And there they were

The head defies the heart.

It was the second quarter of an Afl Grand Final against the archetypal foe, the Magpies.

It was clear that The Pod’s arm was shot, and a crestfallen Harry Taylor was being taken to the bench.

The heart, mine own, was beating with less and less vigor. This fabled swarm was carrying. Bees on a spring day, in a rarer Spring Sun, these rigid men spattered my eye. O’Brien, Sidebottom, Krakouer. These are not anonymous men. These men are historic, and brave. Proven true. The clouds, under the sun, arch over the arches of this city’s crown.

Inside, I do know that there is receding hope. Taking stock. What is knowing? What is knowledge? There is knowledge of heart, bewitching, but there is tried knowledge of mind. I have seen these men return too many times for it to be a random fluke.

Joel Selwood is like a battering ram. As the Mighty Magpies rollick, Joel wills and, thoughtfully and thoughtlessly, pursues. An Earthen Geelong supporter, this man will not see ascension on the smoky, fireworked eyes that gaze. In all that is absolute, before any victory, he is final. He forges and does not…does not recede. Sheer force of will contains the Mighty, Mauling Magpies. Harry is twice the width, and Andrew Krakouer is everywhere, but Joel Selwood (who as a simple child supported Geelong) refutes with explicit singularity. I, nor any other of Blue & White in history, could not repress. He did. He bloody well did.

Somewhere there was Jimmy Bartel. I gave my best friend the jumper that I loaned him, and somewhere there was Jimmy Bartel. Was it the second quarter? Was it the last? I tend to think that it was some fatalistic brushtroke. Another simple Geelong child that was always there. Every single moment his boot touched the ball was a chrysalis of hope. God, I cannot think of the right words, but it was bloody wonderful. Each goal he kicked was the most important goal of the game thus far. It was a bloody Grand Final.

I’m speaking to you fans now. You fans that that are there when it’s a meaningless game and it’s raining and who but the fans would go? You know, those seemingly rational bargains (or whatever they are) you implicitly offer regard to when there is an important shot for goal? I know that you know what I am talking about. There is some unwritten law that, under the God of Breen and Harms, dictates only the holy shall pass through. Jimmy Bartel made every shot. He lined up, and each time it was home, despite rational justice.

That final quarter. It was an arm wrestle with a final thrust.

My heart had said that the Geelong Football Club would be beaten.

They are storied men. Maybe it was ten minutes of a rollicking, sustained thrust that would be yielded to. Hawkins marked. Johnston goaled. And there they were.

Bartlett, Barry, Jesaulenko, Breen. I was sitting behind the goals at the Southern Stand end, and the camera became black and white. Mackie marked. Enright. It was bloody black and white. These men were writing themselves into a grand history before my eyes. They say that sport isn’t life and death, but by God I was alive! Thank you.

I was there in 1992, 1994, 1995 and 2008.

I really, really wish that all lovers of this great game can feel whatever it is that I felt today. I’m so bloody proud that I could tell my good friend Ryan that he could keep the Geelong guernsey that I loaned to him.

We are a great club.

I panned the MCG, and the Footy Almanacker’s were with me. Thank you so much.

All my loving,


About Edward Harcourt

I'm 31 and I love the Cats!


  1. Ed – it was one hell of a ride’ eh?

    I’ve not known such joy at a football game before.

  2. Clearsighted says

    And Jimmy was the right and true choice for the Norm.
    A great game and the best of wins.

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