29 wins and (no longer) counting

by Vin Maskell

What’s that old adage about journalism? Never let the facts get in the way of a good story. Or, in the case of the Geelong Advertiser last weekend, never let the results of a footy match get in the way of a rather confident celebratory newspaper special edition poster.

The Advertiser was so sure of the Cats extending their home-ground winning streak to a neat 30 victories that it printed a commemorative poster in last Saturday’s edition – before the team played, and lost to, the Sydney Swans.
The smaller print at the bottom of the poster reads ‘Only to be used if we win – of course we will’.
And, of course, they didn’t.
Well, the poster could still be used for, say, kitty litter.


About Vin Maskell

Founder and editor of Stereo Stories, a partner site of The Footy Almanac. Likes a gentle kick of the footy on a Sunday morning, when his back's not playing up. Been known to take a more than keen interest in scoreboards - the older the better.


  1. John Butler says

    Geelong hubris?

    Perish the thought.

  2. I have no reason whatsoever to doubt the existence of footy gods.

  3. I love all things ephemeral but this was PREphemeral.

  4. Reminds me of those great Weg posters which get printed in readiness for the Grand Final outcome each year. They always do 2 in advance, so that they’re ready to hit the streets immediately the game ends. I’d love to have a collection of some of the “should have been” premiers. They must be as valuable as the 1930 penny or a misprinted stamp. I can picture it now: a cat stomping on a the head of a hawk and holding aloft the 2008 cup. It would look fantastic on my bar wall, between the 2007 and 2009 team photos.

  5. The first derby of 1998 was pretty close. At his post-match press press conference Mick Malthouse picked out Mark Duffield from The West said he’d heard the paper made a poster celebrating the first derby win for the Dockers. He said something like “Your paper thought we were gonna lose didn’t it?” Duffield was bemused and everybody else was too scared to tell Mr Malthouse that it was standard… the next day there was a poster out saying Seven in A Row for the Eagles or whatever.
    James Clement kicked five goals in that game.

  6. Dave Nadel says

    It is a bit like the Herald-Sun front page in 1993 announcing Hewson’s electoral victory. One of the unions republished the Hun’s front page with famous line from the Stones printed over it “You can’t always get what you want”.

  7. I was at Kardinia Park for the Round 3 match against Hawthorn in 2006. The Cats had won the Wizard Cup with a seconds side, and they’d won the first two matches by huge margins. Dean Laidley said that week that the Cats would win the Premiership after seeing his team get smashed by them in Round 2.

    It was a carnival atmosphere at the ground. They replayed Laidley’s comments several times. The voice over guy was taking the mickey out of the Hawks. The Cats were good things that year.

    As they say, pride cometh before the fall.

  8. Dave, I remember seeing that Herald Sun Hewson poster in pride of place above a journo’s desk at The Age when I did work experience there not long after. Classic stuff.

  9. I still have a copy of that 1993 Herald-Sun.

  10. Being a longtime newspaper guy, ugh. They probably figured (unleashing the ire of the sporting gods) that because they did the work, they might as well put it in the paper. Because sometimes those things never run. Being in Louisville, we take a keen interest in thoroughbred racing, and our Triple Crown history page — a lively read written by a local racing historian, with archival photos and produced in the summer of 1997 after the close call of Silver Charm — sits in our computer system unused through six more near-misses, three page-size shrinks and four production system changes. It’s already outlived the writer. It’ll probably outlive all of us.

    You might also be interested to know that after the NFL Super Bowl each year, the shirts and caps printed beforehand with the wrong winner are carted off to underprivileged areas and donated as apparel.

  11. Didn’t like it when I saw it, serves the addy right!

  12. This is the charm of the Almanac and, I suppose, of articulate online chit-chat. Like a good conversation that meanders here and there. A little item about about a little cock-up (so to speak) takes us into journalism, politics, WA footy. Super Bowl charity and, thorougbred racing in Kentucky (the comment from GlennB inevitably reminding me of that astonishing Hunter S Thompson rave/rant all those years ago about the Kentucky Derby).

    I’ll hold onto the ’30 wins’ poster and maybe frame it for the Almanac boardroom. Or sell it on e-bay to some Swans fans.

  13. There was the famous 1948 US Presidential Headline on the front page of the Chicago Tribune in huge type “Dewey Defeats Truman”. The staunchly conservative Tribune had been having printer problems so they had an early deadline before the National polls were closed – given the different time zones across America. They bagged Harry Truman throughout the campaign as he was Roosovelt’s VP and had succeeded FDR when he died in early 1945. The Tribune decided to go with the opinion polls and the views of their veteran political columnist who had picked 4 of the last 5 elections. 150,000 copies were distributed and Truman rejoiced in being photographed waving a copy at St Louis train station on his way back to Washington from his home in Independence, Missouri. The Tribune had once called President Truman a ‘nincompoop’ and in a semi-apology 50 years later wrote that “Truman had as low an opinion of the Truman as it did of him”. The opinion polls were done by telephone in those days and after their disastrous predictions Gallop realised that phone ownership in 1948 was biased toward the higher earning, white, conservative households. They changed their sampling method afterwards.
    Sort of like those TV and talkback ‘phone in polls’ where 80% of “our audience” want to bring in the death penalty for boat people.
    Only if they are wearing Collingwood jumpers, I say.

  14. Eagles jumpers

  15. A good mate of mine, Tony, does all the Graphics for the Advertiser. We stand in the outer at all the Cats home games. He can tell you the last 10 players to play for the Cats wearing any number you’d like. Good bloke.

  16. @Ed – I was trying to remember Stephen Handley’s number the other week. 14?

Leave a Comment