Time is a funny concept. It’s universal, but it has been measured differently in different cultures throughout history.

As of the time of writing, I’m currently standing in my living room, looking at my Google calendar.

I have a reminder set for 15:52 tomorrow afternoon to ‘Catch my train’ followed by ‘Meet Chop at Fed square’ at 18:45 (Chop is my former housemate, not my dog), followed by ‘Geelong vs Richmond, qualifying final at 19:50.’

3 hours and 58 minutes in total. The game is four quarters of 25 minutes plus time on, expected to finish around 10:30… usually. The closest train to that is the 22:55 to Wendouree, stopping all stations. We’ll have to navigate 95,000 fans exiting the MCG.

Rewind to 1998.

My father and I decided to stop over in Camperdown to visit my grandma (Mum’s mother, not Dad’s). At the time, I didn’t know that Dad had history with Camperdown, having worked there as a fitter and turner during the 1980s. Additionally, I didn’t know that Dad had history with the team we were about to see.

Dad noticed quite a commotion at the local footy oval, and we decided to investigate. There was a team there training, and they wore distinctive black-and-yellow footy uniforms. One thing that struck me was one man that seemed to be the star of the show. He had long, black hair, blue eyes and, as I told Dad later, a “funny face.” He kicked the ball from a long way out on the right flank straight towards goals on the run, a move that brought the entire crowd to its feet.

Later, the whole team was signing autographs for the crowd. Dad and I waited in line like the others.

The man noticed us and walked over. I looked down and stared at my shoes. “How are you?” he asked both me and dad. He looked down and said, “Who’s this?” to me.

Me, not looking up, “Damian.”

He smiled and bent down on one knee., “Now, look here mate,” he said as he autographed my hat with the black marker he was carrying. “You’re going to be as big and strong as me one day.”

I looked up and smiled back. “Thanks.”

He grinned as he handed me back my hat. He stood up, shook both mine and my father’s hand, and said, “Go Tigers.”

As Dad and I were walking back to dad’s car, I looked at Dad and asked him “Who was that?”

“Matthew Richardson.”

Fast forward to 2017.

Richmond are in the top four for the first time since 2001. They haven’t won a final since my 8th birthday. In a week, I will be 24 years old.

What happens in the next 48 hours will determine whether the tide has finally turned for Richmond.

Time is a funny concept.

 

by Damian Brown, Fedpress’s Raoul Duke.