2010 Almanac Grand Final Lunch

It’s not a drive to Melbourne without seeing a bit of roadkill on the way. And on this particular trip, just one day out from that One Day In September (ODIS), isn’t if fitting that Dad and I see a couple of dead magpies on the side of the roads? An omen perhaps? Of course, it’s a tragedy that these magpies were killed, but I’m sure they took the hit for the pride and safety of the rest of Australia, putting the mozz on Collingwood. We will remember the fallen magpies.

As you may know, a crisis is happening. A city is being torn apart by terrorist activity. This city is crowding with people, bad people. No, I’m not talking about New Delhi. I’m talking about Melbourne. Collingwood fans are out in force. They are rocking Melbourne. Even as we approach the city on the Hume Highway, I start to hear things in my head. I can hear the eerie, scary ‘COOLLLIIINGGWOOOOODD’ chant. Or the air-conditioner needs a clean-out.

Driving around on Lygon Street, Dad hands me the Melways and I look for the highlighted circle that surrounds ‘Clyde Hotel’ on the map. We’re about 3cm above it on the map. We drive for about a block, and find ourselves way beneath it, funny how maps work like that. We soon find the Clyde, but are forced to drive around it in circles, looking for a park. We finally find one, just around the corner, and Dad fills the meter up. I take my hoody off, putting my North guernsey on, before returning into the warmth of my jumper. Dad and I walk into the doors of the Clyde, and the memories of the Footy Almanac 2009 launch come flooding back. I order a coke, and Dad and I take our seats at one of the many tables.

Soon, people start flooding in. I hear Daff’s recognisable voice straight away, I see Flynny. I think he’s the only one who’s opted to wear shorts. I trade kind words with JB, before I find someone sitting in my seat next to me. It’s much joked between the younger contingent in the Almanac that Damian Watson is very sneaky. At the launch last year he appeared before Steve and I without really noticing, and apparently he snuck up on Steve at Etihad Stadium on one of our many get-to-togethers throughout the year. So it was no surprise to me to find Damo right next to me, and we got to talking straight away.

We are discussing who we think the mystery speaker will be. Daff soon pulls some people out of the crowd in front of him and give a bit of Q&A. It’s quite enjoyable. Anthony Daniher is probably the most universally recognised, but Bob Ubter and Joc Ledwidge both interested me, especially Bob’s talks about his nephew Patrick Dangerfield. Soon, lunch is served. Dad and I both got the beer-battered flathead tails, which are quite delicious. I would give them an 8/10 if I were Matt Preston. Damo got a humongous Mushroom pie; I imagined trying to eat that at the footy!

After lunch, Daff calls up Les Everett, who gives a good insight into what footy in Western Australia is like. In fact, this might’ve been done before we had lunch, I can’t quite remember. The highlight of the day though was definitely the talk Daff had with the enormously funny man (EFM). Unfortunately, I cannot remember his name, but EFM kept everyone entertained and made us all laugh. It was a good note to end the lunch on.

I spot Gigs walking in my general direction, I put my hand out to shake his, luckily he saw me, I think he was about to walk straight past me. I’m yet to have a good, thorough chat with him; I look forward to it when the time comes. Maybe at the launch, Gigs? A thorough chat with JB soon follows, then Dad, Damo and I talk with Daff, before bidding farewell as Damo and Daff go into detail about the Eastern Footy League. Dad and I get into the car, and start the drive home. As we get into Coburg, Dad and I seem to notice a bit of paper stuck to the windscreen at the exact same time. I open the window and reach out to grab it, bringing it into the security of the car. $60 parking fine. We were 11 minutes late getting back to the car. Perhaps that chat with JB was a little too thorough. :)

About Josh Barnstable

21 year old North Melbourne supporter from country Victoria. Currently living in Melbourne studying a Bachelor of Sports Media. Dreams of becoming a sports journalist and broadcaster.


  1. OOPS!

    Sorry if I cost you those 11 minutes Josh. Just regard it as a typical Melbourne experience.

    It was great to talk to you and your Dad, and the many others there.

    Great report BTW. :)

  2. As Dad tried to tell Mum over the phone, he was awarded a $60 reward for parking so well. Haha.

    Thanks, don’t worry, our fault for not putting enough money in the meter :)

  3. Josh
    well done like you it was great to catch up with our fellow footy afficianados.
    Could have spent the rest of the day there which I should have done as I was back at the gorund at 4.am to get a seat in the Members,
    Sorry to be pedantic but P>Dangerfield No 32 is my grandson a closer blood line and as former Demon Chris Connlooy said to me last week “You should get at least $20,000 for producing young Patrick via the blood lines.
    Bob U

  4. Sorry Bob! I need to get my facts right before writing them down.

  5. Josh, no sweat we all get caught out somewhere along the way when we write.
    As a matter of interest how aold are you and are you keen to get into Sports Journalism?
    E-mail me
    Bob U

  6. Damian Watson says

    Great work Josh,

    Bad luck regarding the parking ticket.

    It was a great lunch and the speakers all conveyed intresting stories.

    Loved Anthony Daniher’s account of the 1990 brawl.

    Do I really come across as that sneaky?

    Anyway I’ll see you at the launch.


  7. Damian Watson says

    By the way I’m intrested in sports journalism as well!

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