March 24, 2012. What an important day. A day of commitment, a day in which all this pre-season stress, research and knowledge culminates to a climax which will shape you. I’ll be sweating; I’ll be hoping I made the right decision. March 24 – Lockout, it’s what it’s all about. Oh, and I’ll also be getting married.
As I patiently wait at the end of the church aisle on that fateful day, I’ll be thinking of everything I could have, everything yet to be. The spring chickens I could score with to only trade in later for a better model, the more mature types I know I could count on for an easy ride all season. Lost opportunities not taken with DPP. Praise Sweet Merciful Jesus that I had a few drinks before hand to calm the nerves.
I mean, I’ll be holding in everything I can to avoid ripping a smart-phone out of the father-in-laws pocket and making those last second trades. To his disgust I’ll proclaim that: “Yes I love your daughter, but give me your damn phone! I’ve decided Magner the Magnet is worth the wait and I want him back! I never should have let him go.”
It won’t get easier from there. Off to have photos taken in a remote part of the countryside that barely gets reception. As I hovel behind a bush I’ll search the AFL website for any news of last minute changes to the sides. Oh God, what if Devon Smith is the sub? Do I trade him out for Hapmton on my forward line, or switch him to the middle and bring in Saad?
Damn. The subs are still not up! I wish I didn’t pay so much for this damn photographer. How the hell can a photographer charge $800 an hour anyway? That’s Tom Scully money! And worse, unlike Tom he’s proven he’s worth the cash. If he gets a shot of me checking my phone out here my wife will kill me. Quick put it away, there’s still time to work this out. Better have another drink.
It’s getting serious now. Soon I will be surrounded by dozens of my family members and friends. They will all see it on my face. “He went the one ruck and rookie starting combo, the fool” they’ll say. “And the one ruck is HMac? What an idiot!”
And they’ll be right. What was I thinking? Starting the season without Cox? Talk about reasons to hand over your man card… If I still had it! It’s in my wife’s clutches now. Look at her in the back seat of this limo, so proud to land me. Damn, she’s hot! I wonder if we have time… No focus… I’d like to take her out back and… Uh oh. The alcohol is kicking in, this is going to get bad.
I need to score, badly. Heater! That’s the answer! He’s an idiot I know but I’m drunk and desperate, I have to get Heath Shaw into my squad. I know I said never again, but since when did I pay attention to that. I rode Higgins for the past two seasons. If I don’t get Heater in I’ll be married to Brian Lake for the rest of the season. Brian Lake! Last season the guy made the Monty Pythons Black Knight look like he was untouchable! I’m tipsy yes, but the guy is held together with pop-sticks and glue. Maybe if I just sneak off to the bathroom…
What happened to the time? I’ve been trying to log on to the Dream Team website with the sneaky under the bridal table mobile check, and the continuous bathroom breaks for the last forty minutes! I knew this would happen. All the Noobs out there who don’t know what they’re doing making last second trades! Unlike me, I know what I have to do. Drop Robertson, bring in Porplyzia. That’ll give me room to upgrade Lake to Heater and… Shit! Who are the subs?
Never mind. It’s finally loaded. Time to make the…
“Ladies and Gentleman, it’s time for the groom to make a toast to his lovely bride.”
That’s it. It’s over! Lockout.
I’d like to thank you all for coming along today.
Let me just say that, the bride looks beautiful.
Just like marriage, the first lockout of the Dream Team season can define your very existence. Have you made the right choice? Are you banking on your heart or your head? Once you commit and you lock it away for the rest of the season, that’s it, it’ll cost you a lot in the long run to trade out an underperformer.
Luckily for me, I’ve found myself a winner. A great girl with a wonderful smile, and an unbreakable fascination for Goodsey. Her first chosen every year, he never lets you down, even if he does come home stronger than he starts.
Ladies and Gentleman, a toast – to Goodsey, I mean, the bride! – Sorry honey”
The Moral Of The Story
When March 24 rolls around, this GWS boy will marry his Sydney Swans girl, and I’ll be forever locked out. I’m not worried though, I know I’ve got it right. I’ve thought about any byes, should avoid rotation policies, and if I can keep my head in, I shouldn’t be suspended. How about you? Have you got it right?
Your season could be made here. Cold feet? Itchy trade finger? By March 24 make sure you’re ready, cause after lockout, you’re done.
Best of luck to everyone this season, and keep dreaming!