Gotterdammerung at the Çib
In Norse mythology, the time of Ragnarök was viscerally feared and broke the spirits of the boldest of men. In Ragnarok, all the gods: Odin, Thor, Týr, Freyr, Heimdallr, take on battles with opponents so fell and dastardly like Loki, God of Trickery, a monster wolf Fenrir, Frost Giants and Jormungandr the Midgard Serpent. Even Gods have life ripped from them. Stars fall, the sun dims and oceans cover the Earth. There are only two survivors.
In Egypt, in the first Intermediate period between the Old and Middle Kingdoms, the Great God Ra is convinced that humans no longer respect him so he sends Hathor the gentle cow goddess to punish them. Didn’t sound so bad to the Egyptians, gentle cows don’t strike fear in the heart of societies with cattle domestication. However, this generally less than reverent attitude causeed the Cow Goddess to become barking mad. She transmogrifies into Sekhmet the Lion Headed Goddess and kills so mnay humans that she has a Lake of Blood as the result. A Lake she precedes to drink. Seeing all this, Ra thinks that he possibly overdelegated and turns the Lake of Blood into a red coloured Lake of Beer (Yes, that’s right a Lake of Beer). Hathor drinks it and reverts to her passive bovine self. Ra is disillusioned and withdraws from creation.
The End of Days: (Hebrew “Aharit HaYamim”), “And it will be in the end of days, the mountain of the House of Yehovah will be established at the head of the mountains, and higher than the hills, and all the nations shall stream unto it. And many peoples shall go and say ‘Let us go and ascend to the mountain of Yehovah, to the House of the God of Jacob that he teach us from his ways and that we may go in his paths, for the Torah goes forth out of Zion and the word of Yehovah from Jerusalem.’ And he will judge between many nations and rebuke many peoples. And they will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. And nation shall not lift up sword against nation and they shall no longer learn war. This shall be the End of Days”
Gotterdammerung: Same as Ragnarok but much louder and with more people running around shouting “Schnell!”
Cataclysmic Battles, wholesale purgation and redemption of a people, a culture, indeed an entire world. Mass slaughter, the like of which has never been seen, and a bloke who can make Lakes of Beer being allowed to get away. Telling the eschatological tales above, the Ancients huddled together in their unelectrified night and would whisper tales which would grip and chill their youth and old folk alike.
Why? Because the Ancients never had anything as cosmologically significant as a Jakarta Bintangs vs Malaysia Warriors home and away fixture at Fortress Cibubur so they ultimately had to bang on about matters of far lesser consequence like Jormungandr the Midgard Serpent and such like. So be it.
The Ancients had their Gods and heroes of outreaching valiance and lordly power: their Thor, their Siegfried, their Ra, to add grandeur and motive force to their tales, but did they have Robert Prowler in a bucket hat playing on the far side wing of the Cib? Did Waltraute, Valkyrie sister of Brünnhilde and decent scrapper on a winged horse, have the cojones to confidently field an all North American full back line? Loki’s squad had snake, wolf and frost giants on his team but did he have the ability to bring on the Field Brothers in the third quarter?
It is safe to say they did not and it is equally safe to say, despite the rigours of Cultural Relativism, “Suffer, Ancients, suffer in the dark.”
This was one of the Bintangs largest squads ever assembled, massed as one against the healthy contingent of Warriors that arrived at the Cib. Tim Donkey Simpson, son of a man who has strangled a calf to death, was to run the deepest bench I have ever seen, not that I ever spend much time on the bench.
But as both teams knew, it is the 16 players vs the other 16 players on the field at any time that count.
Just like the Myanmar match, the game started with a Bintangs goal within the first passage of play. Bawden to JP Kenyon and a goal in about 20 seconds. But Malaysia equalised minutes later. It was going to be tough. We always knew it would be.
When the going gets tough, Gerard Barnes gets tougher, this time charging like a speared tiger into the forward pocket, taking flak from about 290 kilos of Warriors and pinging through a snapped, angled, booming goal that will go down into the electronic GOTY nomination bin for further adjudication at the knife end of the season.
But Malaysia were ragnaroking as well, putting through a square up goal and taking the lead despite the forest of tall timber the Bintangs had on the field. Of particular note was the performance of Jamie Chivers who was regal in this quarter and throughout the match. With constant clearances from Brad Peake, goals from MJ and DOS, and an absolute pearler of a save by new soldier Adrian Coghill, the Bintangs went into the huddle 7 points down and well aware that there was to be a mighty humongous match at the Bintangs Fortress, with a five year unbeaten record there just one of the many things swaying in the breeze in front of the clutching hands of Malaysia.
Out for the second quarter amid the clamour of Bintangs shouts of “Win it for the ‘Wok” in honour of defender Nick Ewok Calpakdijian tragically struck down by dengue fever, right before the game. Sadly, (although no Bintang knew at the time), the orderly carrying the top end of the stretcher supporting Ewok, did an air punch when he heard of JP’s opening goal, causing the Ewok to be dropped and to commence a long roll (about 20 minutes in duration) through the traffic down the steep roads outside the hospital.
Jack “Troubleman” Toebelman made his big stage debut for the Bintangs with an immediate pack mark to stop a certain goal and goals were to be precious against a deadly sharpshooting 7.1 Malaysian side. Barnesy continued to steal marks around the ground and provide a link between back, mids and forwards. It was Barnesy who started the avalanche of tough pinpoint play that culminated in Bombok getting the ball to MJ for a telling goal.
On the ground, things were getting feisty but Michael Laehuttu is no stranger to trampling down the vineyards where the grapes of wrath are stored and burst through powerful Malaysian arms for a spoil and a boomer kick into the forward line.
There are some forms of ignominy that can take a generation to live down. A captain fleeing a sinking ship as in “Lord Jim” by Joseph Conrad, multiple coach’s awards or being given a football bath by a 55 kilo Matthew Jolly impersonator with an unsellable Bintangs Bucket Hat wedged firmly onto his head. This latter was the sad fate of a Brobdingnagian Warrior who eventually cracked at the shame of it all, illegally tried to silence the mocking klaxon noise emerging from beneath the bucket brim and received a free kick against, a 25 metre penalty and then the quite souls-scarring experience of seeing his Bucket Headed nemesis celebrate the goal he just kicked with a series of claps from right in front of the Warrior’s jaded broken eyes.
The spirit between the two clubs was indeed willing leaving the umps with a lot to handle. Stretch, all the way from Hong Kong, was given basically the red carpet treatment benefitting from no less than 3 25 metre penalties from the calumnies and barbs from the Warriors thrown at the umpire. At the top of the square, he laconically goaled.
The game was turning and the scoreboard finally grabbed and shaken to its senses by the Bintangs Captain DOS, who got into position after a great shepherd from JP (whose been taught by great masters of the skill) and blazed through the goal that put the scores even, dead even, at half time. 9.3 apiece.
An unbeaten record since 2010 at the Cib was on the line here if we lost and no player wanted to have that blot on their escutcheon, nor to face Paul Pot Halliday on the topic.
Brad Peake certainly didn’t and continued his deft ball gathering and clearances throughout the quarter and his elusiveness was evidenced by the fact that the only player able to lay a legal tackle on him all day was his team mate Michael for some God unknown reason. The Warriors laid a late hit on him after he had got rid of it and the result was down the field free and goal to Ben Corbett. Cast Iron Corbett than followed up with a massive roost about 80 metres high for his second goal.
This was the time when Giants walked the Cib. Chivers was smooth as an oak blend in the ruck and around the ground, Corbett was the target the Warriors could not let run free, and by Odin’s Beard, how good did Andy play. Before being put in the forward line in the last quarter to boot through six pointers, Andy was unpassable and unsurpassable at centre half back. He was always in position, judging superbly and took 7 telling marks for the quarter. He was Horatio on the bridge as the Warriors threw their all.
The quarter lurched to an abrupt hope. The Bintangs 11.6, Warriors 11.5 Already one of the greatest contests in recent memory and a whole last quarter to go.
News that Ewok Calpakjian’s epic roll through the roads of Jakarta had been stopped by the National Guard came through but the match was too tight for the Bintangs to process that.
Bawden was put into forward service in a tussle where every score would count. Henderson the Junk Yard Dog, had been sent up from Yogyakarta in one of those Hannibal Lecter stretcher and mask travel kits and was playing accordingly, standing up to all the Warriors could throw at him like LaVoy Finicum stood up to the FBI and Oregon State Troopers after occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (a Henderson hero).
Straight into it, 1 minute mark no less, Gezza continued his road show parade of footy skills to get it to Bawden who goaled. Malaysia equalised.
Bawden again, not be daunted, raced off a pack of Warriors descending on the ball and toe poked through a 20 metres sausage roll, going straight into the GOTY nomination file that Paul Pot keeps in the little zipped up compartment on the right hand side of his grey wallet which he often leaves unattended.
Drums were ponding by enthralled school children and the Batik Cup gleamed even more silver and more desirable if that was possible.
The Bintangs united for one last Gotterdammerung surge at the cup they knew could be theirs. DOS took a goalsaving mark deep in Malaysian territory and then in a move that may indeed walk into Bintangs history at least for this season, he pulls off a crafty steal passes to MJ who boots it through for a goal.
A One Goal win.
Now that’s more epic than a mere Lake of Beer.
Jakarta Bintangs 14.9.93
Malaysian Warriors 13.9.87
Jolly 3, O’Shea 3, Corbett 2, Bawden 2, Kenyon, Barnes, Prowler, Archer,
Bawden, Barnes, O’Shea, Peake, Jolly, Prowler, Corbett, Toebelman, S. Field