In search of Jenny’s pasta

It’s Friday afternoon at the Clyde Hotel in Carlton, a pitching wedge from Melbourne University. It appears to be a student-free day, although this could be because The Footy Almanac Grand Final lunch has taken over the joint.

During the meandering afternoon of chicken parmas, Mackies and Danihers and Morwoods, and great Chinese footballers, Jenny Hawkins comes to the mic for a chat. She tells us she was once a student at Newman, the residential college about a 3-wood away (whose Bill Murray-esque groundsman Shane is knocking back pints in the public bar), and that she was in a happily familiar place (and bumping into old college mates like Andrew Fithall). Now, married to Jack Hawkins, she tells us that Jack doesn’t jump as often as he once did (laughter), and that the farm up at Finley (whose team wears the hoops) is going well. She also tells us she has cooked some pasta sauce and will be taking it to young Tom Hawkins, the second of their four children, after she leaves the pub.

I want that recipe.

During the afternoon, as the rain tumbles, various beer-in-hand theories gain currency. The rain suits Collingwood. The rain suits Geelong. Geelong are the best side in it, and have been all year. The Pies are the best side of the last two years and have been mucking around: they have more improvement in them. The Pies are very lucky to be there (from Hawks fans and rationalists). The Pies will do it for Mick. The Cats are too old. The Cats have good young’uns.

I am interested in the Pies-will-do-it-for-Mick thesis. Writer and Cats fan Anson Cameron, who launched the 2009 Almanac from the very stage we were on, had made his contribution to the Geelong cause in the morning’s Age by suggesting that, like Everyman, Nathan Buckley would be wishing for a loss.

Maybe.

The only thing I suspect is that all is not right in the state of Lexus and that Collingwood would be better off establishing in Arizona a high-altitude theosophical community (The Nexus Centre?)

But the thing I most know is that I don’t know. And, although I have observed Geelong’s two victories over the Pies, and have watched their demolition of the Eagles, I am happy to say, “Anything can happen. It’s a game of footy.”

Which I actually happen to believe. I think both teams can find a way to lose the Grand Final. But I really think that if both teams play to the best of their ability the Cats will win it. Hence, a quiet confidence.

On Saturday morning I have mixed feelings. I am planning to go to the game, but without the family, and I feel a strong pull to stay home and watch it on TV with them. But the kids are so young. And this is a Geelong-Collingwood Grand Final. And, in an act of self, despite my feeble offer to stay at home, I go.

I get a lift from my home in Northcote. Down through Collingwood. Wellington Street is chockers. We duck over to Smith Street. It’s chockers too. (What were we thinking?) We weave through the back streets. Old factories with sky-lights, the bricks cracked and graffiti-ed, where the bundies haven’t been punched for more than a generation. Not since the capitalists (some of whom sit on boards of footy clubs) went looking for cheaper labour, and found the politicians to support them – in the workers’ party. People matter? Fenced car-parks with tufts of grass. And million dollar apartments next to them.

Old terrace houses, like the ones near Victoria Park. What a place that once was! Oddly, where I first attended footy. Coming down from the country with the Hogans (this is no Kenneth Slessor reference) who were Magpie members, we’d park in the back-streets around what must have been Johnston Street and I remember the old ladies resting their aproned bosoms on front gates, cackling, and barking, “Go Pies!” And the dear old members, with blankets on their laps, buying us a pie, and remembering Collingwood when they were kids before the War – the First World War.

We get onto Brunswick Street and Victoria Parade, past Freemasons Hospital, where all three of our kids were born, and along that street that runs across the top of Fitzroy Gardens. I walk the rest of the way.

It’s a great walk, down those spoke-paths to the hub.

Inside, I meet Anson and his crew for a few nerve-settlers. It’s like we’re all playing the game. We miss Meat Loaf which initially is a disappointment – given that 1978 was Grade 11 and all that stood for; a time when Geelong was so hard to follow from where we lived in the backblocks of Queensland.

The time comes. We take our positions: four-deep in the standing area outside the Blazer Bar, with a stack of Geelong folk and a sprinkling of Pies.

“Is Johnno there?”

“Can’t see him.”

“Bloody dark though.”

“Count `em: 23?”

“Nah, nah, nah. He’s there. He’s there.”

I become reflective early at Grand Finals. Not Geldoff’s Is-That-It reflective. More I-love-what-this-means reflective. I love the proximity of hope. More than that, even, I love that it’s hope almost attained. It’s the covenant almost honoured. Please let it be true. It’s the test of faith.

I always look at the players: where they have come from, what has happened to them throughout the year. What they have made happen. What has happened to us: to our family. What we have tried to do. How we have worked together. Where we have worked against each other. What the teams have tried to do; especially when the Cats are in it. Which is always a blessing.

I look at Johnno. Travis Varcoe. What a season he has had. Promising so much at times. That game against Hawthorn. Little Allen Christensen: just a boy. Scarlo. Tom Hawkins. Otto.

I look at Nick Maxwell who is so not a Geelong footballer, and Harry O, who could be. And who are these Wellinghams and Sidebottoms and Blairs?

It’s going to be a tough game for all of us. I am already on my toes, ducking and weaving, as Lingy wins the toss and kicks to the Punt Road end.

“Into the breeze?”

“Dunno.”

“Concrete’s not moving much.”

The bloke in front turns around, and smiles wryly.

“I reckon we’ll be alright,” I say.

And as the umpy moves forward there is a cacophony of “Go Cats!”

I see Ottens and Jolly fly, but I don’t see Joel Selwood’s handball. I don’t see Leon Davis jump. I just see Travis flying forward. And Chappy is in the tunnel of my vision between the 32 year old solicitor from Albert Park and his overcoat-wearing mate’s left ear. And before I can say “Chappy” Travis has dropped it on the boot and put it through. There is yelling, “Travis. Travis.” And there is jumping. Jumping. Jumping. It’s Soweto and the word is around: Mandela is released.

The Cats dominate the opening minutes. The ball is in their forward line and there are more chances. Lingy gets an early touch on Swan. Selwood looks to be wide of Pendlebury. Scarlett outmuscles Didak and takes a strong chest mark. This looks good. Johnno, moving like a walking toy from a 1969 cereal box, gets clear, and hooks one back to Travis who’s on his own again inside 50. He kicks his second.

“Geez. I reckon we’re on.”

Secretly, we wish-think that the Cats can win by 20 goals.

But the Pies settle. A short pass to Cloke but we’re safe. Maybe not. Cloke roosts a ball-burster which breathes life into the Collingwood monster, which climbs to its collective feet. Goal. Minutes later he’s got it again. Another big bomb and the Pies fans rise again as it pierces the middle. He can win the game for Collingwood. Harry Taylor hasn’t done much wrong yet Cloke’s kicked two.

It’s a contest. But it’s not a scrap. Players find space and there is room to lead into. Good for the Cats I think. Krakouer finds the footy, straightens, and kicks another one. His granite Unaipon face has the intensity of a man for whom this matters.

Stokes taps to Johnno who snaps truly, and it’s even again. Stokes undoes his good work by conceding a 50 meter penalty and Ball’s shot is perfect.

Varcoe battles hard, finds Selwood, and he converts from close range. It’s even at quarter time. But I reckon we’ve been pretty good. The big blokes are doing well, but we’re not using the footy like we normally do, and the Collingwood pressure is having its effect.

In the second quarter things change. Krakouer, whose feet caress the ground in a way that has physicists re-calibrating the strength of gravity, ducks onto his left and goals. Cloke lands yet another one from outside 50. (You’re kidding) Then Enright cops a dud decision. And so does Otto when he tackles Johnson, who puts the Pies three goals up.

“Oh dear.”

The haunting “Collingwood” moan goes up. I have never understood its recent manifestation. Like a gestating cow caught in a bog.

Thank God for Jimmy Bartel. Who feeds a handball to Chappy and on to Stokes who goals. Hawkins, who has presented well and hung on to a couple up the ground takes a strong mark.

“Strong mark,” we nod at each other.

He hits the post.

“Strong mark,” we reiterate.

Johnno drops a sitter then nearly kicks a freakish goal but someone’s down. I rely on the TV monitor. As do most standers. We contend it is Pods. But play goes on, and it’s chaos.

“Where’s the stretcher?”

“Nooooo.”

The Pies fans scream at Krakouer’s brilliant floating mark, and he has his third. The Cats are in disarray, and physicists are peering into their beers wondering if they do need to check a few things out at work on Monday.

Hawk takes another strong mark and misses again.

“Strong mark,” we affirm.

“Strong mark.”

The sub, Duncan, has an immediate impact finding Johnson loose on the flank. Johnno assesses, plods a few non-Krakouer steps, and skids one through.

This is a ripper game.

“Ripper game,” we say.

Hawkins contests somewhere down in front of us and somehow the Sherrin is with Christensen and we all scream, “Selwood.” Because we can see him. And so can Christensen. He chips to the champ, who bangs it through.

The Cats are back, and poor on the pressure in the dying seconds, but time runs out and as the siren goes, people clap, and rush off to do what they have to. A catch-up. A beer. Everyone analysing. Trying to make sense of what is happening out there.

“Pendlebury: 20 touches? You’re kidding.”

“Some dud ones.”

I am feeling OK. I ring home and Mum and Theo are watching. “The girls are asleep Dad,” three-year-old Theo tells me.

I am feeling OK because the big blokes are doing OK. And I feel OK because we’ve been getting the footy OK, but not using it.

I’m feeling OK because the law of averages says Cloke is not going to kick straight enough to register three more, and neither is Krakouer. But if they do, Cloke will win the Norm Smith and Collingwood the flag. Which is not OK.

Time and space has clearly been condensed during half-time because things seem different in the third quarter. Physicists are even more confused. You do have to be Einstein to work this out. The game seems much more intense; the physical pressure is greater. More like a Grand Final.

Hawkins gets his toe on one in the square and the Cats are in front. Wellington wins the ball at half forward, evades and steps brilliantly, straightens, and goals. We don’t notice the debate over the balling hitting the post. (But we’re forced to put up with it for days afterwards)

The whole atmosphere has intensified and it is Geelong who are winning the contests, attacking the footy with a ferocious resolve. But the Pies are up for the fight, and they counter. Players come in and out of the contest. Cloke is thrashed by a combination of Lonergan and the pressure up the ground. Krakouer has disappeared. But Daisy Thomas lifts.

Chappy has an influence. As he gathers the pill the crowd call his name. He bangs it on the boot and the Cats have moved the footy so quickly that Hawkins has space and the tumbling punt lobs in his bread-basket. He goals.

Cameron Ling just keeps battling away. His nose has been crunched and he’s been knocked hither and thither but he just keeps tracking the Brownlow Medallist and nudging the footy forward himself, dramatically, just as the umpy puts the whistle to the mouth to penalise him for holding it. His dacks hang off him like he’s Lucky Grills playing a Cairns customs official. But he’s talking and pointing and back-slapping, and he too has jumped on to this wave of intensity.

The Pies are still a few points up when Bartel, caught standing under the ball, holds his ground and marks. Jimmy is beating his opponents, which is all you can ask, but the proportion of victors remains the same – about even. Although the proportion of victories might just be going the Cats way. Bartel’s shot lobs through from the Bay 13 pocket.

Stokesy thinks he’s Ross Glendinning for a moment and contests at centre half forward. Bartel is at the fall, gets the handball to Duncan who goals on the run from 50. Cats.

Just as you feel it changing, the balance returns, with an individual effort from Sidebottom. The Pies won’t relent.

The footy moves up and down the ground. Christensen flies against two opponents and comes up with a strong mark. He finds Bartel in the clear, on to Duncan, long to Otto one-out. He gets his shoulder in front in the skirmish and bobbles the footy in the direction of the charging Hawk. Who toe-pokes a third goal for the quarter.

From the scrum in front a guilty man clears his conscience: “All is forgiven Hawkins.”

And another Geelong man: “I’ve always loved him.”

But there is still a game to be won. There is relief from the tension when the three quarter time siren sounds. Again, the stadium is alive with conversations. We’re like kids coming out of their first Walt Disney film: “What about when Chitty Chitty Bang Bang…”

I am relatively confident. I reckon the Pies have just hung on then. That the Cats backline is rock solid. Cloke has been quiet (it’s only later I learn the magnitude of Lonergan’s success). Who’s on Krakouer? Is it Monica. Harry Taylor is plucking them from everywhere. Andrew Mackie is doing everything asked of him. And the pressure from the whole mid-field is just enormous. Corey, Kelly, Chappy, Selwood, Bartel all so hard at the footy and in the tackle.

“C’arn the Cats.”

I’m hearing it. I’m saying it. It’s 1971 and I am at VFL Park watching Geelong and Footscray. I’m at Carrara watching Gary Ablett in 1988. I’m at Kardinia Park on the terrarce. I’m at home in a Toowong lounge room.

That simple exhortation which has held a people together throughout, even when we threatened to fall apart.

“C’arn the Cats.”

Now’s the time.

“C’arn the Cats.”

Ever hopeful.

The Cats go forward straight away and Hawk is on the charge. He launches himself up and forward, out of any defenders reach. Strong mark. His shot hits the post.

“Strong mark,” we say.

“Strong mark.”

This is a groan-free moment. Concentration, not groaning, is the order of the day.

Selwood breaks clear on the wing, rushes forward and kicks long. In a body-on-body contest, Hawkins protects the space to his right, puts up the mitt, and taps the footy to himself for a clever mark.

He misses again.

“Strong mark,” we say.

“Strong mark,” No-one will make eye-contact for fear of being outed as the Thomas among us.

“Very strong mark.”

A minute later, and again the Cats look for Hawkins, who gets rid of Ben Reid, and marks. Just metres out. He dishes a little handball to Johnno, who snaps across his body, for a goal. It is a moment of Kirk-like self-knowledge for both of them.

We see none of this because we’re in Soweto and Mandela has joined us. Which is of no surprise because Mandela would barrack for Geelong, I’m sure. I suspect Hawk has played on. But the story is properly told by the corner-of-the-mouth Woodsman in front who turns around to explain.

“Johnson,” he says. “Bloody Johnson.”

I hate stats but here’s one for you: Hawk has taken three big marks and kicked two points in four minutes, and has sent one world (the Geelong one) delirious. And now marks on the wing. There is sheer delight for the big bloke, and he’s doing it for us.

But there is a game to win, and the Pies are still within three kicks.

Varcoe (my Varcoe) contests at half back, gets the footy on and the Cats run it out along the members wing. There is no-one forward but Duncan and Varcoe keep running, past the footy, which Johnno holds up long enough for them to run to position. Duncan puts his arms up, because that’s all he’s got the strength to do, which brings the ball to ground, Varcoe swoops (a jumbo-jet swoop rather than an F-111 swoop) snaps with the left. Goal. Yes.

The Cats are right on top and when Cloke finally gets a touch he misses with his mid-range shot and the Pies are on the brink.

They are brave though. They stick at it, but the Cats belief is expressed in everything they do. The defence is impenetrable. Taylor and Mackie take mark after mark and the Cats break away. They get clear on the southern wing and Kelly finds the leading Bartel. He drills his shot from outside 50. He is Nicklaus. He is Borg. He is anyone who has gone looking for what might lie inside, and found it.

Selwood finds Johnno who kicks his fourth.

And then the skipper receives a handball from Varcoe and snaps one for his grand-kids.

As the siren goes there is much hand-shaking and some embracing. We are all in the best players.

Where’s Tom Hawkins? Standing there ecstatic and perplexed. A young man who looked bamboozled by all these zone thingies in that dastardly Round 1 game against St Kilda; who wondered why coaches would have him play in the ruck; a man who would rather stand in the ten yard square in pub and bowser towns in the Riverina, and kick 160 goals, climbing on the shoulders of the sheep-crutcher from Kickatinalong. A local Icarus, who features in doggerel and on Aunt Ruby’s crocheted tea caddies. But who now has won Geelong a premiership.

The Cats begin their celebrations. Johnno, you are a beauty.

The Pies have been mighty. Geelong, mightier.

In the days which follow, in telling contrast to the dramatis personae of the vanquished, Chris Scott speaks of community and common purpose. It is a beautiful affirmation that there is something greater than self. He speaks of being humbled.

My dear father, who died on the night of last year’s preliminary final, (he would have enjoyed this Grand Final of course), would have loved Chris Scott’s heartfelt words.

“I think by ‘humbled’ you mean you have been overwhelmed,” he would have said to the coach. “I think you are feeling something which is much bigger than yourself, with which you have a deep connection.”

Then my father would have shaken Chris Scott’s hand and congratulated him and said, “You show great humility.”

And then, as a bloke from Burrumbuttock in the Riverina himself, my father would have gone looking for Tom Hawkins.

Votes:

3. Jenny Hawkins pasta sauce

2. Tom Hawkins

1. Jim Bartel

With apologies to Steve Johnson, whom we mark so much harder.

 

Vale Jenny Hawkins who passed away on April 18, 2015.

 

 

 

 

About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and footyalmanac.com.au He has written many columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted j.t.h@footyalmanac.com.au He is married to The Handicapper and has three kids - Theo10, Anna8, Evie7. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst three. His ambition is to lunch for Australia.

Comments

  1. JTH – you’ve described the game, which is brilliant because it’s like trying to describe a colour to someone who was born blind. So many things happened across the four quarters, so many big things, so many little things; a nudge, a scarlett of toe pokes, spoils, bumps, kicks. I can see them in these words.

  2. Peter Flynn says:

    Thanks JTH,

    Fantastic effort in the wee small hours (at any time really).

    Physicists are indeed in a tizz at the moment as experiments from CERN suggest that neutrinos have been measured as travelling faster than the speed of light. This is Einstein’s biggest test.

    I really enjoyed listening to Jenny Hawkins. Great guest.

  3. Goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood win!

    Theo needs a little brother.

  4. John Butler says:

    JTH

    I like the idea of the Pies’ Nexus centre. Could open broad new vistas for them.

    As long as they stay away from the Sexus angle.

  5. Captured the feel beautifully Harmsy. Very impressed with Chris Scott’s humility. For a 35 year old novice to take a group full of hardened veterans to the top again after last year is a remarkable effort. I thought Hawkins would kick on after the 09 GF where he played a pretty good game. Maybe he is Geelong’s Snake Baker. Just save him for the finals.

    JB, perhaps a new role for Mick at the Nexus centre could be Director of Theosophy.

  6. johnharms says:

    I have adjusted the concluding remarks which in the original sounded critical when they weren’t intended to be. That was not the point of the story.

    Chris Scott certainly conveys a genuine sense of community, not just the notion of personal benefit derived from a community; that the community benefit is an end in itself, indeed is the end in itself.

    Billy Brownless showed it in 2007.

    It was present among the past players and lifelong supporters who had gathered at the Lord of the Isles in Geelong on Sunday afternoon. That was a wonderful few hours.

  7. Im never eating pasta again.

  8. There has apparently a very nice pasta served at no 45’s pubs over the finals series.

    Avian Linguini

    Week one done with Hawks.

    Week three done with Eagles.

    Week four done with Magpies.

    Lingy received the grand final special – He had the Swan

  9. Richard Naco says:

    Thanks JTH.

    Perfect yarn, complete with unexpected hero and no real villains.

    Impeccably recounted.

  10. Lovely piece John. Thanks on behalf of us one-eyed Cats fans. I really think 2011 will go down as one of the great Grand Finals, and not just because Geelong won over a mighty opponent. Maybe we need more time to give it some perspective.

    Like many Melbourne-based supporters I drove down to Geelong to attend the celebrations on Sunday and the street parade yesterday. The joy among the supporters and gratitude to everyone at the footy club – players, coaches, staff & officials – was revealed on faces everywhere.

    Like them, I feel I’ve been blessed. Go Cats!

  11. Harmsy

    A brilliant read……..and that’s from a Pie’s perspective! You actually describe what we novices TRY to put into words! (ie. Stevie J’s non-Krakouer steps!). Clokey (you’re kidding) Hawkins (strong mark) et al.
    Almost makes me want to say………..Go Ca……Cat……………GO PIES!

  12. Great read Harmsy. You capture the game like no other.

  13. Andrew Starkie says:

    Harmsy,

    loved your descriptions of the suburb of Collingwood.

    Jonno was incredible – wrote himself into gf folklore again. His last goal summed him up. Marks, turns back on play, saunters to pocket, faces away from goal, screws over shoulder, sausage.

    Bartel, Ling, Selwood, Ottens, Lonergan – tough for four quarters.

    Loved Mackie’s game. Committed his body. As did Christensen and the other little pocket player. Can’t think of his name.

    Tomahawk did his best Carey. Will this game make him or become a weight around his neck?

    I too tend to miss alot of what Pendelbury does. Which is probably proof of how good he is.

    What a sensational game of footy.

  14. Dan Crane says:

    Probably my favourite quote of this year = “Like a gestating cow caught in a bog”

    i kind of thought the Collingwood chant lwas ike the droning music in Terminator 2 when the silver T-1000 keeps chasing John Connor and arnie…..relentless & unnerving.

    Does that make Tom Hawkins our Arnie?

    the game was a microcosm of my favourite picture of the season – the one where the geelong players were on that rollercoaster at wet’n’wild, going up then down then up and enjoying the ride.

    woohoo! ( sorry still on a high, this one is possibly the sweetest of them all)

  15. I still can’t believe it. I watch the replay and it still fails to sink in. 2007 was the drought-breaker, 2009 was the second we had to have lest Cats fans, already punished, be told forever we were under achievers.
    Now, Geelong supporters follow a team that makes grand finals and wins them. What the hell has happened? I like it, but I am genuinely struggling to comprehend it. It’s a paradigm shift and one that will take the best part of 30 years (the length of time I’ve followed Geelong) to come to grips with.
    We’ve won three flags – I would have taken one, two makes sense…..but three? I sit here safe in the knowledge we’ve won the flag, but without the extent of the euphoria in September 2009.
    Do any other Cats fans feel like this?
    And Stevie J – much like the bloke in Harmsy’s wonderful story who cleansed his soul – I take it all back.

  16. Cookie, I feel as you do.

    Re: Johnno. There is no doubt that he wants to be remembered. He wants to be a legend. I think as soon as he found his knee was structurally OK, he would have known that to play in the GF and to play well would make him the stuff of legends and I’ve got no doubt that is what drove him.

  17. Dan Crane says:

    mooney with tomahawk at half time, stevie j smirking, ling triumphant with his last kick in footy…a wonderful overdose of imagery and what will be memories.

    i’m hearing you cookie–i’m waiting to wake up and someone to laugh at me to say that we lost by 10 goals and we never won any flag since 2007.

  18. JTH – one of the best reports – it sits alongside 2007. The only way us mortals can report like this is to have an audio/video tape at the granny. I thought I was there, such was the intensity and fabric of your writing. Little wonder your real life is what it is. Thanks for letting us experience your and others thoughts; and this website opportunity to contribute.

    Cheers DS

  19. John T. Harms, you beauty! Way to catch the spirit of the 2011 GF, especially for those of us who fly our Geelong banners far away from Kardinia Park and the Cattery. Strong mark, Harmsy. Strong mark.

    Our boys, throughout the season, but particularly during the finals, showed their stuff: their sense of Community, their humility combined with self-confidence, their focus, their sense of being part of something greater than themselves as individuals, and their willingness, for the team, to put themselves in harm’s way.

    Thank you for allowing us to read about it all in Harms’ way, pasta sauce, perspicacity, perspicuity, passion and all.

  20. Thanks, Harmsy, for another evocative piece that brings all the senses alive with the memories of it all – the roars, the half-light, the smell of wet concrete and humanity.We’ve now had the pleasure of three flags, and as a bonus, they have all been so different from one another. I wonder what next years’s (there WILL be a next year’s) will bring?

  21. I was away in Italy for Grand Final (booked tickets halfway through season after it became apparent Bombers would be hard-pressed to make any Granny in the next 5 years). Found out about Cats victory from an Australian bloke in a bottle shop in Positano. “Gee, there are a lot of Australians here,” I said to him. “We’re all trying avoid another Collingwood flag,” he said. “Oh God, I’ve been on a train. Don’t tell me, did they win today? says me. “Nah, thank Christ. The Cats by 38”. I exploded with a happiness and relief that I didn’t even know I had in me. Bought more wine than I’d originally planned and sprinted back up the hill so that my North Melbourne following husband and I could officially toast the Cats and their fans from the balcony of our apartment looking out over the Mediterranean. Knew that I’d find out all I needed to know from reading your report Harmsy and once again, you haven’t let me down. Will have to borrow one of the 15 DVDs you no doubt have of the game just to see how it all panned out.

  22. Great story. Just wanted to add my own favourite Stevie J moment was seeing him direct traffic in the forward line to isolate Tom Hawkins once he realised that Reid was shot. Brilliant to see how far his leadership has come since the dark days of early 2007.

  23. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Re Reading this brilliant summary on the Friday arvo before Geelong play Freo in
    2013 Qualifying Final Does Jenny Hawkins Pasta Fix crook backs ? If So Start eating now Tom and do not stop ! Love the line re
    Barrel is he Nicklaus Is he Borg well he is in line with Wayne johnson and Dermie re ultimate Big Game Player
    Stevie J also ranks as good as Any 1 to spend our hard earned to watch and I am not a Cats man he is a freak

  24. This is simply the best description of a footy match that I have ever read. and the overwriting reason that it was revisited makes it that much more poignant.

  25. It’s so sad that Jenny Hawkins was taken so young.

    Her memory lives on.

    **

    Thanks Paddy for suggesting this piece. I hope you continue to enjoy your discoveries in the Almanac archive. To think you were about 8 years old when some of them were written back in 2009.

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