A Mathematical Analysis of the Cats after 21 rounds



Trucker Slim’s detailed and intelligent analysis of how the Hawks dismantled the Cats last week got me thinking. If I take my starting point as being that “the Cats are shit” then I wonder exactly how shit they are?


We have watched in wonder as the Cats storm home in last quarters as if stung by an Irukandji. One minute they are lazing in a hammock and the next they have jock straps swarming with ants. Is this something to admire?


It could be argued that just as a team can get four goals in front, then surely the other team can catch up four goals? This reflects the balance of the universe. Our universe is expanding at just the right pace. Any faster we explode, any slower I think we all become 5’ 3”. In this sense the “great comeback” is not so great. It is more like a “great equalisation”. Footy Gods strive for equilibrium too you know.


“That’s one of the great equalisations of all time!” sounds nowhere near as good as “What a great comeback!”


So, Geelong’s comebacks are not great. They’re pretty meh really. This makes Geelong quite shit.


In my younger days I could run pretty fast (not fast enough, but pretty fast). At footy training a bloke once got me aside and asked if I could teach him how to sprint.


“Can you make me fast?” he asked.


“I can make you faster, but not fast.” I replied. He stayed away from me after that. You see, I was born with fast twitch muscles. If you are not born with fast twitch muscles, then you will not be fast. You’ll be what we (“we” being fast runners) used to call a sprinting hack. You’ll try hard, but you won’t be fast. Fast runners will probably laugh at you. And maybe even point you out in a crowded supermarket.


Geelong has too many players who were not born with fast twitch muscles. This makes Geelong quite shit.


Besides speed of movement there is also speed of thought. A fast twitch brain, if you will. Speed of thought is compulsory if a player is to reach the elite level in AFL football. You’ve no doubt heard the absurd notion that “if you follow your passion you will succeed.” What crap. Plenty of Geelong’s players are following their passion and will never succeed. And they won’t succeed because their ability to make a sound decision under pressure is non-existent. They handball to each other like seven-year-olds at Auskick. Each handball goes about 30 centimetres to a team mate surrounded by marauding opposition. How is that clear thinking? This makes Geelong quite shit.


I would love it if a few Geelong players adopted the “don’t think, DO” approach.


When undertaking any pursuit, it is advantageous if you have an ability to execute the basic skills. For example, if you clean windows on high-rise buildings you need to understand the difference between the “tether” and “untether” buttons. If you don’t, you might untether the window cleaning platform from the cables that hold it secure, whilst scrubbing the windows on the 55th floor, and plummet to an untimely death. So, it’s pretty important. If you are a footballer (note the word “foot” in that word) its rather crucial that you can execute foot skills. For example, if you are running into your forward fifty and have a team mate on his own, it would seem prudent to kick the ball to that team mate (using the afore-mentioned foot skills) rather than to the opposition. Too many Geelong players cannot execute basic foot skills. This makes Geelong shit.


However, it’s not all bad. There is no doubt that Geelong has the best guernsey. The blue and white hoops are glorious. They are born of inspiration; balanced and yet contrasting. This makes Geelong good.


Therefore, I have reached the following conclusion:



A = 1

B = 1

C = 3

D = 3


And if “quite shit” = A (we have 3 of these).


And, “pretty good” = B (we have none of these).


And “shit” equals C (we have one of these).


And “good” equals D (we have one of these).


Then we can re-work this equation to mean that 3 x A = D,


Therefore 3 x A + C – D = 1 x C


Remembering that C = shit.


Interestingly just one “pretty good” could turn it all around for season 2018.


Albert Einstein once said, “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex…………It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.”


I hope the coach reads Einstein.



About Damian O'Donnell

I'm passionate about breathing. And you should always chase your passions. If I read one more thing about what defines leadership I think I'll go crazy. Go Cats.


  1. In all seriousness, my brain hurts like hell after reading this.

    Under C Scott, the Cats might be shit.
    But North, under B Scott are even more shit.

    What is the equation for that?

  2. A simpson + A clarkson – B scott/C scott = D hardwick.
    My theorem conclusively proves that the Eagles and Hawks will play the GF.
    Nobel prize for…………………?

  3. Yvette Wroby says

    Boom comes the sound of my brain exploding. If Geelong are shit then what of St kilda. So many C’s and not an A to be seen. It’s too late at night to work it out. You made me laugh after a long few days so A++ for a Dippy effort

  4. My centre is giving way, my right is retreating, situation perfect, we attack! (General Joffre,WW1). Cats could do worse.

    Cheers, Burkie

  5. george smith says

    It’s the circle of life…

    Under the amazing Thompson the Cats were renowned for their speed. Also renowned for their ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory – see 2005 First Semi v the Swans.

    Last year the Magpies were deemed to be most slow – kicking the ball backwards to opponents, this year we’re faster. Since 2011 the Cats have hung around the finals without getting much. Do they play the kids, or go for another star?

    Since their usual method of winning a flag – romance and candles, followed by trips to the zoo, i pads, math tutoring and driving lessons is about 20 years away, what is a Moggie to do?

  6. Paul Spinks says

    I like the analysis, Dips, but reckon we need more than one pretty-good.

    Perhaps relativity has something to do with it – the speed of light and the journey from Geelong? Our clocks measure the same speed, but are slower relative to the opposition. Need weekly recalibration.

    Einstein also said something about insanity.

  7. daniel flesch says

    Dips , i’m an ant-fan of Geelong and get annoyed when you slag off Hawthorn , but i reckon your analysis that the Cats are shit is itself shit. I rather doubt JTH shares your unflattering opinion. Unlucky to lose in the last two weeks. Now two easy games at home then a week off . They’ll give their opponents a good fright in the first week of the Finals and might well progress to the second week.
    I also dispute the claim the Cats have the best jumper.When did you last see a navy blue and white striped cat ? A real one , not a painted humanoid in whatever Bay 13 is now called. No arguments over which team “boasts” the worst jumper. My mob by a mile. Best jumper – as much as it hurts to say so – is that black and white one. Saints second. Cheers.

  8. Enjoyed your musings, Dips. Initially I felt a bit miffed – that you were another disgruntled (Cats) supporter having a bit of a “white-ant session” in your frustration. On reflection, perhaps you are feeling my own frustration, and wondering just who is going to step up (a la Chappy in ’07) and ask when “we” are going to play like we mean to win…

    Getting back to your “formula for success”:
    Recent times have demonstrated, IM[not so]HO, that a premiership team is merely a collection of individuals (some brilliant, many passable) who have operated on an “ A Bit Shit™ ” basis until they began to play as a (supportively) hungry unit and strung together a season of consistently above-average work.

    Based on this, Geelong will not win a premiership this year – and do not deserve to.

    Could they? Definitely! If a “lot of things go right”!! (See C Scott presser, post-round 20)



    P.S. As a Maths teacher, your formula leaves a fair bit to be desired, but as a framework for an Almanac article and a vehicle for workplace discussion: Brilliant!! Thanks again.

  9. Trucker Slim says

    Loved it Dips and not just because me and Albert E and were your inspiration!

    You’ll be okay. You’ll slip down to seventh or eighth for a year or two and then you’ll rise like some mythical thing from dead fire stuff.

    By the way, if the Cats were stung by an Irukandji I doubt you’d be storming home. More likely to “cause fatal brain haemorrhages” if wikipedia is to be believed.


  10. Dips, thank you for sharing my pain out loud. We are mediocre. We are shit. Chris Scott may (“may”) be a great man manager as Brian Cook repeats, but can he coach? No. No he cannot. It’s why we will probably be beaten by Freo this weekend. Make him ‘football manager’ or ‘football director’ if you want. I don’t care. Please appoint a coach. I read today he will receive a contract extension this year. Can you believe it? I can’t. I just can’t.

    I was hoping we’d miss the finals this year so they would gather grounds to sack Scott. But looks like he’s going to be reappointed, so we may as well win and perhaps advance to the prelim again and get BELTED (again) and then do it all again next year.




  11. Thank christ you wrote this Dips. The Geelong Board were going to offer Chris Scott another 8 years until they read your cautionary words.
    Cats fans shouldn’t worry though – the World survived the Somme, Gallipoli, mustard gas and trench warfare in the length of a Chris Scott contract extension.

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