Hype, Tigers and opening round Blues

Every year, as a Carlton supporter, I am subject to the many quips of confident Richmond fans, or neutral nuisances intent on unsettling my round 1 nerves.

“So, Richmond are getting better…”

“Hardwick’s got his boys on track this year…

“I’m very confident that Richmond will win this year…”

It’s almost a case of hope more than anything. Over the last six years, Tiger fans have been playing for round one.

A familiar sight at the end of a round 1 clash. (The Australian)

After shattering losses from being 20 points up, or hamstring injuries to Ben Cousins, or the demolition of Terry Wallace’s coaching career, Richmond fans have been lurking, waiting for the day that their side will come out and beat the old enemy.

It does makes me nervous in a sense. I can’t imagine the conversations that I would have after a round 1 loss. But really, I don’t care as to what happens. As a football fan, I have come to the realisation that teams lose sometimes.

It’s a concept that some Richmond fans can’t seem to grasp (Kevin Bartlett…). They come across love-drunk, eager to hope their team to victory, and when they lose, concede defeat for the season.

It’s a build up that Richmond fans initiate. The opening round. A new year, a new era of Tiger. Bold, the Tigers of old, Cotch!

Admittedly, the Tigers are looking better each and every year, and each and every year I think to myself: “Gee, at those odds I’d be tempted to back the Tiges.”

But every year, the Blues somehow pull off a season-lifting win that makes me smile on my way up to Jolimont station and the train home.

But inevitably, Carlton will have to lose. Statistically and as history suggests, a loss will come. The day of reckoning – the rise of the yellow-and-black.

What a day that will be for Richmond fans, finally, round 1 glory! Finals bound! The Blues are defeated!

I’m beginning to dread this day already. I didn’t win the five previous round 1 encounters, why should I have to wear the brunt of the gloating? I haven’t gloated after a round one win, rather just posted the obligitory “Go Blues!” on my Facebook or Twitter.

It’s coming Blues fans. Richmond fans are thirsty for blood. They want so much for that round 1 win, and when it comes, we won’t hear the end of it for some time.

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Matt Walsh is a second-year Bachelor of Journalism (Sport) student at La Trobe University. Follow his Twitter @MattWalshMedia

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