Careful what you wish for…

For too long, many suitors have leveraged against the Geelong Football Club. Off of its people and off of its proud heritage.

The supporters have indeed been blessed with good fortune over these past years; Brownlows, All-Australians by the dozen, Grand Finals, even the elusive Premiership or two. We’ve much to be glad about.

Some might say we are a meek lot. When Nick Stevens turned his back on Port Adelaide to join the Blues, Mark Williams starkly told the media

“You don’t leave Port Adelaide.”

His parochial, seething attitude towards his former charge typifies that working class spirit; one-eyed, backs-to-the-wall, with us or against us. That notion that the club is the centre of all things good and no one can enter heaven without passing through it.

It’s perhaps not the kind of prickled retort you might expect from a Geelong person. You see, we’re pragmatists. We understand.

When Gary Ablett left us, we all understood. The AFL had wontedly created a cash-spewing monster with the expansion into the NRL frontierland. The Gold Coast needed our man for the greater good of the code.

You see, the AFL headed by Andrew, know that the commitment of the true believers doesn’t wane. The “corporates” rushing to be seen with the shiny new Gold Coast boys need a flashy bauble or two, and why not inflate the market so you can take a star from the clubs that can afford to lose them?

Yeah we get it, Andrew. We’re a pragmatic lot we Cats fans. You’ve got your new club and we’ve got the star. Here, take him. We’ll still bleed for our club even if your fly-by-night suits need fancy two way mirrors and umpteen meet and greets before they’ll even think about the meal package.

When he was quizzed about the 2011 fixture at the end of last year, and asked about who the Gold Coast might play in their first fixture at Metricon Stadium, he played coy but left little doubt.

“I’m not sure,” he said with a Chesire grin,
“But I’ve got a feeling I know who it might be. I know who I’d like it to be.”

Fresh from pillaging our best player, he was only too happy to see the raw emotion of Geelong supporters channeled towards his brave new cause. The spurned Cats fans and their club whould provide the perfect backdrop to his carefully staged marionette extavaganza.

“Get lots of shots of the fans yelling at Gaz, and we’ll do all the interviews with his ex-teammates and cut them into a nice intro for channel 10. It’ll be swell!”

The genuine hurt felt by many Geelong supporters over what happened with Gaz is typically overshadowed by the general understanding shown.

Leveraged. For the greater good, maybe, but still leveraged.

All week we have been hearing how excited the Suns are to be playing the ladder leaders. They’re not nervous, they’ll tell you, they’re excited. Well how jolly good for them!

I’m excited too.

For a long time, too long, my people have suffered quietly with no right of reply. Our knowledge and appreciation of the machinations of modern football landscape guides our civility, and we still love you Gaz.

Our administration has been suitably circumspect, and our footballers have spoken with professional apt and of mutual respect, not so brutish and machismo as ol’ Chocco. We are a pragmatic lot. We fans have been well behaved too. We’ve even thrown up a few YouTube hits of cheer squad members shedding a tear and threatening to get in the faces of those who attack the little bald master. Such puppy dog loyalty surely can afford to be, nay it deserves to be, leveraged. For we the people understand.

You have a club to promote and a new stadium to fill.

Saturday evening. You get the whole package. The sting in the tail. Determination that can’t be taught; relentlessness that doesn’t hang from shiny signs in the gym; endeavor that doesn’t grow in a hothouse in a year, endeavor that is forged on Grand Final day, and at the MCG and in the rain and in the mire; you get loyalty that can’t be leveraged Mr. Demetriou.

The Gold Coast know they’re up against it. Who wouldn’t read the writing on the wall? Mitigate as Guy might by telling us all what we all know, about how tough the contest will be, about how good Geelong are, they have no idea. This isn’t round 1 against the Blues. We are Geelong, and not only did you take something from us, you’re not sorry and you say you’re not scared.

Andrew, Guy, Gary. You’re excited.

Well so are we.

About Edward Harcourt

I’m 31 and I love the Cats!

Comments

  1. Clearisghted says:

    Beautiful, Edward.

  2. Ed,

    Really great article. You capture a certain spirit unique to the Cats.

    Long may clubs of history, culture and heritage endure.

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