AFL Round 11 – Essendon v Carlton: There, I’ve said it, “We choked (against the despised)”


I woke up

In a bad mood today.

It is Saturday morning on the Queen’s birthday weekend, the start of a three day break. We are in Northern Victoria and it is a bright, crisp morning. Even my favourite relaxation therapy, a long hot bath with a book by my favourite author (Alexander McCall-Smith) couldn’t cheer me up. My team played the team I hate last night and I cannot avoid saying it: they choked.


I am the middle generation of five generations of Carlton supporters. The first and last generations are respectively dead and too young to be affected by last night, but the middle three are hurting. The pain is in their voices (and on their Facebook pages). This game was a test for our boys and they failed.


The game started well enough for us.

Jeff and I had left Melbourne early to drive the 300 kms to our place of refuge, overlooking a lake.

I should have gone to the game with my kids and my brothers, but the thought of losing to the old enemy at this point in our development was too much to bear.


We arrived to a cold dark house right on game time. Waite was dominating and the Blues had the ball in their forward line 60% of the time. 60%! A few more goals from other players would have been nice.


Seeing Bomber Thompson’s discomfort at half time was nice too.


But the switching of Hurley and Carlisle in the second half proved to be match-winning moves. Carlton became flustered then ineffective as the Bombers over ran us in a sea of emotion. There was a bit of emotion on the couch at our place too.


I could see what was coming and employed my coping mechanism used in horror movies: I pressed the mute button. You can watch a train wreck but you don’t want to hear the screams.



I recently became a non-drinker. I found I was looking forward to a glass or two each night, and got worried. It has been easy for a whole four weeks. But on my shopping list today, right under bread and chicken, are two new entries:

Johnny Walker

Courage for Carlton.


One you can buy. The other is priceless.


This really hurts.


Barbara Smith


  1. Barb – you’re not in a bad mood because of the footy. It’s the non-drinking thing that has changed you. Best re- think that one.

  2. Tony Robb says

    I empathise with you At half time I’m thinking See off the scum on Friday night Kick back tomorrow up to Sydney on Sunday to see a show Nice weekend Now I’ve just got the shits That was a weak fade out

  3. Richmond are in strife: ninth no certainty for them this year. A number of serious contenders.

  4. Michael,

    You asked why I and others found it laughable to suggest that questioning evolution in the classroom would go some way towards addressing racism? It’s laughable because kids today aren’t taught that any particular race of humans are more evolved than others. If you know of instances where this has not been the case, then those teachers are ignorant of genetic studies on the matter. Further, it’s also laughable because evolution is an unshakably embraced fact. Through assembling mountains and mountains of evidence, scientists, with no agenda other then to try and understand this wondrous universe we live in, have satisfied all reasonably minded people that this must be the way it all works. Moreover, Science has also fielded challenges and continues to welcome challenges about its findings on evolution, and still the theory prevails. Now having said all that laughable stuff, Michael, what is not laughable is how creationists are trying to subvert Science in the American deep-south by teaching non scientific intelligent design in science classes. What is not laughable is that these people have an agenda to subvert hard evidence with superstitious beliefs – to undermine critically tested hypotheses with their mumbo jumbo. Still, not laughable as that situation is, you have to laugh don’t you. Otherwise you’d cry.

  5. Whoops ..that comment went on the wrong article!!! On the article … sorry night for your Blues!

  6. Peter Schumacher says

    Could we have some sort of comp for the best all time misplaced send? This one would be right up there I reckon

    Oh and by the way I was practically crying myself by the end of the game., couldn’t see how the Blues coiud lose.

    As I write, GWS 8 points down at half time. Could they???

  7. I am one of those younger generation Carlton supporters whose anger and hurt is up on Facebook for all to see… Possibility of losing our next 3 games as well now. Finals not looking good. A few names should be dropped for next week. God I hate losing to Essendon, and now I owe a bottle of red to the Essendon club Doctor….. Hoping he doesn’t mind a $9 special :)

  8. Dunno about evolution, but the Blues last quarter and my Eagles season are solid scientific proof of devolution.

  9. Andrew Else says

    Blues apparently couldn’t get anywhere with Ratten. They needed Mick. He would make them top 4.

    But Mick just cares about the process. Says fans need to be patient.

    Then it was ‘as soon as we get Waite kicking goals, and Jammo, Hendo, Judd, Krueze, Betts blah blah all on the park at the same time blah blah blah’

    Then that all happened. With Mick in charge.

    And we still beat them. So sweet.

    I’m with Dips Barb. Best to crack a red.

    And where can I get one of Mick’s skivvies?

Leave a Comment