1.53 pm (SA time)
The teams have just come onto the ground. The Power are full of beans, leaping around like kids on speed, couldn't wait to get out there; Tredders led them out like a warrior expecting to kick butt. They burst through their banner as if it wasn't there.
Geelong by contrast looked as if they were about to get off the boat on the beach at Gallopoli. Some of them appeared to be praying, others to be trying not to vomit. They ran under their banner. Every one of them was wearing a tragic expression except for inspired feral redhead Cameron Ling, who looked like he couldn't wait to sink his teeth into something teal.
Port Adelaide Magpies legend Tim Ginever predicted yesterday on the radio that the first goal would be kicked by Port's Brett Ebert. We'll soon know.
2.09 pm Well, Ebert had two chances for it: the first was a point and the second a spray, and the first goal has just been kicked by the favourite for it (8-1 apparently), Geelong's Cameron Mooney. Geelong's Matthew Stokes has just been carried off the ground with a very nasty-looking knee injury.
2.19 pm Stokes is clearly not as badly hurt as he looked, as he is back and warming up to get back out on the ground. The Power's first goal has just been kicked by its captain; considering Tredders had just had his head pounded into the turf by an overnthusiastic Geelong tackler it's a wonder he was conscious, much less able to kick a goal. OTOH, judging by the volume and quality of the noise coming from the teeve, I fear Geelong may have just replied.
In other predictions, Gavin Wanganeen said earlier this week that he thought if the Indigenous players were in form then the Power would win. ('Maybe it's something to do with the spiritual side of things, who knows?' he said, thereby using a word I don't think I've ever heard a footballer use in my life before and probably never will again.) They're certainly doing well so far, especially Danyle Pearce and the magical Peter Burgoyne.
2.36 pm and as I was writing that remark about Burgoyne he kicked a goal, but it's now the end of the first quarter and the score is Geelong 5.7 to Port Adelaide 2.2, which is pretty seriously not good. Mark Williams will be having a few harsh words about now, I should think.
Matthew Stokes is back on the ground and not even strapped up or anything. Academy Award city.
The Burgoyne brothers and the Cornes brothers have seen a lot of action already, while Nathan Ablett has also been in the thick of things (no kicks but lots of hard work) but nary a peep out of Gary Jr to date. Chad Cornes just took a very nasty bump to the head so I hope he is all right. Brownlow winner Jimmy Bartel has had a hard time getting away from Kane but when he did, about a minute before the end of the quarter, he put it to very good use and kicked himself a goal.
Peter Burgoyne and Warren Tredrea appear to be the only Power players on the ground.
3.13 pm Half time and it's Geelong's 70-something points to Port's 20-something points and I'm going to stop now. It's too embarrassing.
Never mind. I mean, Geelong need it a lot more than we do.