AFL Round 9 – Port Adelaide v Geelong: Sweet 16 years – a musical tribute to 1997

There are long standing quirks in the AFL draw – sometimes certain fixtures never seem to transpire.  Hawthorn never seem to play Geelong down at Kardinia Park; North Melbourne don’t get to play as many Friday night games as they used to and Port Power rarely seem to host Geelong at Football Park.

I was really looking forward to this week’s Round 9 2013 clash where Port could finally host the Cats.  I was also strangely looking forward to Footy Park – although I’ve never really been a fan of its suburban charms, the reality that it would be a venue no longer in 2014 gives it a certain nostalgia  (and the pleasant 18 degree conditions helped).   I may even be back for when the Crows host us later in the season.

I missed the opening round of 2008, which was the last occasion the Port v Geelong fixture at Footy Park occurred.  In fact, mostly due to a 7 year stint in London I’ve only witnessed the Power hosting Geelong on one occasion, Round 3, 1997. This was Port’s first win in the AFL…….I was hoping that history wouldn’t repeat itself.

As my wife Stacey and I approached Footy Park, I was a wee bit nostalgic for 1997 and consequently took this retrospect attitude into watching the game.  So much so I have decided to make reference to some of the significant songs of 1997 to help describe the game, let the soundtrack to 1997 begin.

We entered the ground at the Northern End and circumnavigated it like the dancers in the video of a French dance tune (‘around the world’ by daft punk.).  The bulk of the Cats fans were over on the Southern side and as (‘there’s no aphrodisiac like loneliness’  – the whitlams), there was a need for us to be with others who loved the blue and white hoops.  Meanwhile the Cats, also kicking to the Southern end, got off to a flying start,  an opening goal by J Pod followed by woo-hoo! (song 2 by blur)….a second goal from Tom Hawkins.  We found our seats and the magical Stevie J kicked a lovely 3rd(Return of the Mack – Mark Morrison).  We missed ‘the reason’ last week that’s for sure. The Power tried to steady and had chances to hang on but they missed plenty, the lowlight being John Butcher,  shanking one out on the full.

More goals ensued, and at 7 goals to nil at 1/4  time meant that even though James Kelly wasn’t playing the cats were going all R Kelly (I believe I can fly –   R Kelly).

The 2nd quarter saw the Power try to fight back and the Cats were playing steady but slightly lairising.  Hopefully we wouldn’t have to pay the penalty for this (karma police – radiohead).   My ever smiling green eyed goddess of a wife was also enjoying the game, although she did ration my high fives to one every other goal rather than a hand slap after each goal (2 becomes 1 – the spice girls).  The relatively expensive pints of beer were also draining my wallet and were also rationed (mo money mo problems – the notorious BIG).

At half time we sat in the autumnal sunshine and life was pretty good (semi – charmed life – third eye blind).  I reminded Stacey that this season more than any other was a reminder that unless you’re up by 10 goals with 10 minutes to go then you hadn’t yet won.  Stacey told me I was being daft (paranoid android – radiohead).

The cats turned in a typically 2013-style brilliant third quarter (everyday formula – regurgitator).  George Burbery booted his first AFL goal and Tomahawk was imperious and kicking beautifully – stirring, heart pumping stuff (tubthumpng – chumbawamba).

Selwood was subbed off at 3/4 time but Bartel was still shining (beautiful people –marilyn manson).  Stevie J was still seemingly directing traffic and/or dancing around Footy Park. The cats did seem to take their foot off the pedal  (Ooh Ah just a little bit – gina g), although Blicavs and H Taylor were still imposing themselves.  Steven Motlop bristled with his pace to set up the j pod (brimful of asha – cornershop) with many of the cats fans applauding his speed and brilliance. SO although Port won the quarter with J Schulz and K Mitchell booting some nice goals for the Power, the Cats still recorded a solid 48 point win.

The only thing that was missing was the cats players not coming over to salute our well voiced and passionate fans (remember me – blue boy).  I understand that the cats are a professional unit but these Port v Geelong games don’t come around that often! (bittersweet symphony – the verve).

Overall it was a thoroughly enjoyable day, a great performance away from home by the cats against a much improved Port – as we sauntered back to the Northern End via the footy park turf we didn’t quite say (good riddance, time of your life – green day) but we certainly had smiles on our faces (MMMBop – Hanson).

GEELONG                    7.1   10.4   15.6      18.8 (116)

PORT ADELAIDE    0.4   3.6     4 10      9.14 (68)

GOALS Geelong: Hawkins 6, Podsiadly 4, Schroder 2, Motlop 2, Burbury, Bartel, Thurlow, Johnson. Port Adelaide: Schulz 3, Mitchell 2, Thomas 2, Monfries, Redden.

BEST Geelong: Johnson, Enright, Hawkins, Motlop, Taylor, Bartel, Mackie, Christensen. Port Adelaide: Wingard, Jonas, Gray, Boak, Wines.

UMPIRES Dalgleish, Mollison, Fleer.

CROWD 21,309 at AAMI Stadium

Our Votes:

3 S Johnson (GEE)

2 H Taylor (GEE)

1 T Hawkins (GEE)

My top 3 songs of 1997:

  1. Bittersweet Symphony – The Verve
  2. Beetlebum – blur (not mentioned in article, song 2 worked better)
  3. Around the World – daft punk

#NB – not all of these songs I actually like, although most of them I adore… is subjective at the best of times. I do wonder what the article reads like through its soundtrack

About Dan Crane

Hi , I'm Dan. I'm a Geelong, Liverpool, Sturt and Celtic FC fan with soft spots for Richmond, Chester and Leicester FC's as well. I'm an Geography, History & English teacher who adores sport but whatever you do, don't ever start me on music....


  1. Kath Presdee says

    You had me until MmmmBop.

    Although when I mention 1997 to Geelong fans of my acquaintance, the most apt song response would probably be “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt. Although three premierships since then may have eased the pain of the loss to Adelaide in the semi-final, for some Cats fans I know it’s best not to mention that year.

  2. Dan Crane says

    Funnily enough Kath, ‘MMMbop’ was on the radio as triple jjj had a 1997 special. Something to do with another list. I apologise for mentioning it – I never said I liked ALL the tunes.

    ‘Don’t speak’ sums it up re that loss to the crows and that Colbert ‘mark’. It was masked at the time by a d grade Adelaide Uni flag and numerous jugs of beer.

  3. David Downer says

    Ahhh that took me back, Dan. Nicely done.

    I was 21 in 1997, amidst the requisite five nights a week Uni social life. Most of the songs you mention above on high repeat wherever you ventured. I wrote an article on here re watching the Ashes at a nightclub in ’97, and after Tubby broke a massive drought to score a ton, the DJ doth immediately obliged with your third place Daft Punk ditty above!

    Also concur with your top selection.

    If only the Saints won the friggen GF it would have topped the year right off!

  4. Earl O'Neill says

    By the gods, that takes me back. I watched Port’s first AFL win sitting at the bar of the St Peters Inn. It’s on a ridge and could pick up the telecast from Wollongong, the game not deemed important enough to be telecast in Sydney.

  5. mickey randall says

    The Drugs Don’t Work by The Verve may eventually gain some 2013 currency! Enjoyed your piece Dan. Ben Folds Five and their excellent One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces could have boomed out at Docklands last Sunday as the Crows pinched victory.

  6. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Loved the ingenuity of this article and while not a huge music fan v clever
    The night of the glorious crows win over Geelong in 97 was of course the famous day of the 5 Ad Uni FC flags in 1 day I walked in to the Havelock with Gordo after having been at footy park to see guys having play fights with the premiership shields being on the committee I said to Gordo let’s go to the Arab steed I don’t want to see any more and be forced to take action I chose the Sergeant Schultz approach !
    Good stuff Dan

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