AFL Round 2 – Brisbane v Geelong: Leppa’s glass is half full

Score a footy and Cats gear


The first home game of the season is always met with optimism. The team (Brother-in-Law and me) have been preparing for this for six months, especially after the run home late last season. Fox Footy AFL 360 has been taped and watched every night, Fantasy Footy teams picked, membership paid for, discussion about what hat the members get this year and more importantly can last year’s T-Shirt still fit after a big off season. Discussions were halted while the Ashes were on, too hard to multitask, but have been on in earnest since. Will the old bloke with the annoying flag behind us be back shouting as if it’s 1964 for players to kick long, man up, stay in your position and never ever handball in the back line? He has never understood frontal pressure, zoning or play-on? Will the old couple in the front be back after trying to rip up their membership cards when Vossy was sacked? Will the 3 blokes in the middle of the row who continually walk past dripping beer all over us be back? More importantly, has the table at the Norman Hotel been booked for after match drinks? Can we repeat the miracle of last season when Ash kicked that goal after the siren? Can’t believe heaps of members missed that as they left early, 52 points down does that, but not our team, we stay till the end no matter what. Geelong will be tough, but we love Leppa.  We remember when he started as a full forward who struggled with consistency but moved down back to be a champion. We want him to bring in a game plan, any plan where we can see what they are trying to do. Browny is back for one last hurrah, Mayes and Zorko are stars, Redden and Rich are class and Patfull is the working class footballer we all relate to. As we walk to the ground we realise who we are against. It’s been raining all week, ground is slippery, and our players need heat and humidity. Geelong is brought up in mud and rain. The bigger, more experienced bodies will smash us. The general consensus is like last week; hold them for a half before they kick away. First 15 minutes we are looking good, just can’t convert the forward pressure. Crowd looks good, maybe 20,000, not bad for a rainy day and 12.00pm start. We know from the draw we are no longer the big ratings game, heaps of twilight games and early Sunday starts. Does “Vlad” know that we need support up here, in our glory days we had all Saturday night games. Geelong start to assert but we are happy at quarter time. Second quarter starts with a couple of quick goals and hopes are raised. We are up and running, the crowd starts to chant. The lady 5 rows back screams out “Go the Lions”, the crowd around us applauds, we know we are back amongst friends. My nephew cracks up, he loves her shouting. Spirits are up a few minutes to half time, and then it happens. The Ferrari has warmed up in red time, 3 goals by the Cats and they lead at half time. The next quarter and a half we are treading water, all the run has gone from our legs. Any pressure we apply is merely token resistance. We are like the one armed man trying to plug the wall of the dam. Geelong get out to a 36 points lead; can we keep it below 50? Then we get a second wind, things start to happen. Space opens up, Browny slots a big one, and Sam Mayes kicks his fourth. Zorko is on fire, stirs up Stevie J and the boys lift. I’m so glad I have Mayes and Zorko in my Fantasy team. We get to within 3 goals and there is the hope for another miracle, but miracles don’t happen twice and we have a respectable 25 point loss. Around my group the thoughts are positive, the game plan we can see. The way they held the ball up and kept possession in the back half was good. Leppa has bought in some structure; we seem positive that the youngsters will improve. The list is looking hopeful and so are we. Two losses against the heavyweights but there have been real positive signs. We can’t wait until Easter Thursday against the Tigers.


  1. Love it, Qldpies35. (Jeez you must come from a big family. Can you give us a name or an alter ego that personalises it a bit more?)
    Those surrounding fans you describe must hop on a plane to Perth in the odd weeks, and sit behind me at Eagles games. I particularly love the oldies who have not moved with the fashions of the modern game plan.
    “Get on your man.” “Why isn’t there anyone on him?” “Kick the bloody thing.” Makes me think I am back at Thebarton Oval in 1965 with my grandparents.
    And the blokes that have to shuffle in front of you twice a quarter to get a full tray of watered-down light elephant’s piss to share with their mates. And I have to rearrange the bags under my feet every time, with the Avenging Eagle’s freshly baked cakes and coffee and my editorial accoutrements.
    Thanks for sharing that wonderful part of footy culture.
    I listened to the first half of your game on ABC radio. I reckon Leppa is much underrated and you will be a good side in short order if you can find some height to replace JBrown. Cheers.

  2. Thanks for the comments, I’m Dave and living the good life in qld. It’s hard to follow the footy up here but the new TV rights is helping. I still love the pies but enjoy the lions experience. Nothing beats live footy

  3. Peter Schumacher says

    Really liked your report, I reckon that you got the vibe of the surrounding patrons just right. Also, as an “oldish” bloke myself who I must admit sometimes lapses into the dismissive comments that you describe, it was a quick lesson regarding the pluses of the way the game is played today.

    I reckon that we could be OK, Mayes and Zorko played played good games, certainly offering encouragement for the future

  4. Ben Footner says

    Haha. After those fans fly from Brisbane to Perth I’m pretty sure they pop in to Adelaide on the way back home.

    Some other favourites of mine:
    – The 40 year old spinster (you can tell, trust me) who calls out to each player by first name/nickname (i.e. “come on Paddy/Dougy/Tex” etc).
    – The foghorn leghorn who says nothing exept for a incomprehensible outburst tirrets style approximately once every quarter.
    – The extremely large ladies/men who spend the whole game scoffing pies/hot chips (god knows how they afford it) and inevitably end up sitting right on the end of the isle so you have to squeeze past them every time you leave your seat.
    – The group of old ladies that come complete with home made half time treats and a shared thermos. Oh, and don’t forget those plastic clapper hands they use vigorously, one broke a couple of years ago and nearly took out one of my eyes.

    My first game at the Adelaide Oval this weekend, and with the reconfigured seats I’ll be surrounded by a whole new bunch of peanuts – I mean, fellow supporters. Will be interesting. lol

  5. qldpies35 says

    I think there should be a permanent section of the Almanac to the characters at the footy. They are what makes it a great day out.

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