And still we wait.
And remember. And reminisce. About what was and somehow has never been again.
That feels like it never will again.
The spirit of '66. The point of it all. The barest of margins. The greatest of dreams realised.
Lingering on like a ghost haunting someone else's dreams now.
if you're a Saints fan maybe in your sleepless moments it appears in yours like it does mine. That black and white footage. How the ball slides of Barry Breen's boot like an arrow of destiny. The sheer bloody mindedness of a triumph by the slimmest of margins.
As a child I would watch the replay of that final quarter whenever I could, luxuriating in the comfort of knowing the result but all the time expecting it somehow to be snatched away.
Even in retrospect winning doesn't come easy to St.Kilda folks.
50 years on, the allure of the '66 team and the magic of that day will be brought to life yet again as the anniversary of our one and only premiership win is celebrated.
No one can begrudge the heroes of '66 one more chance to celebrate their achievement. It has sustained us through the bleakest times and continues to call to a part of us not to give up on the dream of triumph once more.
Who knows how many more times these wonderful men who lived in my minds eye as giants cast in grainy black and white TV footage will get the chance to share a moment together again?
It is their history that we celebrate.
it's not mine.
As a child of '68 I was born after that fateful day in '66 and have had to share in the thrill of it vicariously.
It's been a huge comfort through the heartache of '97, '09 and the double dose of madness that was 2010.
It isn't anymore.
As I close in on 50 years of age I no longer live with the certainty that our time will surely come.
All I know is that time slips away on its own terms.
Where once I waited patiently for the day the next generation of Saints would finally join the ranks of the heroes of '66, I now watch with a cold eye knowing we're entitled to nothing other than the privilege to keep trying.
This will be my last long dance with the spirit of '66.
At some point we have to walk and don't look back.
Because as bittersweet as the nostalgia is, we can't truly own our future if we are prisoner to our past.