AFL Round 16 – Geelong v Melbourne: I think I’ve gone soft!

As a youngster, I went to many of the suburban grounds – Victoria Park, Junction Oval, Glenferrie Oval, Carlton, Geelong, Moorabbin. Later Waverley Park was a regular haunt. I believed I got soaked (mostly by by rain, sometimes by beer) at every one of these grounds and just accepted it as part of the deal.

But, for many years now I only seem to have gone to the MCG. Surrounded by other middle-aged softies, I would sit there snug as a bug in a rug. Warm and comfortable. So happy with this arrangement, I usually don’t even do Etihad – I don’t travel!

But my mate Tim (a Geelong supporter, but actually quite a nice bloke) convinced me to go to the game down there. “We’ve got a new stand.” “We’ve got tower lights.” “It’s a lovely trip down.” All true but there is bugger-all protection from inclement weather. Now, when I say inclement, I mean it rained hard from the moment we arrived and just didn’t stop. I think I got fluid on the lungs and that was just from the moisture that seeped through 4 layers then into my chest cavity.

Yes, there was a football game on. Yes, you feel much closer to the action than at the ‘G. No, it was not an enjoyable interlude.The rain killed off any chance of a fast-paced, skillful encounter. Instead, Selwood, Steve J, Jimmy, Vardy and company just slowly ground us into the mud. Had it been dry conditions, Geelong would have won by much more. Melbourne tried hard enough and this is a vast improvement in itself, but just don’t know how to spread. The brand new lights allowed us to see the one-sided contest through the driving rain – have I mentioned I didn’t enjoy the rain? Might have been better if the lights were off.

The out-classed backline tried manfully, the forward line never saw the ball (record low 19 entries into the 50m arc) and Nathan Jones – who is our entire midfield – had a bit of trouble playing on 6 opposition players.

Geelong always wins at Geelong, so this match told me little about their likely fortunes in September. But I did see their game last week at the ‘G (oh, how I missed that warm, dry place!) and I suspect they will be playing deep into September.

About Paul Reed

A Demons supporter for over 50 years, not many of them memorable


  1. Leon Kay says

    I believe that Geelong are the best wet weather team going around, particularly on their own mudheap.
    Had it been dry, Melbourne’s forwards would have stretched the cat’s defence and their midfield would have fared a smidgeon better.
    It would still have been a good win to the home side,but the scores would have been closer.
    Have the demons played the second most number of games at Kardinia park over the last thirty years?

  2. Richard Naco says

    Vardy didn’t do much in that game.

    Especially as he was out as a result of being concussed in the magoos the previous round.


  3. Leon,
    No idea if we have played the second most number of games there over the last 30 years.
    But tipping you have some knowledge of it.

  4. Welcome to Geelong Wally. Like you I sat in the rain all day. What was I thinking!

    I reckon it was the wettest day I’ve had at the footy since the Cats played North down there in 2001. That day the highway was cut by floods and we had to come home via Bacchus Marsh.

    Back to the soft option for me this week. I’ll be at the G watching my wife’s beloved Tigers take on the Dockers. And I’ll definitely be under cover.

  5. Peter Fuller says

    I’m a rare visitor to Kardinia Park, but I was there in 2005 (I think) for a match when the Cats flogged Port Adelaide. My mate, a Geelong enthusiast exiled to Queensland, was visiting Melbourne for an academic conference, which concluded on the Friday. As his flight home was from Avalon he chose to delay his return until Saturday evening after the Saturday match. We stood in the forward pocket (City end, Moorabool Street) in soaking rain from siren to siren. I can’t compare our experience that day with your 2001 example nor with last Saturday, which I acknowledge did look pretty damp during the passages of play I saw on the telly.

  6. Peter, like yourself I was at that game against Port in 2005 and in pretty much the same spot. My abiding memory of that day is being so cold by the time I got home to Melbourne that my wife forced me to stand in a steaming shower for nearly half an hour until I stopped shivering while feeding me several successive cups of Jamaican coffee. It was a great day!

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