Circle the Cars


NORTH MELBOURNE – 4.7 8.10 12.15 17.20 (122)

BRISBANE 4.0 8.5 10.6 11.11 (77)


Best: Black (BL) 3, Bastinac (NM) 2 and Petrie (NM) 1


Dust off the picnic blanket and make sure the car battery is fully charged, the AFL’s least popular non-Victorian team is playing Melbourne’s least popular team at a ground both their supporters hate.

We were baking, back in Queensland and for a change I had a Lions supporter in the kitchen. My dad was able to make the transition from Fitzroy to Brisbane with surprising ease and was now physically transitioning from Hobart to Brisbane with less enthusiasm. But he still makes a mean doughnut and we were hoping a new generation may take up the mantle.

Docklands looked pretty much abandoned on the TV and I wondered why they didn’t try and make some sort of theme out of these matches. They could call it Community Day and have people park their cars around the oval. It might be a bit hairy parking the Outback so close to the fourth tier fence, but the kids would love the view.

Perhaps traditional trades of the clubs pre-gentrified past could be exhibited at half time. Formally empty North Melbourne games would surge with people clambering to see the half time butchering show. The Auskick kids could race each other up the wing in sleds made from sides of beef.

Brisbane could bring down their traditional industries and set fire to an oval of carefully arranged sugar cain or maybe blast a bloody great whole in the middle of the ground.

And thus was the afternoon wiled away. Pastries were cooked, soups prepared and ever-more ridiculous schemes hatched for ‘improving’ the football spectacle.

It was great to watch the young Lions going for it with all their enthusiasm. The young Roos look to have a great future as well, who the hell is that Bastinac kid? I’ve never heard of him and I reckon he was one of North’s best. Looks 15 he was a day.

In the tri-colours, Cornelius, Hawksley, Redden and Karnezis look like great prospects, but really it was only Black, Power and Adcock keeping the Lions from a bath.

When the Lions went ahead in the third, Dad got his game face on and started cheering. My three year old wanted to know what was going on and we said we were cheering the Lions. She asked if she could barrack for the Lions too… A silence descended on the kitchen.

It has been a happy three years in which I have been pressing the blue and white hoops on her at every moment. She knows of no other team. Every night we sing three songs together; Mary Had a Little Lamb, Clementine and We Are Geelong.

I had never considered there could be any competition.

Perhaps the old man was taking revenge for his kids never following his team. But what could he expect? He brought us up within a drop kick of Kardinya Park and Fitzroy were crap.

As Wells kicked North back in front and the flood gates opened there was only one thing to save the situation.

“Clem, we’re going to the park.”

There will be no more Lions supporters in this family, I don’t care how big a whole they blow in Docklands.


About Hamish Townsend

Hamish Townsend was born and raised in Geelong, supports the Cats and lives in Brisbane.


  1. I think you are a bit harsh.

    My kids have been told there are only two things they cannot be. Boogie board riders or Collingwood supporters. If any of these tendencies are anything more than trifiling dalliances, steps will be taken to ensure they don’t inherit and they cannot keep the surname…

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