Raiders deliver far too late
After a turbulent season, made up of a sporadically performing but super talented roster, constant coaching speculation and the loss of the right to call our home ground the fortress it once was, most Raiders fans watched Friday night’s game against the Bulldogs hoping for a win, but really expecting the magic late-season run to finish.
Through a quirk called ‘the NRL Broadcast deal’ (or as I like to call it, the NRL non-broadcast deal), the game ended up on the same night as our local primary school trivia night.
The trivia night organisers, knowing that Channel Nine never, ever, ever give the Raiders a Friday night free to air game – and not being able to plan because Channel Nine don’t (currently) have to do the fans the favour of actually telling them which games will be played at what time until just a few weeks before – went ahead and put the night on a Friday.
And we got the Friday night game…
So – with a room full of Raiders fans, unable to access their smart phones because they were at a trivia night, the boys went about their business.
As the night rolled on and round after round of trivia whirled past (the guess this lyric round proving a lot more difficult than it looked on paper) the trivia master – realising he had some twitchy people in the audience – started updating the score.
“Just a little half time score ladies and gentlemen, 24-6 to the Raiders.”
Surely he’s joking. A murmur went around the room, “Well, it’s only halftime, it’s our Raiders, there’s always time to lose with our boys”.
“30 – 6 ladies and gentlemen, 14 minutes to go.”
Murmur increases, “There’s still time to lose – this is the premiership favourites and we, well we, are the Raiders.”
“Late try to the Raiders, final score 34-6,” (I might point out that the trivia master is an AFL man and, even worse, an Essendon man, so you can understand his delivery was fairly understated).
The reaction? Cheers, whoops, statements about daring to dream.
No wry smiles, shaking heads and disbelief that our team – those guys who we’ve loved, sat in near snow to watch and complained about and supported all season at the same time – chose the night that we were locked in a primary school hall to deliver what they should have been delivering all year.
Oh well, at least I got to go home and listen to Ray Hadley commentate the last 15 minutes that were on delay.
See what I mean – trolls all round!