Game 1, Season 36 Vapours of memory from a Paris garret

Trudging slowly over wet [grounds] 

Back to the sideline where we all belong 

This is a crap suburb

That they forgot to close down 

Uni bombers come uni bombers 

 

Everyday is like Saturday

Everyday is olden and grey

 

Anyway, so we rocked up to Raroa, a circle jerk of svelte middle aged dadbods, collectively frothing over the start of yet another season AND the return of Stevie. Having finished his love affair with the couch, reality TV, and his research into the the birth of the fuckknowswhat movement out of Greymouth, and hes back. He's also sporting a stiff as a board quiff that Mozza would be proud of, Stevie's back in his spiritual homeland (the Bombers, not Raroa). Cue endless slandering, more groaning than a room full of school boarders, AND a pair of new fucking boots. Welcome back welcome back welcome back. 

The whistle blows. The new boy Paul looks good. troubling them at the back, the side and sometimes on top. We don't hold anything back here so this is a welcome development. The usual suspects kick shins, dirt, and sometimes the ball - we are doing it more than them. Danny and Gene look good in the middle. Carl looks back to his 2014 best after recovering from a group sex addiction, which in turn had led to a long term foot injury. We look leaky but solid enough at the back. JB stands out in his circa 1998 gray polo shirt, whilst the rest of us sport our slimming full black polyester. We almost look like a proper team, but then Ragg boy makes a run and we break through because their back four are still giggling and snorting, and are distracted by the dribbles of snot. Then he unleashes a shot, all canonball. they stop laughing then. My memory of the game gets murky here, mainly because I'm on the sideline talking to Marky about his injury sustained in an effort to complete a little known and extremely complicated sexual manoeuvre with a large Polynesian transvestite. Whilst he was laughing, I could see the pain in Marky's eyes caused both by the loss of a true love, and also in his words "four or five cracked ribs". Awful stuff, and as a key member of the squad we can only hope he is able to make a full recovery and get back on the paddock, and into the saddle. Enough of that though and back to the game. A bit of ping pong as the A listers come off having owned the opposition, and the dirt trackers have a run. Having been sent into the central midfield I am instantly guilty of a range of footballing inadequacies (poor execution of skills, lack of commitment etc) and Nintendo rightly gives me some well deserved advice, which I wont repeat here. 

We let them run a bit, and Ross is under pressure but we hold out. Danny is telling everybody what to do, but no one is listening. It's a circus. There is some confusion, it's pinball, the ball bobbles and dribbles, Carlos is screaming, I think it's the hangover from his therapy session. Actually, the ball is right there. Their keeper is busy talking to himself and has drifted beyond where he should have. Fuck it. I lob it over his head and it dribbles into the back of the net. Equalling an entire seasons tally in the first game is epic, I'm so excited I fart. There is whooping, the boys are looking for a party and there are some sad hungry eyes staring out of the windows of the rest home next door. Marky looks longingly at those windows, those eyes, he's focussed, hard. 

Back to the game. They score. That wasn't in the plan, but to be fair, from what I can remember it was a good goal stolen from our as always brilliant back line. Mike, a genuinely quiet nice guy who no one has a bad word to say about swears. This scares Hanse, but Nintendo exercises his right to agree. The kids on the sideline start crying. O'D is solemn. Maybe he's too close to the retirement village and his mind has wandered...if he's honest with himself he might be hard too. Stevie is wailing on the sideline - someone comes off. Sceatsy, Doc and Carl press on the flanks causing trouble. JB is present.  A moment of rare cohesion results in Carlos receiving the ball in the box, and collecting the shin of a fasta pasta masta. The boss blows the whistle. Rossimar steps up. Drills it. 2-1. Since this took place on April 2, and it is now 31 May I can really remember bugger all else about the actual game except for two or three things. I vaguely recall Gene setting the standard and running the equivalent of a half marathon during the game. To be fair, playing for the bombers is his community service, and since he is actually retired he has to do some sort of exercise, so it's good that he did run. That leaves me with Stevie, and his quiff. In the last act of the game Stevie received a wonder pass - ready to be sent into the back of the net. Any real striker would have nailed it, and after a season on the couch wrestling with his inner demons, contemplating the setting sun by the fire, and thinking about trudging slowly over wet grounds, Stevie very nearly did. Onya Stevie. 

Writing this 10 weeks it is useful to reflect that this was a promising start to what has ultimately been a season which has exceeded expectations. 

* To those I have maligned, or missed mentioning even in passing, please accept my apologies. I'm sure you were magnificent. 

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