Cats Could Do With An Overhaul

by Angus Nicholls



I’m pretty much a Holden man. Don’t know if I was born this way or was somehow subliminally groomed by the General during my formative years. What’s more it doesn’t matter given that we’re talking about the General’s mortal enemy and the Greatest Footy Club on Earth.


Co-located in the City of Dreams the Ford Motor Company has been the Cats’ anchor sponsor since before Sodom and Gomorrah hooked up. And I suspect that Old Henry had been as long suffering as us fans and the two curious biblical pillars of salt until 2007.


Now here starteth the observation.


At this early stage of the season, comparing the 2009 model of the Geelong Footy Club to the 07 and 08 iterations of the same machine is akin to comparing a ’67 XP to a ’69 XW.


Conventional wisdom has it that as the inevitable steamroller of time rumbles on incremental improvements are made to about everything that we deal with on this somewhat damp and warming sphere. What is fact, and demonstrates why conventional wisdom is described that way, is that the XW was simply not a patch on the XP.


Before Henry’s illegitimate offspring start with the gnashing of teeth and seeking my home address I admit that this comment is entirely superficial as I base the assessment purely on the look of these two vehicles. The XW is Medusa to the XP’s Daphne.


And here’s the parallel, the Cats so far this year just don’t look as good as their previous incarnations.


Let’s start with the taillights and rump. Getting stuck in traffic is generally not to be recommended nor sought. But there is one instance where it is tolerable; in fact you might even consider yourself fortunate to find yourself in an eddy of a meandering river of carbon behind an XP. The contours of the round lights, intermittent flickering of an indicator and the overall proportions of the boot are mesmerising and you’d be happy to sit behind what should be January in a Pirelli calendar all day. This is exactly what the Cats back line was like over the previous two seasons to all and nary who deemed to describe themselves as opposition (please permit the poetic licence of completely ignoring the GF), as they rebounded back up the ground showing nothing but clean heels and number plates.


Enter 2009 and the XP for some inexplicable reason has been “traded up” to an XW and the rolling delta that you were floating through has become a turgid brook trickling through post-Tsunami Aceh. You can’t get away fast enough from the blocky, burn your orbs out tail of this “improved” model. A la McQueen you punch it and you’re away. Without wishing to labour the point, this is pretty much what has happened over the last two rounds to our back quarter. Ciao, see you later.


The wheels on these two beasts are perhaps the weakest part of this compare and contrast exercise. To give credit where credit’s due the wheels of the XW are a tougher and more robust version of what had come before. And that is the Catters midfield, looking somewhat different, but carrying out the same function as they have always done since history began against Richmond at the then Telstra Dome back in 2007 (according to the Costa Calendar this was the year 157 BCE).


Finally, the grill and bonnet. The XP you would take home to meet your parents and all going to plan (ref. 157 BCE) kick a few goals later; the XW is what happens when you have too many beers on King St and think that you’re going home with an entertainer from one of the local establishments. Nothing more needs to be said about what’s doing up forward in 2009 other than it’s reminiscent of when Can’t Kicksley was busy kicking 28.60 for a season.


All I can say is that hopefully the power plant hidden beneath the saw your arm off morning after bonnet is only being frustrated by someone (most likely Cameron Mooney) forgetting to push the choke back in after rolling out on a cold Torquay morning. If this is the right diagnosis the XW could make it up the road to KP, but it ain’t going to get to the G by September.



1)      Starve the entire list for a week – hungry is good;

2)      Sack the shrink – clearly not working;

3)      Bomber the mechanic to give the XW a thorough once over and push the bloody choke back in.


NB: Only personality and/or success can overcome the Stigma of ugliness – just ask Paul Roos.


Here endeth the observation.

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