AFL Round 17: Cats comeback revitalises fans

by John Harms Geelong 15.9.99 d Hawthorn 15.8.98 I wasn’t sure Geelong’s prospects, nor who would line up, nor of their level of intent, nor of my feelings on these matters. I have spent most of my Geelong life in a state of battered confusion, but in recent times the parameters of my confusion had [Read more]

Harms: On (the wonderful) Geelong fan

by John Harms I know it is awkward to talk about your own, but sometimes it has to be done. And it has to be done honestly. So I’m going to say it up front: the Geelong supporter is the embodiment of all that is good and true. The world has never seen, in any [Read more]

Second Test – Day 4: Australians still in it

Second Test – Day 4 Test cricket is just brilliant. The elements are mixed so perfectly. The English brains trust was probably thinking of batting for a few more overs on the fourth morning just to grind the Australians into the Lord’s dirt, but the clouds gathered, the trust was re-convened and Andrew Strauss declared. [Read more]

First Test – Day 4: Rain helps the English cause

by John Harms The finest meteorologists in Wales promised us precipitation, and while their timing was a little out, and it was a little tardy, down came the rain. Enough of it to prevent any play after Tea on the fourth day. Which was a blessing for the home side: the Englishmen were in all sorts [Read more]

First Test – Day 2: The Australians fight back

by John Harms Australia’s top order batted their side back into the First Test at Cardiff after their trundlers nearly bowled them out of it. Simon Katich took guard, had a long look at the armoury of the Englishmen, and decided he wasn’t going to be responsible for his own dismissal. He wasn’t. His unbeaten [Read more]

AFL Round 14: Observing the Saints fan

by John Harms Sunday afternoon. Etihad Stadium is packed. The stream of people around the concourse is magnificent. We Y-fronts wearing Cats fans all friendly and decent, sending get well cards to the infirmed and downtrodden, and weeding the pansies. Baking because we’ve got visitors coming; carefully putting only the recycling stuff in the recycling [Read more]

AFL fans: A Crows fan is a Crows fan is a Crows fan

by John Harms I am worried about Patrick Dangerfield. He seems like such a nice boy. He’s from the Geelong area. Innocent. He knows the country air, the surf and the sea of Moggs Creek, the smell of freshly mown fairways, and the sound of new-born lambs feebly bleating. He was born under the reign [Read more]

AFL Round 11: Edge of your Geelong seat?

by John Harms Geelong 15.9.99 d West Coast 11.11.77 I’m not sure I’m enjoying my footy the way I did a few years ago. Sounds ridiculous really. But it’s a different experience now. In the old days of watching from the couch I wouldn’t be interrupted. Nothing would break my concentration. It was all too in-the-balance. How [Read more]

General footy writing: The speccie revisited

By John Harms You only have to be in a crowd, big or small, at the MCG or way out in the bush, to know the significance of the speccie. We take it for granted. But consider the response of people at the instant the footballer is high on an opponent’s (or teammate’s shoulder). And [Read more]

General footy writing: May 17, 1859 and the codification of footy

by John Harms   The date, May 17, is of great significance to the Australian nation. Especially footy-lovers.   Not that too many of us know about it.   On May 17, 1859, at the Parade Hotel, on Wellington Parade, East Melbourne, four men from the committee of the fledgling Melbourne Football Club (and maybe [Read more]

Weekend Memoir: Round the grounds

by John Harms   During the past week the scheduling of AFL matches has been a topic of discussion. Monday night’s match between Collingwood and St Kilda, despite being an ordinary game, seems to have been a reasonably successful experiment. However many feel that football has hijacked yet another day of the week.   Spreading [Read more]

Local footy: Lunch with the hyphens at Old Geelong

by John Harms     It’s midday Saturday. I am Yarraside, standing on the balcony of the wonderful art-deco pavilion at Como Park. I know it well. In summer it is the home of the South Yarra Cricket Club made (more) famous in GCJD Haigh’s celebrated yarn The Vincibles.    GCJD is the inspiration of [Read more]

Pies Fans

by John Harms Whenever I sit in the vicinity of the Collingwood Cheer Squad, I am reminded of the Sermon on the Mount. I look at the array in black and white around me, and I see lives lived tough. “Blessed are the Collingwood fans,” I think to myself. Only I’m not sure what they [Read more]

Cats Play Keepings Off in the Cold

by Dan Lonergan When Brisbane won those three flags in a row, they relished playing anywhere including what had previously been one of their least happy hunting grounds, Kardinia Park. They smashed Geelong there in 2001 and 2002 on their way to premierships and it was a case of men against boys in those two [Read more]

How Dare They?

by Kelly Muldoon I wasn’t intending on going to the Saints v West Coast game. My whole weekend was consumed with domestic chores and children and it did not seem feasible. That all changed, however, when I took the little ones down to the local beach on Good Friday for a run.Right there on the [Read more]

International recruiting still not paying dividends

By Avan Stallard One of the quirks of playing in the lower grades is that it is the way station for new talent. Fellows who have never touched a football in their life get to thinking: ‘That looks like fun. I could do that.’ And, so, they strap on the boots and join our humble [Read more]

Takeover Target

I love returning my mind to that time in the old days when you came back into Australia after a trip OS. Before sensibilities started to turn global. When there was no internet to keep you up to date and international phone calls still cost so much that you got the footy scores by picking [Read more]

The Gestation of a Sports Column

by John Harms   Thought I might throw a few words down about my column in the Age on Wednesday – which really was just a bit of fun. Or that’s how it was conceived.   I went to the footy last Sunday to see Hawthorn play North. I thought North were a big chance [Read more]