Round 8 – Geelong v Carlton: Carrying The Torch


Twenty cents is all it took and I became a Cat for life. I was bribed as a seven year old to barrack for Geelong. The baton was passed. A year later I was allowed to go to my first football games with Cousin Nic, the briber. I was ‘too young’ but I do remember; he wouldn’t let me run on to the ground to celebrate Larry Donohue’s 100th goal against Footscray in the ’76 elimination final. It was one of my first real disappointments in football. How were we to know how many others there would be?

As a youngster, I craved my club’s footy success. I craved to be cool, like the other kids who followed North and the Hawks and the Blues. Too many times so close, yet so far away. We were promising but lamentable in the end and our Cats could not win the big one. It was heartbreaking and I was the laughing stock of my friends. “Oh, you barrack for the hand-baggers”, they’d snigger.

Everyone always had one up on me; on us. Half our family is one eyed for Carlton, the other Geelong and that grand final in 1995 was another one of those cheerless moments. “Let it never be spoken about again in each other’s company”, has been both side’s mantra all these years. And so it has never been.

The proverbial shoe has been in place for quite some time now on the proverbial other foot, though. Almost coinciding, the fortunes of both Carlton and Geelong have reversed. The future of the latter looks better than the former. We even allow Cousin Penny, one of the most voracious Carlton fans I know, to sit with us. How’s that for progress? No we haven’t forgiven her (because it was all her fault) for 1995+. The grin is on the other face now.

So apart from Geelong’s recent premierships, and probably more so than holding our premiership cups for those photos after those famous wins, tonight proved to be one of my proudest football moments.

The Darl

The Darl

The Darl and I were selected to be a part of the guard of honour for the players to run by before crashing through the banner. We were each issued a flag commemorating our past premiership triumphs. On the ground, as the players ran past us, fond thoughts flooded my mind of many of my football moments but this one was about to surpass all. The moment grew; it was a great build up. It lasted just seconds but this was a special moment shared with the Darl, Cousins Nic, Anna and Penny (hanging over the fence) plus over 30,000 footy fans and will last another lifetime.


The Bribee

We made it back to our seats just in time for the first bounce. We were hoping to be competitive, to win and before long the Cats looked ‘up and about’ with perhaps something to prove. It was evident that they’d come to play and play well at that. Pressure acts, great teamwork and lots of talk between each other. The Cats held a handy lead at the end of each quarter. But we dared not think beyond each of the next quarters because we’ve become used to winning every game we played, the baton passing era of ‘now’ means we hope to win any game. To our pleasure, the game turned out like many of the games since 2007; a luxury game. For us, it was one to sit back, enjoy and applaud.

I have ‘carried the torch’ for the Cats for just on 40 years of my life. Carrying the flag tonight was just a brief moment that gave me the sense of symbolizing exactly that. Our era is not yet over; those in charge at Geelong are making sure of it. With batons being handed over between our older players and the new brigade, our torch will burn brightly and our flags will fly high for a many more years to come.

GEELONG   6.1      11.5    18.6    22.8 (140)
CARLTON    2.4      5.7      8.8      9.9 (63)

Geelong: Murdoch 4, Caddy 3, Clark 3, Selwood 2, Kersten 2, Hawkins
Carlton: Menzel 4, Thomas 2, Yarran, Tutt, Armfield

Geelong: Blicavs, Murdoch, Stokes, Johnson, Caddy, Guthrie
Carlton: Simpson, Murphy, Curnow, Tutt, Yarran, Menzel

Umpires: Dalgleish, Stevic, Mollison

Crowd: 32,032 at Etihad Stadium

Our Votes: Blicavs, Murdoch, Johnson

About James Demetrie

Fanatic Geelong supporter, proud webmaster for the Footy Almanac and IT guru who has been promising to propose to his partner at Kardinia Park. He's a football spritualist who's devoted to converting his friends to the way of the Cats.

Leave a Comment