From Perth, Western Australia (WA)
12:00 Setting the Scene
Its midday in WA and the temperature is rising. The mighty Rovers are facing Liverpool tonight and it’s going to be an epic. The sausages cook away on the BBQ and I set about trying to convert some friends to our cause. We crack the first beer of the day and settle into some ridiculous banter about the game, its history and why we should all go into town supporting a team that is? well? not starting as favourites.
13:00 Flying the Colours
Convincing my esteemed colleagues to support the blue and whites has not been easy. But throwing around terms like ‘Emerton’ and ‘Grella’ has given them false hope and I have managed to draw them in. With their unwavering loyalty secured, the time has come to christen the boys with blue and white. I give out a couple of jerseys and for the first time in West Australian history, a group of people are wearing Blackburn shirts.
15:30 The Art of War
Soon we must leave. The game starts at 19:30 and we will have to take an hour long train ride so we can watch the game on a bigger screen. With several beverages beginning to take effect, I step up and begin a rant. ‘Gentlemen, today is going to be a war. We will be outnumbered and outgunned. Indeed, the possibility of victory is remote and the chances of casualties remain very high?’ ok- this account is not entirely accurate, but the whole point of the ‘Aus Rovers Dunkirk’ was to convey two life saving points:
1) Should we be insulted by a reds fan, ask them ‘when was the last time you won a premiership?’
2) On the off chance we somehow lose, change tactic and say ‘I’d rather see your mob win the title then those ****** from Manure’.
18:00 First Contact
We arrive in Perth and set about finding a pub. We have not gone far before we stumble into a group of people wearing red. Through a slight and unexplained blurry haze, we identify them as the enemy. They turn and launch the first attack ‘No hope tonight boys? Torres could take you by himself’. Suddenly, its game time and as one, the new Rovers come together. ‘When was the last time you won a Premiership’ SNAP. The counter attack has been moderately successful and although it has failed to nullify the enemy, we manage to last for another round.
19:30 The 4th Minute
We make it to our big screen. There is plenty of red and absolutely no blue and white. The chants begin and we settle in for a big game? Then the line-ups come on screen. My heart stops. Treacy and Mokoena are starting. To make matters worse, there is no striker on the field because our centre back is playing forward. All the boys hurriedly agree that in this situation ‘a draw is basically a win’. And then it gets to the fourth minute, Torres scores an incredible goal and everything goes blank.
‘2-0, I mean that’s as good as a win really’. I regain my senses somewhere during the half time break. But the game resumes, the goal posts keep moving and as yet another goal goes in, its time to move on. The game ends with hearty cheers from those in red and a belated applause from the rest.
We trudge off to drown our sorrows at a new location. On our way, we encounter a security guard, who takes a liking to our blue and white attire. He then asks us about the game, pointing to a L.F.C tattoo on his arm. We tell him the score and ask for his thanks in the assistance we have provided in the title race. We then spin the famous get-out-of-jail card, telling him we’d rather see Liverpool win the title. Then the question of the night hits. ‘Why do you support Blackburn?’
This is the one question that kept coming up the whole night. No one could understand why we would choose Blackburn over the big four. But the reply came rather swiftly from one of my colleagues: ‘history and heart’. Yes the reasoning is infallible and the logic of it simply defied the amount of liquor already consumed. With our red friend satisfied, we went off to enjoy the rest of the night, admirably failing in our efforts to court the female populace.
02:00 Vital Blackburn
Calling it early, we caught the last train home and reminisced about life (whilst intermittently trying some fantastic lines on unsuspecting women). All in all, it had been a great night. Sure the mighty Rovers had lost severely, but I realised the amount of time people have for the smaller clubs. We may not have the money, location or star power, but the Rovers are truly for everyone.
So I encourage you all to join Vital Blackburn and become an international Rover.
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Adventures of an International Rover
From Perth, Western Australia (WA)