AFL Round 12: Western Bulldogs v Brisbane: A day in the life of a Lost Dog

Waking up Saturday morning in Stockholm with the stale taste of beer and cigs in my mouth, it was already past noon so I knew the game was under way. I was in Sweden to play some shows and I didn’t have my computer with me, so the only way I could follow the game was by watching score updates on my girlfriend’s iPhone (which of course annoys the crap out of her).

Things seemed to be going fine until that second quarter when I saw the margin quickly whip out to five goals. That ‘oh so familiar’ sinking feeling again… Names like Redden, Zorko, Brown were stabbing up on to the little screen, each like a small swift dagger. Goal! Goal! Goal! Surely not this one Dogs? Surely you won’t lose arguarbly our most winnable game of the season? I quickly resigned to the fact that we already deserved to lose and that we would.

My patience is hanging by a bare thread. Most Doggies’ fans are running out. Macca seems to be losing admirers by the hour and currently I’m one that is finding it hard to trust him. Sure it’s up to the players to kick goals and fight for dear life but for Pete’s sake! show some spine Brendan. Slam a phone down! Drag someone for not working hard enough! Make an example of them! Scream and shout and pull your hair!

I thought about what I might say to the players at half time if given the chance. If you can’t do this for yourselves or for Macca, do it for me. Do it for a 29-year-old tragic who was there when we lost by 2 points to Adelaide in the 97 Prelim on my Birthday.  Do it for the dude taking the train to Centrelink Monday morning who’s down on his luck, depressed and alone. Who’s only ray of joy and hope in life is the possibility of a Red, White & Blue win that week. He bleeds for the Jumper. Do YOU?

Right now it feels like losing is still acceptable to this lot. It’s not. Perhaps one could question Leadership. Griffen is a gun midfielder, courageous All Australian and he tries his heart out. But his lack of voice and personality is a desperate issue. Confidence is waning on and off the field. Crameri only seems to bully bottom sides and on Saturday night he couldn’t even do that. We need GOALS! No point laying 200 tackles if you lose every week. Yes there’s promise and excitement in some of our youth (pick 6 Jackson Macrae’s impressive 35 touches, Hrovat’s goal smarts). But pick 5 Jake Stringer wasn’t even in the best 22 on Saturday. Ollie Wines was pick 7 and currently he and Port are 2 games clear on top of the ladder. How long must we wait?

My frustrations only made the hangover worse as I watched the last minute tick over with the Dogs 8 points in arrears. ‘Good’ I thought. I hope they feel as lousy as we do. I hope the Centrelink dude is angry. I hope they feel pain and somewhere in the depths of it, over the next few days, they remember how to play for the jumper again.

I handed my Girl’s iPhone back to her feeling deflated but ready to take in a beautiful Summer’s day in Stockholm.




Doggies and footy tragic living in Copenhagen Denmark for the past 6 years. Play music, eat a lot of toast, work in a coffeeshop and watch way too much footy. My Swedish lady has had to hear so much about this Game over the years, she actually bought me a new Doggies jumper for Christmas and her favourite player is Luke Dahlhaus.


  1. Neil Anderson says

    Nothing like a Bulldog loss when you’re miles away from home as you are desperately look for scores from whatever source. Like me in Far North Queensland a couple of weeks ago.
    I agree that star-player Griffen doesn’t necessarily mean best choice for captain. He doesn’t seem to gee up the players when the going gets tough a la Luke Hodge for example. Not that the going gets tough for the Hawks that often.
    And when the scores finally come up and you see the results of a second-quarter debacle you feel even more helpless.
    We that are left back in Oz can’t even take in a beautiful sunny day to get over it.

  2. Your half time speech is the same one that I give most weekends at Subi. Your Dogs and my Eagles are the most disappointing teams in the comp. I have a flag 8 years ago to sustain me, and I struggle to keep the faith.
    Dogs fans are rusted on. Sounds like Sweden is good consolation. Are you in a band or a solo performer? Any You Tube links?

  3. CarlColeman says

    Band is called Sink Ships… alt-country/rock stuff. enjoy & Go Doggies!

    FB –

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