The pub was small and full. There was a great no-name band crammed into the corner, a few loose units dancing, people in booths talking, everybody pushing like mud rivers to get to get drinks, to the smoker’s section, to and from the fire. I wore them all, and the music, like a jacket, while watching Geelong Collingwood on a small telly.

“This is the way footy should be watched,” I said to Tommy, a former teammate. He’s played at nine clubs in nine years. Full of life and lazy. Just wants people to want him, I guess.

What a clown. Her ain’t that good.

“You can’t hear the commontators,” Tommy complained.

“Exactly,” I said.

I don’t need them getting in the way of it.

Half way through the first, Collingwood were three goals up, but there was something about the way the Cats were playing.

“You still backing them?” Tommy asked.

“Easy,” I said.

The ball came into the Geelong forward line quick, knocking through two sets of hands. That was all it took for Pendleburry to get there. The camera angle was perfect. Pushing back hard from the midfield he cut into the pack from the side, running away from the viewer, breaking through arms and legs, plucking the ball on the way.

You could see the power he runs with. The way he shifted and bent his body through flaying limbs, without once slowing sown.

It was a real moment. A victory of want.


The highlight of the game, more so than the speccies, goals or result that came after it. For me, anyway.

He delivered in the direction he was running, out wide to the back flank, and fifteen seconds later was marking the ball about thirty out. After that we didn’t see Collingwood again.

No Daisy, Davis, who would have played on the kid who kicked five, was missing. You don’t kick ten in a quarter every week. The game didn’t mean much, but so what.

In small things, for the game itself, it always has meaning.


Thanks Pendlebury.



  1. And where were you on Saturday?

    Definately missing like OSCFC in the second and third quarters.

    Beers were nice.

  2. Great piece:)
    i love pendles too.

  3. How you know I n there, Phantom? Maybe I was the bloke right behind you!!

    (nah, I chose bush footy and went to NEFU final down at Scotsdale should have known, Old Scotch and all, you would have been there!!! Not so happy result for you.)

  4. If you were the bloke behind me you have a few issues. He was a real ejit.

    The Shaws weren’t out celebrating with the Winnaleah lads were they?

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