coach!

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 the Board – you have a new excuse for low attendance. The Paddle Pop Lion was obviously my fault, as was the Fevola debacle!  I am sorry!

To my friends and family, who attend the games with me – I have nothing to say but sorry!

To little Charlie, who is the only person to love Bernie “Gabba” Vegas – I’m sorry but I seemed to have scared him away too!!  Hopefully, you will learn to love Roy and Brion soon.

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!

Bernie & Charlie
Bernie and Charlie.    Bernie “Gabba” Vegas was much scarier close up!!

Now that’s out-of-the-way.

Go the Lions!

And I’ll see you all at the Gabba –  next home game!

Mandy the Fan!

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My Awesome Week!

I’ve had an awesome week!

It started with a really fun night with my favourite people at the Robbie Williams concert.  I’ve only really been in love with 3 men in my life – the first being Rod Stewart, the second being my beloved departed husband Adrian,  and the third being Robbie Williams.  So, it was fun to take BossBoy & BabyBoy to experience  their mother screaming like a 16 year old, over a performer, for the first time!  We were joined by their Aussie Sisters and we had so much fun but we did miss BerlinBoy.

Robbie Swing

My awesome week continued a few days later, with dinner at my place with some of my favourite young people and their  gorgeous little men.  I love it when people arrive at my house and the kids feel at home straight away.  They know and love the toys in my toy box; they are cuddly and happy; they are confident to ask for what they want but always polite.  Good job Mum & Dad B!

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One of my favourite things about dining with the B Family, is when the boys say Grace before we eat.  Kids know what we need to be thankful for – for people, for lovely days, for visitors & for food! Sometimes Grace is short and sweet, sometimes it is a shaggy dog story but it always leaves me feeling warm inside.

Next, on my awesome week was the celebration with my dear friend, G, of her birthday.  We went to our favourite Indian restaurant and enjoyed the familiar menu and realised that in the 4 or so years we had been eating there, we had never tried the desserts!  So we did and discovered the most delicious tastes around.  Yes!  We will eat dessert there again!

Glenys Birthday

My awesome week continued with the Australian Football League (AFL) Grand Final where my team was not playing.  However, this is a traditional family day for the Weber Family and the Boys make their way home to my place and we include any other surrogate family members that wish to join us.  This year we were joined by  A, a sister from another mother, who was an AFL novice but she was a quick learner.  We ate, drank, chose a team to support and had fun like only family can have.  We don’t enjoy watching at a Bar or in a large crowd.  We like to watch & analyse & discuss & tease each other & appreciate good play.  We did all of this and Adrian would have been proud of us.  The team we chose to support won – well done Hawks!  The players we each picked at the beginning of the game to be best player came first with 10 points & second equal with 9 points!  We are great judges and we know it!!  We miss Adrian  a lot on Grand Final Day but the tradition and ritual we follow each year helps.

Hawks

So, has it been the great food, drinks or entertainment that has made my  week awesome?  Or has it been the beautiful weather that we are enjoying in Brisbane at this time of year?  Or has it been the fabulous sport that I love so much?

No!  It has been  the wonderful people I have spent this week with!  They are my family here in Australia.  They give to me in a totally loving way.  They care about me and I care about them.  I may not live close to many of my blood family but this family that have chosen me, give me all the love and support and fun I need.  I am grateful  for the love and laughter and fun and care, as are my blood family!  They are my AWESOME family.

Group Robbie

By the way – I have tickets to see Rod Stewart in April next year! I am truly blessed!

 

Go Team!

I love sport!  I used to love playing it.  Athletics & netball were my thing.  I was good at both.  I’m not being a big head.  I was good.  Now I love to watch sport – live & on TV.  I am a faithful supporter of my team.  I wear their colours with pride.

Netball

When the Boys were young it was easy.  They swam in the Summer & played Australian Rules Football(AFL) in the winter.  As they grew, it became more complicated.  They swam for their club & their school, and they played AFL for their club & football(soccer) for their school.  When they left school, things  became really complicated.  They played soccer for their club; came to watch the AFL live with me; stayed up half the weekend watching Premier League Football in England; travelled to the 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa; went to the F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne and never missed supporting the New Zealand All Black Rugby Union team on TV!

Haka 2014 a

Can you see my problem?  I love sport and I am a faithful supporter of my team.  I wear their colours with pride!  I now have 3 major teams and a multiple of minor teams I support.

I love the New Zealand All Blacks (yes Richie – I am single at the moment!); the Brisbane Lions AFL team and Arsenal in the Premier League!  I also, support the Brisbane Roar, Gregory Terrace, the Auckland Blues, Queensland Bulls, whatever club the Boys are playing for, the Socceroos and all good cricket no matter who is playing (yes sometimes it is just easier to sit on the fence!)

Keeping the colours under control can be a challenge.  Especially on days when all or most of MY teams are playing on the same day!  This happens frequently because I support different sports in different countries. Today is one of those days and I can’t wait!

My day begins with BabyBoy playing his football final in navy blue, followed immediately by finding a TV close by, to watch the All Blacks playing South Africa in …. black.  This will finish just in time for the the 2nd semi final of the AFL where my team are no longer involved but I have to choose between the purple of Fremantle & the teal of Port Adelaide!  My day will finish in the red & white of my beloved Arsenal playing Man City!  BossBoy is playing in his band tonight & they mostly wear black so I can double up there and BerlinBoy has gone surfing in Spain, so no need to pull on the green of his German club team.

Today could turn out to be one of the happiest days for me in a while or it could turn out to be really, really bad.  Either way I will be doing my own version of the Colour Run today!

colour run

My Little Home!

A about year ago, I sold the home, our family had lived in for 21 years.   It was hard! It was time!  Did I say it was hard?

It was the home that our boys grew up in.

It had a cricket pitch in the yard, which was  rumoured to have halted the fitness campaign of an overseas cricket star, with a long term shoulder injury!

It had an indoor cricket pitch in the hallway which boasted many dings in the walls to symbolize sixes or fours, hit with pride using the handmade mini cricket bat!

It had a wonderful indoor soccer field (same hallway different season) where hall soccer was played on the knees after a visiting soccer star was rumoured to have given himself a decent bout of concussion, after going for a header – only to hit his head on the ceiling!

It had the best AFL oval you could ever want, with cathedral ceilings & well made couches just perfect for taking speccies over ones brother!  This also, sometimes became a wrestling ring, where strategically placed furniture hid holes in the wall, after the odd knee or foot went through!

The only trouble was – that there were no longer any Boys living at  home to make use of the facilities and the Groundsman had gone to live in the place that is perfect in every way and the drinks carrier was tired of trying to keep the Sports Centre in tip top shape for those once a year tournaments.

So I sold our family home.  And it was hard!

I now have my own little home.  It doesn’t have the palatial arenas that our family home had, but it is full of love & laughter & tall tales of achievements of sporting glory from days gone by.  It is still the place that sportsmen gather to dissect the game and  bring their injuries to the best first aider in the business.  And one day, I hope it will draw the next  generation of sportsmen & women to create their own arenas and  tall tales to share on those special family get together’s.

And then it won’t be so hard!

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