Is this the miss of the Asian Cup tournament? Con Stamocostas relives the moment during the final clash between the Socceroos and South Korea.
If a goal is scored to win the 2015 Asian Cup final while I am in the toilet, and I hear the crowd cheering but I don’t see it, did it really happen?
Because I was yelling nooooooooo when I heard the Stadium Australia crowd scream yeeeeeeeees as the ball hit the back of the net does it mean I didn’t experience it ?
Surely if I heard it and felt it I should be able to imagine it?
Tomi Juric, showing amazing fortitude and persistence to get around his defender and whip in a dangerous cross that the South Korean goalkeeper parried into the path of James Troisi who smashed home the rebound to give the Socceroos a thrilling lead right in front of the end where I was sitting only 45 seconds earlier!
Philosopher George Berkeley posed this philosophical question: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
But I pose another question: If a Socceroos fan is betrayed by his bladder at the crucial moment when the Asian Cup winner drops, can he really feel the collective joy of almost 80,000 fans in the stadium?
Or, is this fan with ill-conceived timing destined to inhabit a yawning vacuum of regret with nothing more than an empty bladder?
Sure he will return to his seat after missing the goal and say to the members of his joyful party, ‘I guess the Socceroos scored hey’? Even in the depths of despair sarcasm lives.
How did it come to this? Well I blame my girlfriend. Before the fateful decision I asked her to hand over the ticket for proof of my seat number. She tells me: “Go, there is no one checking tickets anyway, JUST GO”. So I GO.
When I came back all the screens have stopped showing the replays. I search around my seat frantically for the Foxtel remote because I have momentarily misplaced my brain. I am now at the core of desperation, a new stage I have added to the five stages of loss and grief.
Denial and isolation is today, anger and bargaining was yesterday, depression is here to stay and acceptance, well, I can’t accept any acceptance. Acceptance will not work at all, because my feeling of loss and grief will never be placated.
Yesterday I tried to fill the void. First there was food – food can help in these kinds of instances. I ate chicken schnitzel at an eatery that served you four schnitzels at one serving! I ate as much as my stomach allowed. Still no end from the intense sorrow.
I went to the Opera House to see Bill Burr, one of my favourite comedians perform. Perhaps comedy would get me out of this mire and turn me into the ‘happy Socceroos fan celebrating this historic victory’ I was supposed to be, instead of the moping sulking misery I have become.
Alas, my mind is still in the cubicle at Stadium Australia with the score locked at 1-1. I’m like that Japanese Soldier Hiroo Onoda who continued fighting WWII in a Philippines jungle with three of his fellow soldiers 29 years after the war had ended.
I fear the 2015 Asian Cup final will remain at 1-1 forever in my mind. Sure I can read the newspaper and watch the news and sport reports on TV showing the Troisi goal, but like the Japanese soldier who had leaflets dropped from airplanes saying – “The war ended August 15th. Come down from the mountains!” – I am refusing to believe that the Asian Cup has finished and that the Socceroos have won.
Once Albert Einstein asked his fellow physician Niels Bohr whether he realistically believed that if nobody is looking at the moon then it doesn’t exist. Bohr replied that however hard Einstein may try, he would not be able to prove that it does, so he gave the riddle the status of a kind of an infallible conjecture—one that cannot be either proved or disproved.
Equally, I cannot prove nor disprove that I saw the Socceroos beat South Korea because, simply put, when James Troisi struck I was talking to a man about a mule.
My ears can prove that they heard the sound of the goal. I felt the vibration of the crowd reacting to the goal transmitted to my senses and recognised by my nerve centres.
Perhaps in another dimension my girlfriend said: “NO, DON’T GO – wait until half time in extra time otherwise you might miss something”.
Maybe in another sliding doors instance part of me delayed and captured the moment.
But not in this reality. In this reality I’m in a cubicle surrounded by white tiles yelling noooooooooo juxtaposed by the muffled sound of ten of thousands of Socceroos fans yelling yessssssssssssssssssss.
Con Stamocostas is an Australian football writer. Check out Episode Four of his latest A- League Football Snobcast with co-host Rob Toddler.