Before I say anything else, please note that this is not a break down of players, the game etc, as others do this. This page is a different view and blog of the game.
The best part of last night’s win started with the trip to getting to the MCG after being away for so long. The traffic, the parking, the anticipation of walking over the bridge to the gate. But that was not the real best part.
The best part was the roar of the crowd as the team came out and the countdown began to the start of the AFL season. The siren blasts to signify the game was about to start with the umpire raising the ball. But that was not the real best part.
The best part was not in the first quarter, where the huge crowd felt that we were heading into another loss against a foe that we had not beaten for some time. The score was where we were twenty points down, and a sense of deja vu hit us all. That was, by no means, the best part.
The best part was not the massive turnaround by a club that would have in the past capitulated and given up, to finish the second quarter being eight points up. The goal to see this going was by the incredible Mr Patrick Cripps, then another over three minutes later. Then another by a dynamic small, Corey Durdin. But that was not the real best part.
The best part was not really the third quarter, where it seemed that the third quarter jitters of the past kicked in, and Richmond came back. It was not even the goal by Harry McKay because we felt that this might be the Carlton of old.
Despite the next Carlton goal by Jack Silvagni, the lack of backline pressure to Richmond’s quick midfielders and forwards could not quell that nagging feeling that we were on the road to a loss.
The best part was not when Shai Bolton from Richmond kicked a goal in the first few minutes of the fourth quarter, and the anguish Carlton supporters felt grew deeper and deeper as we looked into once more, unable to shake off the monkey on our backs of losing to Richmond. But the best part was that we flicked off that monkey and kicked not one, not two, not even three, but seven goals to put the Tigers back into their cage.
The sheer dominance of the never giving up attitude that we saw on the field by Carlton astounded and swelled inside of us, disbelief and damn pride. The roar of the crowd when the final siren went sent chills; this is what we were waiting for, that had been missing for so long. But that was not the real best part.
The best part was not when a Carlton player who epitomizes what resilience means and a connection to a club and a team took a beautiful chest mark in the second quarter, and the crowd erupted. That was not the best part; it happened a few seconds later when a fifty-meter penalty was paid against Richmond to that very player meant that he was in direct line to try and land the ball into the big sticks.
That was the real best part when everyone in the ground watched as the ball soared through the air and cut a blanket of past illness into the distance, where the crowd didn’t erupt; it exploded. The real best part was Sam Docherty. Just that. Being a part of the crowd that witnessed this and seeing every player be so proud of what he achieved and the majority of the crowd all rise as one to celebrate this was the real best part.
Sometimes a game’s result may be all that we are celebrating, but the return of a man, who has gone through a rough ride to be on the ground for the start of a new era in season 2022, was inspiring and emotional. Because as others have said, this will go down as being a significant sporting moment. That was the real best part of the game.
Yes, we won! Yes, I have no voice! Yes, it was sweet, delicious and emotional because we have all gone down the very rocky road to get here. Yes, it is great to strut down the street wearing a Carlton top and seeing smiles from strangers and yells of “Go Blues” and the scowling from Richmond supporters.
But the real best part was knowing that a man of integrity overcame a considerable roadblock and took the crowd and supporters with him as the ball flew through the air between the big sticks. That was the real, best, bloody best part.