Here we sit, the day after what can only be described as the game from hell from Port Adelaide. An absolute drubbing at the hands of the Western Bulldogs in a Preliminary Final.
After seemingly having everything go right over the last eight weeks, Ken Hinkley’s men picked the worst possible time to play its worst game of the year. Truthfully, Port was never in the hunt. From the outset, the Dogs were a class above and hunted as they had for the majority of the year.
While the Dogs showed Port a clean set of heels last night, the Power made them look like the Harlem Globetrotters. I think most Port Adelaide fans can cope with a loss as we did last year with Richmond. Falling short by a solitary goal, at least Port put up a fight and gave it everything they had.
However last night, it was boys against men, and Port simply wilted under the Dogs pressure.
The day after is always tough when your club produces a performance like that and seeing all the anger and frustration on social media further illustrates how close Port was to the ultimate, only to fail to produce when it matters most.
Yes, it does hurt and any condolences regarding Port at least making it to another preliminary final surely fall on deaf ears of the Port Adelaide faithful, well for me anyway.
Many have stated the coaching, players, and forward line as to why Port faulted last night. However, against Geelong, this was nowhere to be seen and things didn’t change that drastically in two weeks.
People have pointed the finger here and there but could Port simply of just had a bad game? According to many, this was coming, although no one in the entire football community could have foreseen what transpired last night.
This loss does sting far more than last year's result and so it should. However, there could be longer-lasting effects mentally of what Port produced last night. Similar to Melbourne in 2018 after the Dees were well and truly torn apart by a rampaging West Coast side. Last night was eerily similar.
This loss hurts for several reasons and it marks back to back years where Port has failed at the final hurdle. That is what creates the feeling of being so close yet so far.
So many fans have jumped off the bandwagon after last night's result and those fans should stay away. While they are well within their rights to do as they please, however for me, if you can't stick with them through the bad times, you don't deserve to be there when the club turns it around.
For the rest of us, come round 1 next season, we will be there supporting our club with pride and passion because you don’t support your team only when they are winning, you support them because you love the club, regardless of on field results.
Through the highs and lows, god knows us Port Adelaide fans have seen our fair share but last night just hits different. The pain and anger of last night will remain until next season and I for one will be there supporting the club I love as I hope many others will.
One game doesn’t define a club but the fact is, Port has stumbled twice in two years. Pressure is on the playing group and Ken Hinkley to right the wrongs of the disaster that was last night.
Here is to a much better 2022 and hopefully, another season supporting Port Adelaide through thick and thin. Let this loss sting and drive the club onward next year, if only Port had shown up last night then today would have been a little more bearable.
We will be back next year Port fans and that is something we have to believe, whether we like it or not.