WHILE THE TIGER ARMY, INCLUDING PAUL P KNOWLES, PREPARES TO DESCEND ON THE MCG....
35 years just waitin’ for a chance
PAUL Knowles never made it to the MCG in 1980 to see his beloved Richmond win their most recent premiership.
Sadly, his mother Claudine, a lifelong Tigers’ fan who was born and bred in Richmond had died the year before. Paul was 11. “I went in 1982 and sat just above the spot where Helen D’Amico ran on the ground, but I was too young to appreciate the moment,” he said as he prepared for Saturday’s showdown with the Crows.
“I lived in Melbourne from 1984-87 and watched some absolute thrashings by teams like Carlton and North Melbourne.
“I have my ticket for this week and cried in the car on the way back from the ticket agency in Albury.
“Thirty-five years waiting for a chance, sounds like Living Next Door to Alice, to have a shot at the flag.
“Life as a Tiger is never easy, but this month has been one hell of a ride.
“A win on Saturday and may the lord have mercy on your souls.” A loss? “It’s not a word we use at Tigerland in 2017,” Paul said.
When pressed on his ominous words he said, suffice to say Police Command have raised the prospect of closing off the streets surrounding the MCG on the day.
“We will tear the place apart,” Paul said. “And that’s if we win so don’t even think about if we lose.”
The week leading up to the final has been nothing out of the ordinary for Paul (“we’re taking it one premiership at a time”) and he will prepare for Saturday like any other match.
“The Bulls Head Thursday night, the Railway Friday and Maccas on the way home,” the experienced campaigner said.
He even has his accommodation organised.
“We finished top four and everyone knows if you finish top four you’re automatically into the grand final,” Paul said.*
Paul’s prediction – Tigers by 17 points – “That’s Richmond’s favourite number (Jack Dyer’s).”
Daniel Rioli for Norm Smith Medal.
Footnote* Paul’s confidence in booking his accommodation so far in advance needs to be qualified. The motel has a refund policy if the Tigers didn’t make it.
FINAL COUNTDOWN: Paul Knowles (right) with mate and Crows supporter Jordan Rufford-Sharpe. Jordan, 17, has been a Crows member for 10 years and saw them win in the preliminary final in Adelaide but missed in the ballot for a grand final ticket. His father Craig believes a mate of his, Peter McIntyre, who played for Adelaide, somehow turned his son away from a Victorian club at a very young age. Jordon tipped the Crows by 25 points and Matt Crouch to win the Norm Smith Medal.