AFL Round 19 – Hawthorn v Geelong: Oui are Geelong.



I should have had a spring in my step as I strolled through the canal-enveloped streets of the Belgium hamlet of Brugge -the place they call the ‘Venice Of The North’.

I had spent the previous fortnight savouring all the delights that a Mediterranean summer can offer.

The Bride and I bounced the ball in the Roman ruins  of The Colosseum which I must admit allowed me momentarily to recall halcyon days of our own Colosseum here in Melbourne.

During the 1960s and 70s crowds of more than 40,000 would flock to the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds on a Saturday night where Ben Hur and his ilk were replaced by the gladiatorial dynasties  of the Gaths and the Rothackers.

Our subsequent travels took us north through Austria, Germany and Holland before we found ourselves in Brugge en route to Paris.

While The Bride was busy comparing Brugge with Venice, my mind had wandered from canals to goalposts and pondering the outcome of the Friday night blockbuster between the Cats v Hawks at the MCG thousands of kilometres away.

A quick calculation of the world clock had the siren about to sound at the G but a check of the mobile revealed little- not a single text message from home.

It had to come, I surmised.

Just as I was about to accept the red hot Hawks had finally broken the Kennett Curse of the Cats dominance since that lamentable 2008 Grand Final, my phone beeped.

‘Hawkins kicks goal after siren, Cats win by 2 points’ was the message from a wine merchant mate of mine.

‘You bloody beauty,’ I replied and duly celebrated with a bottle of the region’s finest Sav Blanc at  a nearby cafe.

The following day I was lunching  with C. Allan, the father of M. Allan (of Almanac fame), in the Saint Germaine district of Paris.

The sound of the mid-afternoon cutlery symphony at the Les Deaux Magots was broken by the tune of the toreador theme from Carmen (noy Phil), better known in the Southern Hemisphere as the Geelong Football Club song.

I glanced across to see a doting  Parisian  father whistling the distinct tune to his restless pram-bound bub.

My sun glasses hid the moisture that had welled in my eyes as I tried to imagine the post-siren scenes the MCG the previous day-wishing I were there.

After all, Tommy is our man- the reigning Geelong Cup ambassador!

It was no surprise the choice of tune had the desired effect and before long the baby was at peace with the world.

We lingered over lunch long enough to see off the young parents and their baby.

I couldn’t help myself.

As the pram passed by our table I looked up and caught the attention  of the whistling father.

‘Au revoir Monsieur, Go Cats,” I yelled.




  1. Richard Naco says

    Damn, I love love stories.

    Even where the ending is so predictable!

    Merci, M. Kennett.

  2. chris Murray says

    I was going from Aberdeen to kristiansund via Oslo and when the hawks drew level
    i thought it was all over ,Imagine my surprise when I checked the score after arriving in KSU. that evening. Go Cats.!!

  3. Gary Newton says

    Great catching up with you, the Bride & P Flynn last night at the LOI as we celebrated a ‘cruise-control’ game from the Cats. They’ll be better next week.

    And a great piece of writing about beating those cursed Hawks after the bell yet again whilst you were OS.

    You missed a belter!!

  4. Peter Flynn says

    Beautiful J Dunne.

    Gary (pronounced in the manner of Sunday night), terrific to meet you.


    P Flynn

  5. C’est bon!

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