Warning: This post is about the Sydney Swans and Dane Swan. Fingers crossed… you won’t get confused between the two.
Oh, Swannie. Why do you hurt my heart?
When the Swans take on Collingwood this Saturday, 7:40 at ANZ… there will be something missing: Dane Swan aka one of my favourite things about AFL. (Deep sigh)
If you haven’t already heard, and I’m sure you have, Swannie messed up by drinking over the weekend, showing up on Monday looking like hell. The team, who had decided they were going to win (yet another) flag this year was unimpressed and banned him for two weeks. He will be allowed to play in the VFL where, as my super-eloquent boyfriend puts it, “he’ll get like… a thousand touches.” I’m sure he will.
The reason this is so upsetting is because this was a big game for the Swans. Collingwood is a great club and of the clubs left to face, highest on the ladder. This is great finals preparation for them, which is essentially how they are viewing it. But if they beat Collingwood, without Dane Swan… can they really say that they’ve “beat Collingwood?” Technically yes, because that’s what the record books will show… but when they win (that’s right, I said WHEN) to me, it will feel a bit hollow.
No, Swannie doesn’t kick the most goals or take the most marks, but he keeps the game going. Last weekend, two guys (who I won’t name so they can save face) were talking about how Dane Swan isn’t “good” he’s just always “there.” Um… HELLO!? Isn’t that the point? How can you be a good player if you’re not near the ball enough to make a difference? He’s always there. He’s always doing something. Even if it doesn’t alter the course of the game… it simply makes the game. Popular opinion says the midfielders better step up if they’re going to win this one.
Apparently, it’s been seven years since the Swans beat the Magpies. Seven. Freaking. Years. Which makes sense because this is what we like to call the Seven Year Itch. The Swans, even without Bolton (get better soon, love!) are going to kill. They’ve been very strong defensively, especially in contested possessions and that’s why they’re number one. Who cares if Dane Swan is out? Just kick some ass, take some names and enjoy the victory! I will have to chant that to myself all weekend.
And so, because I love lists… here’s why the Swans will win. Short and sweet.
1. Dane Swan is out. Have I not made that clear?
2. They’re really positive about this whole thing. The Swans know it’s their game to lose.
3. Two of the three players, who need to step up if Collingwood is going to win, play below average when they play the Swans (or so say Sidebottom and Blair‘s 2011 stats and Beams 2010 stats – he didn’t play the Swans in 2011). Odds are, the Swans will be able to hold them. But then again… who know? Past performance is no indicator of future performance.
4. It’s a Swans home game. 45,000 people. ANZ Stadium. A recipe for success.
5. Because I love the Swans. The end.