Carlton phobia? What phobia?

Carlton vs. Geelong Round 9 2011, Friday May 20th – The end of the phobia…

Most people, young or old, large or small, have things that they fear, so much so that they avoid them at all costs. One phobia that I’m happy to share is my fear of the Carlton Football Club when they play the Cats.  This fear is, in 2011, unwarranted, as  I know that Carlton have never beaten Geelong at the Docklands stadium and we have won about 85% of all of our games in the last 4 years, but the truth is I still haven’t confronted the Blues since returning to live in Australia in early 2006.  From the events of 1995 ,they still make me scared, they give me chills, and their club song gives me the blues.

So as my wife and I left the Saigon Inn in Liverpool Street and leapt on a tram down to Docklands on this mild night, my belly may have been full of the world’s best fried quail and cascade pale ale but my mind was full of Stephen Kernahan, Stephen Silvagni, Greg Williams et al terrorising the Catters in the 95 GF. But strangely enough this 16 year fear that I possess is diluted whilst on the tram, although it must’ve  been the beers that I drank or the smile I had being back in Melbourne for my birthday with my beloved wife – as I approach the entrance I even start to feel confident and almost swagger in….

But within an hour or so the fear was back with a vengeance.  Maybe it’s the imagery of the 95 premiership being beamed around Etihad.  Or maybe because it’s been a sombre week, I was devastated about Bob Davis’ passing and thought that this would have an impact on the team,  that they’d want to win but would be too emotional to carry it out – which would all be fair enough, of course.  But more literally the fear and negativity was compounded by  the 3 goals that Carlton slammed home in the first 15 minutes of the match, one of them by Duigan, an intelligent yet tough South Australian mature recruit who is a favourite of mine.  Worryingly Eddie Betts scored the 3rd Carlton goal, if he has a boomer the Blues normally win.  So as I stood there surrounded by raucous Blues fans, I suddenly realised that besides my own personal phobia of them,  this 2011 Carlton team oozes skill, speed and class — my head began to hurt.

Luckily the Cats of 2011 have a knack of being able to play gritty, determined football and also have the fear, the fear of losing….and this is not a bad phobia to have.  By half time, some Steve Johnson accuracy and some classic Selwood class and the scores are level.  Judd not quite himself with a slight injury, although Marc Murphy’s playing like the heir apparent, he and Joel will be fighting out Brownlow counts in the next 5-10 years for sure…..

After half time Varcoe does what all talented players do, go from being quiet to dominant – he kicks 3 of the first 4 goals of the premiership quarter, with the niggly Walker kicking one for the Blues.  So I am starting to believe at the half way mark of the term but Walker and Murphy mean that the Blues are 7 points down at the final change. Fear still present….trying to keep in under wraps with new found 36 year old maturity and mid strength tepid draught beer.

By the 8 minute mark I am feeling sick and despondant. Mr ‘quiet and injured’ Judd kicks an incredible goal and simpson puts the blues in front…..added to that Heath Scotland continues to be a rock and relentless force all at the same time across half back, although James ‘socks up’ Kelly throws himself at the ball like a man possessed, enjoying the challenge.  And then I remind myself of something and remember that whatever happens with the cats that everything will be ok. And this is at the moment when I hear a Cats fan yell ‘do it for bob’…..and I think……

I think that Bob Davis would just be enjoying himself.  Now I never saw him play or coach but I’ve read enough and seen enough of BD on telly that if he were next to me that he’d have a grin at this amazing contest, in fact it would probably be the type of game that he’d enjoy.

And by the final siren that fact is a certainty, he would be smiling –  whilst the Cats have been a bit underdone tonight and the Blues have looked better ,  it’s the men from KP that do enough to get over the line. Jpod’s face after kicking the goal that puts the Cats more than a goal up says it all and that cheeky grin of Bob’s would have been working its magic from wherever he is, particularly when Warnock’s shot for the win is dragged to the left. Fair Dinkum, unbelievable indeed.

Who cares about phobias anyway?

Carlton                 4.3         8.6           11.10     14.16 (100)

Geelong               2.3          8.6          12.11     15.12 (102)

Etihad Stadium, 20th May 2011

Crowd – about 48,000


3 – James Kelly (G)

2 – Heath Scotland (C)

1 – Joel Selwood (G)

I hope that others amongst the knackers have sporting fears, would be interesting/funny to find out…this has felt good to write about on a drizzly Monday overlooking Etihad, my only current fear to getting back home to Adelaide safe and dry.

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....

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