James Brunmeier's Journal

May 14-15

It was another quiet week at the university. My high point was rearranging my hours for my internship to free up Fridays. Sadly during these next couple of weeks those free Fridays will be spent in the library.
On Saturday the Kookaburras faced one of the top teams in the division, Sydney University. There is a fierce rivalry between our teams. Unfortunately for Sydney University, the Kookaburras beat them in Grand finale three years running, 1998-2000. With the way they played Saturday, it doesn’t look like they have forgotten those defeats.

The Kookaburras were able to field three teams, despite a large number of players out due to injury, myself included. The action began at 10 a.m. with the third grade. I did not arrive until noon and by that time the score was some very large number to our zero. If you look at last year, this is normal for our third grade. They won one game in 2004.

Reserves were up next but they did not fare much better. They were beat by an equally large number but managed to score three goals and a few behinds. I had the sobering responsibility of being goal umpire for the game. I got plenty of practice at perfecting my goal signaling technique.

First grade took the field at their normal time, 2 p.m. For the second week in a row we were thumped wholeheartedly. The final score read somewhere around 160-29.

We now have a much needed bye week. Many of our players will use this week as recuperation. On May 28 we face another top-seated team but we will be getting many of our players back, so we will have a better chance. I will be making my return to the field on June 4th. I am back in physio but this time for my hip flexer. It turns out that I should not have played last week. By doing so I damaged my hip and the surrounding muscles more than they were before. The hard way is the best way to learn, just not the smartest.

On Sunday I headed to my first AFL game, the Sydney Swans v. Port Adelaide Power. My roommate and I took a bus to the Queen Victoria Building then walked to the Sydney Cricket Ground, the smallest venue in the AFL. The weather couldn’t make up its mind. First it was sunny and warm, then rain clouds threatened, then back again to sun. It finally decided to be cold and windy. We sat on the Yabba hill behind the goal and we swore it was designed as a wind tunnel. I usually feel pretty tough compared to Australians when it comes to cool weather but Sunday was an exception. I felt like a turtle as I tried to pull my head into my jacket.

The game was good but a little slow. There were a few spectacular displays of athleticism but one in particular got everyone’s attention, and it happened at our end. A kick came to Power’s forward line. One of the Swans, number 16 came from the back of the pack, launched himself up and took the mark kneeling on another players shoulders. If my memory serves me right, the player he jumped on was Tredrea, one of the most dominant forwards in the AFL. To take a mark over Tredrea is no small feat.

It was a good learning experience seeing how the professionals performed. Their kicks and hand-passes were pin-point accurate. Their poise and courage in a crowd is not something to scoff at. How they survive the game uninjured is nothing short of a miracle.

The Swans won the game 69-45. It was the lowest scoring game of the season for the Swans but it pushed them up to the tenth spot. The West Coast Eagles are currently at the top and no one is even close to them. Next week my roommate and I plan on going to see the Swans take on the ninth seated Western Bulldogs. Hopefully it will be a bit warmer.

- James Brunmeier

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