Stevie da Vinci

Both sets of fans trudged out of Kardinia Park disappointed. Melbourne supporters had to swallow their team’s sheer ineptitude, insipidness, lack of effort, lack of spirit and lack of pride. One Demon, who was harder to understand than a Glaswegian bus driver, took solace in the fact that he attended the 36.22.(238) to 6.12.(48) debacle at VFL Park. He was glad for small mercies. Another Melbourne fan commented that this was the first time at the footy where he couldn’t say anything. Geelong supporters were dejected that the 240-point barrier and the 190-point winning margin weren’t reached.

It was touch and go though. The final quarter, played in near darkness caused by a blanket of thick high-level cloud, was the AFL equivalent of Campbell’s Creek versus Primrose. The only thing missing was a ring of car lights on high beam illuminating the ground. Melbourne players must have been praying that nobody could see the debacle. Surely there must be trouble in their camp.

As Geelong’s score mounted, fans spent longer than usual looking at the scoreboard trying to take the unfathomable in. For most of the first quarter, the scoreboard above the Fred Flanagan Room indicated that Geelong’s opponents were Casey rather than Melbourne. Nobody could disagree with this.

Those partial to the wonderful world of number theory were soothed by the fact that both team’s final scores consisted solely of prime numbers.

As mystical as prime numbers are, nothing could compare with the magic show put on by Steve Johnson. Geelong’s Leonardo Da Vinci is a footballing polymath who was central to Geelong’s renaissance in 2007 and is crucial to Geelong’s shot at the 2011 pennant. All of Johnno’s attributes and genius were on display.





Stevie J. ended up booting seven goals. With selfishness, he could have broken Fred Fanning’s record. On several occasions Johnno handballed to teammates who sauntered in to kick easy goals. His field-kicking was immaculate and he always found a man in a better position.

It was Enright who kept Geelong in it early when the game was up for grabs. The result was in doubt for about two minutes before the sealer was kicked. Mooney’s successful comeback and five first-half goals were heart-warming. There will always be massive love for Mooney.

Corey, Enright, Selwood, Bartel, Mackie, Scarlett, Ling and Wojo monstered their opponents and continually drove the ball forwards. Chappy was angry. At one stage in the second quarter, about ten players tried to calm Chappy down after entangling with Dunn. All this well-meaning advice was to no avail. C. Scott had to leave the coaches box and speak to Chappy in the player’s race. There was more steam coming out of Chappy’s head than what comes out of Puffing Billy. Since Ablett’s departure, opposition teams have paid more attention to stopping Chappy.

It got to the stage where Geelong players were kicking banana goals from directly in front. Wave after wave of attack was created by quick and precise handball. Opponents were shrugged like rag dolls. This was Geelong circa 2007. This was footballing freedom of expression rarely seen.

Geelong’s scoring avalanche had an intoxicating effect on supporters. Geelong fans high-fived and hugged as each final-quarter goal was posted. The terrace collectively dry-humped each other when Stevie J. kicked an outrageous around the body special from about 45 metres out. If Johnno hadn’t slipped at a vital moment, I reckon the record would have been achieved.

In the years to come, most will recall this game’s extraordinary metrics and statistical disparities. Most will also recall the ramifications the thrashing had for Bailey, Schwab and Connolly. What shouldn’t be ignored was the game’s aesthetics. In particular, the extraordinary contributions of Johnson, Enright, Corey and Selwood. Geelong’s teamwork and ball movement will live long in the memory.

This was the best training drill I’ve ever seen.

Thank you Stevie Da Vinci.

Postscript: The combined score for both Geelong teams on the day was 68.17.(425).



3.         S.Johnson


2.         C. Enright


1.         J. Selwood




  1. Skip of Skipton says:

    510 was the disposal count which is a record I don’t have pay-tv and the pub which did is still closed after the January flood. I was at the local footy where the Emus had their finals hopes mathematically erased by the long ago mathematically erased Creswick; who did play very well it must be acknowledged.

    I had a mate I was with operate his computerised telephonic gadget and google me some score from lower Moorabool St, and was sickened by the fact I had turned down an offer from a Pivotonian pal to attend the match pratice session.

    I did see some vision on the Channel Eddie football showcase. Billy used the recorded video to show some examples of the training drill at various stages. Utterly amazing. Harlem Globetrotter-esque was the verdict. Derm said that the only thing wrong with the footage was the Melbourne chaps not wearing bright orange, as in witches hats.

    There is no other club that can kick a huge score and humiliate as regularly as the Cats have managed over the last 20 odd seasons. Lord I pray that none of the pretenders (Carl, Haw, StK, WCE) impede the natural progression to a Collingwood vs. Geelong decider. Which would be the biggest ‘clash of the titans’ Grand Final I would have witnessed in my the 42 years. The will of the Gods does un-nerve me.

  2. true, Skip, but everyone else who barracks for other sides is getting sick of a season with so little to look forward to…I have not watched a minute of AFL again this weekend.

  3. Skip of Skipton says:

    It is boring and just killing time until the finals now, crio, and I do barrack for a team with something to look forward to, and pity those who don’t. Am looking forward to the spring racing as usual, even though it also looks bereft of genuine talent, WFA middle distance especially. Black Cav vs. the Singapore rocket would be good if it happens.. The VRC needs to ensure it does I reckon. Pretty sad when I am following the fortunes of SYT and Frankel etc in Europe over the local action.

  4. Phantom says:

    Wonderful Peter, just wonderful.

    Several comments.

    I was hoping the Cats would break the winning margin number but now am happy they didn’t. It keeps Fitzroy in the books. I am pleased. I hate what the system did to Fitzroy and know they will do it again.

    I was listening to the last bit of the game while picking up cans around the booza at the Wynyard footy ground. The game was being broadcast over a P A system from an old transistor radio switched to the ABC, placed close to the microphone as the rain stopped and people left the ground. We had just kept our season alive with a win against the second placed team. All was well.

    The sound and the late peeking sun rays after a day of rain gave a sureal aura. (That’s proper sureal, not the one the language starved Gen XXL’s throw about randomly.) I thought that that was the sort of sound you would hear as you entered the gates of heaven. It was beautiful. Even the Collywood supporters were shaking their heads as they scampered past me, avoiding eye and vocal contact.

    It was one of those very special times when you just love being a Cats devotee.

    With Mooney on life support every breath he takes, every posession he gets, every player he skittles will be gold.

    These Cats still have a few lives. Considering how we were discarded by the footy proletariat recently every week is a bonus. I am loving it.

  5. Peter Flynn says:

    Bailey gorn.

  6. Flynnie,
    Melbourne need to accept that the Barassi (insert years here) plan is battling. If Rudi Webster can’t get them up this week it may be time to finally give Slug Jordan a shot a senior coaching.

  7. johnharms says:

    Bring back Checker Hughes.

  8. Cats’ win the 11th time a team has won by 160 pts or more. In none of the other 10 cases has the winner gone on to win the flag. So Dean Bailey has effectively extinguished Geelong’s premiership chances. And this is the thanks he gets!?!

  9. Skip of Skipton says:

    Scary Gigs. I knew it. The football gods and so forth. What was the winning margin in Round 6 2007, Cats vs. Tigers. 159 points?

  10. Richard Naco says:

    I found the gut running and unbridles passion and creativity displayed by the Cats to be breathtaking on first the ear (thank you, ABC Radio) & then the eye (via AFL Game Analyser). The Pride of The Pivot unleashed the beasts of their collective imagination and created what the commentators of both media described as “pure football”. The inevitable questions about the Bruise Free Boyz notwithstanding, Geelong displayed artistry with sinew and a broad band of universal unselfishness.

    The subsequent speculation of their opponents’ missing hearts and heads can not diminish the fact that several key Catters have well and truly played themselves back into form, and that the Cats, so continually scorned by commentators and key opponents all this season, just may be the real deal.


    My only fear, on the eve of my long awaited inaugural one day pilgrimage to the Holy Town, is that maybe I should have heeded my gut instincts at the time & perhaps gone a week early. Although what awaits the Gold Coats this coming Saturday is anybody’s guess. This Saturday can’t come quickly enough for me here in my Emerald City exile.

  11. John Butler says:

    PF, your aesthetes’ eye for sporting endeavour was no doubt pleased by what you saw.

    Such opportunities come rarely and should be enjoyed.

    But it’s not hard to express freely when opposed by a vacuum. When you don’t fear any consequence from the opposition, thought of mistake never enters the head.

    All the publicity will be about Melbourne, but I tend to think this result will require some managing from the Geelong perspective as well. Something they are quite capable of coping with.

  12. johnharms says:

    Lid off since March in our household, JB. Good win. Goooooood win.

  13. John Butler says:

    Probably just as well you don’t run the footy department JTH. :)

  14. Mark Doyle says:

    Another very enjoyable Saturday afternoon at Skilled Stadium for us Cats supporters – the seniors win by 30 goals, the resies win by 20 goals and we enjoy a few post game ales in the Social Club. A great confidence booster on the eve of the finals and the players are fitter than this time last year. It is a joy to watch all the Cats players and especially blokes such as Joel Corey, Steve Johnson, Corey Enright and Joel Selwood play their footy. Corey’s clearance work is exceptional and he may win his third B & F this year.
    We now look forward to next Saturday afternoon and the return of Gary Ablett jnr. to Skilled Stadium as well his promising Gold Coast team. I am sure they will be more competitive than Melbourne.

  15. Flynny – very nice wrap of the game. I had a love/hate relationship with it. I loved our virtuosity but I hate no opposition.

    Just think we still have Menzel and JPod to slot into the forward 50.

  16. johnharms says:

    Mark, I only got to see the second half live. All the talk from the esperts was initially of Selwood and Johnson, but from the moment I turned the TV on Corey was in scintillating form, and Johnno was just divine.

  17. Rick Kane says:

    Hi Mr Flynn

    I was at the game. Yes, I took the boy on his first outing to Kardinya Park and that’s what they served up. Like he’s ever going to switch allegiances to the Mighty Hawks after that display. It was awesome and surreal.

    I thought the Pies had the biggest fan base going around but I don’t know if they have ever had 27,000 at a training run!


  18. What a fine dad you are Rick. Your timing is superb. Well done.

    No doubt the young fella had a couple of Freddos to munch on the trip home.

    Looks a bit like a Cats vs Hawks qualification final coming up. Interesting.

  19. Richard Naco says:

    Rick – i respect your relationship with your lad no end. Greater love hath no man than he lays down his club allegiance for an offsrping with zero sense of solidarity. My own 11yo is drifting these days from the Cats towards Richmond on the basis that he’s always had a thing for tigers since the day he popped out (well – possible exaggeration – it may have been the day after).

    Although whenever he does see the hoops in action he clean forgets about the Yellow & Black.

    Go figure.

  20. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    As a non cats man I am thankfull that , Stevie J is 1 there are many clubs who would not have allowed him to play with the freedom and sheer audacity he displays . Imagine him trying to fit in to a , Ross Lyon playbook ? The Geelong leadership group who displayed tough love to him and them him replaying them in spades deserve credit .
    A tad different to the insipid display by the so called yellow and black leadership group to , J King ! Thanks Flynny best line in my r book was the game being in doubt for 2 min until the sealer was kicked !

  21. Peter Flynn says:

    I can imagine Johnno as a cricketer attempting reverse sweeps and ramp shots etc.

    Cheers Rulebook.


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