The Swans 2020 season is done and dusted.
It ended with a game against Geelong that seemed symbolic of the entire season. All the things we have seen throughout 2020, we saw against the Cats.
There were patches of the sublime, like the first 12 minutes of the game as Alliir, Blakey, Dawson and Kennedy all goaled.
There was excitement from Papley and brilliant flashes of McInerney.
Kennedy was strong and Luke Parker was tough. Mills was resolute and Stephens showed plenty.
But as was the tale of the season, the good couldn’t be sustained for long enough.
There is no doubt 2020 has been a memorable one. Infamous. It was a year that the fans were locked out, the players were locked in, the Sydney Derby was played in Perth and the Grand Final in Brisbane. Even Nostradamus would have fallen off his chair.
We learned about pandemics, facemasks, quarantine, and social distancing. We all Zoom’d and did a weird little wave at the end of every meeting.
It was season where the best of the Swans, like on show against Giants, was awesome to watch.
The first 12 minutes against Geelong; the first half against the Blues; the second quarter against the Dees. There were plenty of patches to give us cause for optimism. Green shoots everywhere.
Perhaps the most pleasing thing about 2020 was the way the team went about it.
Against the Cats last week, against the Pies, against the Giants, against the Dees; in so many matches this year, regardless of the result, the endeavour was right. While the talent was on show, so too were signs of the Bloods way.
There is no point having the talent, if you don’t have the attitude. Thankfully, all signs are positive that we have both.
As fans, we learned that the future is bright. Rowbottom, McInerney, Stephens; just to name a few.
But above all, we learned the hard way, that there is nothing like the footy live. ‘The comfort of your own couch’ may have some perks, but it is nothing compared to a plastic flip seat in the stands.
I’ll be happy to never see the Zoom virtual fan wall again. I want to see the fans back in the stands.
One can only assume 2021 will be better in so many ways. We’d be stiff if it was worse.
Heeeny, Rampe (sans glove) and Franklin will be back. And in news that made fans celebrate like kicking a goal to win after the siren, so too will Tom Papley. And who knows who else could arrive during the AFL’s silly season.
The unprecedented 2020 has tested us all. But you can’t help but think big things are ahead.