Dugald Jellie was born in the third quarter of a Richmond victory over Hawthorn at the MCG. He has lived in Richmond, played at Punt Road (in the annual Age v Herald Sun match), and thinks the Australian flag should be Yellow and Black. He joins richmondfc.com.au this year to expound on the serious business of being a Richmond supporter.
I have a dream. It’s a vision in Yellow and Black, fabulous in its clarity – of young men running and jumping on a field before a breathless crowd. The players on my team can do no wrong. The ball bounces into their arms. Marks are taken cleanly. Commentators string together names – Conca, Deledio, Cotchin, Riewoldt – that sound like poetry. It rains goals in this dream. Everybody is happy.
In this dream my team win tight games, they win big games, they win the games they have no right to win. They beat Carlton – twice in a season.
It’s as if the stars align in this dream. My team gets on a roll. Robin Nahas kicks goals on his left. They win in Cairns. Jake King blows kisses to an umpire. Dan Jackson gets reported not once in this dream. Maric’s mullet grows only long.
It seems a fable of resurrection. My team wins respect. Other league clubs take note. Dustin Martin marauds through the centre corridor. Don’t argue? Crunching tackles in heavy traffic are what I recall in this dream. And Bachar Houli running from the backline with immunity. And Chris Newman hitting targets in space on the wing from 50 metres away.
Ben Griffiths, in this dream, kicks a goal from the centre of the MCG, and still none know whether he’s better at centre-half back or up forward. Steve Morris kicks a second goal, from the other Punt Road end pocket, in a spectacle that lives on in the minds of Tiger supporters for years to come.
All the city knows what is happening in this dream. A behemoth awakens. Momentum builds. Crowds swell to see the feats of a group of men making their own history. People want to be part of the winning. They want to believe what they see is true.
Jack Riewoldt leads hard and straight in this dream, finding space and kicking truly. Shane Edwards becomes an alchemist – turning each half-chance into six points. Reece Conca dances through puzzles, opening up the game for teammates around him, swinging defence into attack. Jake King lets no easy ball out of the forward line.
Alex Rance is ‘The Rock’ in this dream. Nothing goes through him. He keeps his feet in every contest. He wins All-Australian selection.
Nick Vlastuin pirouettes through traffic in this dream, as if playing his own game. Ricky Petterd becomes an enforcer down back. The ‘Big O’ grasps every opportunity and makes it his own. He becomes the people’s champion, the man who cannot say no.
Troy Chaplin slots into centre-half-back in this dream, as though he’s been part of the team all along. Nobody notices a thing. In this dream, Shaun Grigg’s trajectory rises only further, Trent Cotchin goes one better in the Brownlow, Brett Deledio polls votes in every other game, Nathan Foley returns from injury full of run and vigour, Shane Tuck opts for another one year contract.
Tyrone Vickery is a tower of strength in this dream, busting open packs and making all who walk around him stand taller. Luke McGuane becomes a cult hero. He rolls the dice. He makes every contest. He plays each game as if it were his last. He finds the knack of finding the goals.
In this dream, my team never looks back. It grasps its opportunities, charts its own destiny. Supporters of my team become filled with hope and euphoria. They can see the light and it burns bright with possibilities. They identify with its shared success. They gain meaning and satisfaction from supporting a group of men who all play for each other. There is beauty in their unity. It’s a season that they want never to end.
I am a Tiger and this is my dream for 2013.
Sometimes it’s good to voice your dreams; to set them free and let them come true. What are your dreams for this season?
tiger, tiger burning bright.
Or on Twitter @dugaldjellie