This is the second installment of my “A Tiger Dream” chronicles. In the first I managed to achieve the lifetime dream of appearing in the Richmond football team photo, arms crossed and chest puffed, and all without Photoshop. Next stop on the Tiger Dream train? Playing alongside my heroes on the MCG.
So why the reference in the title to a B-grade Warren Beatty movie? Ah, because there are similarities afoot. In “Heaven Can Wait”, Beatty’s character, Joe Pendleton, buys the LA Rams American pro-football team for $80 million so that he can install himself at Quarterback. Like myself, time isn’t on Joe’s side, so rather than practice, work hard and take the long, tough route through free-agency training camps and so on, he puts his considerable money where his mouth is… and buys his way in.
OK so buying Richmond is beyond my moderate means, but as a family we did recently manage to scrape enough together so that I could buy a place on the team for one game.
Well sort of.
In fact its the 2011 Richmond Legends Game, in which a collection of retired “stars”, celebrity supporters, and slobs like me with enough cash to get a guernsey, will run around the MCG as a curtain raiser to the Tigers game against Melbourne on June 25th. The game is a fund-raiser, with all proceeds going to the Richmond Past Players Association.
I did consider organising my own independent sponsorship, perhaps to the benefit of the Blue Steel Foundation for kids who “don’t play footy so good”, but I’ll leave that to my Zoolander namesake.
So what’s next? Well obviously I have to improve my fitness. It would be a shame to go to all this trouble just to throw-up on my teenage hero Michael Roach’s yellow boots after 3 minutes. Running, ball-work, and cutting down on the famous custard squares at Hausfrau are all necessary sacrifices to be made.
Then there’s the gear. My old footy boots are long gone so naturally I have sought out the flashiest pair I can find – on ebay of course. If I’m going to cop it from friends and family, I may as well look the part.
So the countdown begins. Will I go kickless? Will I pull a hammy? Will Scotty Turner line me up and knock me down? All possibilities I’ve considered.
Sometimes you just gotta give it a shot, and see what happens…