Asher Keddie and I were there for each other


Warning: may contain traces of ‘Pie-nut.  

A paediatrician told me recently the key to navigating toddler tantrums is to lower your expectations of their behaviour by 50%.  It made sense because I’d successfully applied the same theory to maintain my sanity amid the delights and disappointments of Collingwood fandom.

So come Saturday night’s clash between the seriously depleted Magpies and a barnstorming Adelaide, I simply gave it away as a bridge too far.  Rohan Connolly’s article in The Age, where he boldly predicted the Magpies would continue their supreme interstate form, made no difference.  Collingwon’t this time Rohan, but thanks for exposing the fallacy of our supposedly advantageous homey fixture.

Nonetheless, you’d think a genuine match of the round featuring a sure fire ratings winner would be on free-to-air, but these here are crazy times and GWS v Essendon was the lacklustre fare served up by Seven.

This revelation discombobulated my equilibrium, for I faced the mental anguish I refer to as ‘the unbearable lightness of not being there’.  Yes there is Foxtel, but if I was to pitch the business case for pay-TV in my house to the Dragons’ Den panel I’d invoke Theo Paphitis’ searing stare as quickly as haughty Peter Jones could say ‘I’m out’.

I could always disappear into the night and make for the nearest local, but given my wife had been slaving in the kitchen all day preparing for my girl’s 4th birthday party, I wasn’t about to Tom Scully her.

Until now I had no interest and little understanding of the phoney war waged between the AFL, Telstra and Optus.  Perhaps a free crack in the fence view of the game via my iPhone will be valuable after all considering the nature of the current super duper TV deal.

Given I’d been up since the Thunderbirds expecting 50% worse of my two kidlets and being 27% disappointed, to be honest not watching Collingwood and all the associated stress was an appealing notion.

We flicked to my wife/daughter’s team enjoying their training run at the tremendous new Skoda Stadium. The 11,000 Bomber devotees appeared as animated as the equivalent number of orange plastic seats on display. After five minutes of that tedium we gave Eurovision a burst.  Russia’s entry comprising a troupe of pensioners disappointed and saddened me in equal measures.  Is that really what Anna Kournakova will look like one day?

In a bid for husband points I suggested we play a taped episode of Offspring.  About the only relevance of this show to my team, which at this time was engaged in a pitched battle in front of a chock full AAMI Stadium, is Asher Keddie being a dedicated ‘Pie.  Who would have thunk?  Seeing her in a Collingwood jumper in the rooms after the Cats triumph instantly made her 32% more attractive in my view, and her chick drama a little more bearable.

But the suddenly stunning Asher’s hapless character Nina was about to endure the tragic break-up to end all tragic break-ups. This time it was perfect Patrick, played by Matthew Le Nevez (soon to be seen as Dennis Lillee’s chest hair in the upcoming Howzat series). Just as Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon supposedly synchronises with The Wizard of Oz, Nina’s myriad facial contortions and fraught emotional state doubtless matched the abnormally few Collingwood supporters watching from wherever. And bizarrely for me, here I was consumed by neurotic Nina – so much for Offspring being the stress-free alternative.

There was no happy ending and the match at Skoda was almost out of its misery.  I could then and there avail myself of the Pies’ unhappy demise.  But I let it go, I didn’t want to know.  But then I did.  And then I didn’t.   I turned the light out and tried to sleep – a deluded notion given 15 minutes later my urge to pee was as strong as knowing the damage.

I grabbed my iPhone and what????  No!  Yes!!!

I felt robbed.  More so reading the Twitter stream – even taking into account the 47% surplus excitement!! typical to the medium. Sharrod Wellingham said it was a ‘win for the ages’.  Oh, great!

Luckily my friends at my covert Collingwood fansite posted the URL to another covert website that quickly provides free AFL replays of every match.  With an inner glow, the next morning I watched the last quarter with my black and white supporting offspring.  It was nice but knowing the result killed the excitement.

My mind turned to Nina (or was it Asher?).  Ridiculously, maybe there were footy lessons to be learned from the show.  Such as keeping a safe distance is not what makes football, and life, truly worth experiencing.

And you never know the true exaltation of winning unless you’re prepared to take the chance of being disappointed.

Finally, am I sounding like Carrie Bradshaw from Sex & the City?  Good grief, I need to get to the local more often!

About Jeff Dowsing

Washed up former Inside Sport and Sunday Age Sport freelancer. Now just giving my stuff away to good homes. Not to worry, still have my health and day job. Published & unpublished works fester on my blog Write Line Fever.


  1. Ah, the verb “Tom Scully’. What a joyful addition to the language. “To do a Tom Scully.” To do a runner. To leave your mates in the lurch. Your girlfriend with a bun in the oven, and you do the light fantastic. What a perfect image. Deserves wider usage, and popularisation. But the Oxford Concise will always cite “J Dowsing, Footy Almanac, 28 May 2012.”
    What other actions are linked to a name? I think “doing a Lucan” had similar connotations in Britain.
    As for Asher Keddie, I completely understand. The Avenging Eagle is a great fan of Bold and the Beautiful; Revenge; Rafters; Offspring etc. The Good Wife is the only we share a genuine common interest in. I try to ignore the soaps, and only periodically glance up from my book to appear sociable. The AE has recently noted that this generally coincides with a bit of crumpet/strumpet appearing on the screen. Have to be more subtle in future.
    Jeff – Send me any pictures you have of Asher Keddie in a Collingwood jumper and white spandex shorts. I may be prepared to come over to the dark side.

  2. Jeff Dowsing says

    Thanks Peter, as they say, expansion is good for English.

    And thanks for that mental picture too, but Asher is a married lady and I wouldn’t Fevola her even if I had said images.

    Btw, I do find the Good Wife a most stimulating show. I could be Kalinda’d any time!

  3. Andrew Fithall says

    Jeff. I spent the after match in the company of my wife and Lanie Lane at the Corner Hotel. Lanie is a Collingwood supporter but by her own admission on the night, has come to football recently and doesn’t really know much about the game. Obviously she knows enough to choose her team wisely.

    I hope one day to see her in a Collingwood jumper!

    Great win. I am still waiting to watch a replay.

  4. Dave Nadel says

    My wife and I were invited to dinner by a good friend who barracks for Collingwood and owns a foxtel receiver. A very good night was had by all. However I like Andrew’s musical taste and Lanie’s taste in football teams. I agree with PeterB and Jeff on The Good Wife. Can you believe that the woman who plays the delectable Kalinda is named Archie Panjabi? Archie???

  5. Jeff Dowsing says

    Well you well and truly trumped me there Andrew, Lanie is a supremely talented singer from what I saw on RockWiz.

    Archie… that is bizarre. I try not to think of that Dave.

  6. I hate the Crows. I hate Offspring; the show, not my kids.
    I love it when I’m at a party, as I was Saturday night, and there are 10 people surrounding the glowing screen watching the delayed telecast and I’ve been getting score updates all night. I smiled internally as the watchers commentate their own version of the game: “another goal and we’ve got ’em”, “Bad luck Eddie, going home a loser tonight”, “Take that ya ferals”.
    All of the time knowing my Pies had won! Beaten Adelaide again – you beauty!

    And please, someone post a photo of Asher Keddie in a Collingwood guernsey.

  7. Rob, you must have looked like the cat that got the cream. Sounds like a great night.

    Not sure how to post a pic in the comment section but here’s the video;

  8. bruce dowsing says

    A great win by the Pie boys who had the cleanest hands in the last quarter.
    btw I’m hoping Kalinda comes to Oz so Eddie can plonk a Collingwood jumper on her.
    Please, no more knees this season.

  9. Dave Nadel says

    That also answers another question. About thirty years ago Tony Roberts and I used to play cricket with a bloke named Euan Keddie who worked in the film industry at a reasonably senior level. I lost contact with Euan after I stopped playing but when Asher Keddie started appearing on Australian TV I wondered if she was a daughter or niece of Euan’s. If she barracks for the Mighty Pies I would guess that she wasn’t given that Euan was the brother of Bob Keddie who kicked four goals for Hawthorn in the 1971 Grand Final.

  10. Jeff,
    The case for Foxtel requires a good deal of subtlety (or cynicism) on your part. I’m at a much later stage in life, and I refused to succumb to the temptation which my sports fanaticism demanded, until my offspring had finished secondary school. Even without this additional distraction, they were already showing about as much zest for the academic contest as most of the Carlton starting 18 showed for the football last Sunday (Mitch Robinson an extremely honourable exception). However, when my early retirement roughly coincided with the last of my boys’ completing school, I came on board.

    As well as my having access to the AFL matches that would otherwise be unavailable, I can watch the EPL and other European soccer, horse racing through TVN, and various international news services, to compensate for the deterioration of ABC news.

    When I have moments where I feel conscience-stricken about contributing to the ill-gotten fortunes of Murdoch-Packer, and consider scrapping our Foxtel sub, I come up against Ms. ALS who is an avid viewer of the round the clock cooking shows and some of the dramas which feature on the UK-TV and Crime channels. In addition, since my sons are fanatical enthusiasts for American sports, ESPN is an enticement for them (when NBA or American football seasons reach their climax) to at least occasionally pay filial respect by visiting the mother. So she is strongly resistant to our quitting.

    In your situation, the business case for pay-tv should focus on your spouse’s enthusiasms, be they movies, fashion, food or whatever. You should also emphasise the childrens’ programs. I have no idea if they are any good (frankly, I’d doubt it) but his is about the essential goal of getting Foxtel in, and thereafter it will only be matter of ensuring that channel 504 enjoys priority.

  11. Jeff Dowsing says

    I hear you but the case falls down because we barely have time to churn through all we like watching on the FTA channels, especially with all the additional ones now. So hooking up Foxtel for the sake of 3-4 games of football a year for us is a waste of discretionary income. And the less reason for the kids (or the adults of our house for that matter) to be watching TV the better.

    It really goes to show how important AFL and other popular sports are for Pay TV as the hook to lure subscribers who otherwise could easily live without it.

  12. Flora keddie says


  13. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Enjoyable read Jeff v amusing even for a crows supporter but I must admit I have to turn the radio on to get score updates . Asher is a more than useful addition to any team .
    Thanks Jeff

  14. Flora keddie says

    Message for dave nagel
    Sorry dave I forgot ACTRESS ASHER KEDDIE IS NOT EUAN KEDDIE DAUGHTER,BUT EUANS OTHER BROTHER JAMES KEDDIES DAUGHTER AND ASHER MOTHER IS ROCBBIE LAWRENCE, THINK THEY DIVORCED ABOUT 20 years ago,ah not seen euan since his mother and fathers funeral in about 2009, since keddie family is such a huge clan…

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