Cats On Holiday

Darl and I we’re in Auckland after spending 11 nights on the South Pacific island of Fiji where even there we were able to catch AFL games on the Australian TV Network.  I tried to time our flights and destinations to make sure we could find a TV that was showing the game.  So far so good until….

We spend the afternoon going from sports bar to pub to hotel looking for a place to watch the game.  But timing is everything.  And in Auckland, tonight, this Friday night there are myriad bum-sniffing games on tele (all channels showing rugby of some kind) and no one is game to put the AFL on for us.  You’d think our ANZAC sister nation would have at least one channel for the thousands of us Aussie folk to watch the AFL.  As advanced as they are in NZ, they’re also a lot backwards!

We pick up a six pack of beers and resign ourselves to listening to the game in our hotel room via laptop and SEN’s streaming audio coverage.  We can put on the rugby on tele and turn the volume down and kick back to listen to the Cats and the Dogs.  Suddenly, remembering that Google is our friend, I think to search for live AFL coverage on the net, skeptical, but hopeful.  BINGO!  Darl is pleased for me, but more for herself as it was going to make it easier on her with me being happy.

I find a site that wants 10 bucks for a 7 day pass and they guarantee Bruce McAvaney and the team will take us through the game.  Thank God for the Internet!  We sign up and settle in, the game is about to start.  You cannot believe my relief when I see Dennis and Bruce (and Channel 7) on my computer screen.

The Cats are off to a flyer, it’s so good to see them as their old ruthless selves.  For the first 10 minutes it’s a joy and we really settle in.  Selwood and Stevie J look awesome. The Cats look good.  To open up the goal scoring Stokesy marks on the fifty and quickly hands off and Mackie who scores a great goal.  Soon after, captain courageous, Selwood marks and shoots truly.

When West stumbled upon a deft 30 metre pass in front of him from Stevie J, and kicked truly, it looked like the Cats were ‘on’.  We’re on holidays, we’re overseas, we have TV coverage (a little bit shaky, but still we can see!) and the Cats are winning.

It couldn’t get any better could it?  Well actually it could.  Not only was Geelong a bit shaky, but all of a sudden as the second quarter was beginning the laptop coverage froze.  So much for our 10 buck gateway to the footy.  Looking up the support section of the coverage site, emailing frantically to the help desk all while listening to SEN’s audio stream made for a havoc filled 30 minutes.  And it seemed as though the Cats were freezing too.  We missed several shots at goal and the Bulldogs ended up kicking 5 goals to our 3.  Their two red time goals really killed our mojo and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing; the Dogs bit back and trailed by only seven points.  Motlop, Talyor Hunt and Hawkins our lucky goal kickers that quarter.

It was a two beer half time break; partly stressing about the frozen video coverage but mostly the because the Cats were starting to struggle.

The third quarter didn’t start much better.  We’re still listening to SEN, the vision is still frozen and support is telling me that “all will be back to normal very soon”.  To say it was a frustrating few minutes is an understatement as the Dogs scored another, the first of the quarter to make it three goals in a row for them and all of a sudden they are a point behind.  I wonder what our ‘neighbours’ were thinking, hearing me losing it.  Screaming at the radio, screaming at the laptop. Darl suggests I should probably tone it down.  She knows I can get carried away and sometimes wishes I would.

As if by omen, the video coverage flickers, I see Etihad, I see blue and white and blue white and red figures and as it gets clearer, I see Chappy!  Chappy snaps across his body, kicks a goal and steadies the Cats.  A moment later he does it again kicking a goal after winning a free kick.  The Cats breathe a bit easier and so do I.  Darl is happy again. I am happier again.  Vision is back, the Cats are getting back.

It’s an up and down quarter, the Cats still don’t look like themselves, but seem to be holding on.  The Dogs keep the pressure on and kick a goal via Higgins.  Hawkins kicks the last goal of the quarter, just.  A goal’s a goal.  The Cats defend sternly for the rest of the quarter and are lucky the Dog’s last couple of attempts are not fruitful.  10 points up at 3/4 time.

Timing is everything as I mentioned it before.  The Cats had to time their run into the last quarter as did I.  Two beers left, 30 minutes of footy left.  Could we all time it to perfection?

The final quarter began as the the third had ended.  Frustrating end to end stuff with turnovers a plenty and missed opportunities abundant.  It was left to Tom Hawkins to steady the ship and kick the first of the term by showing strength and poise kicking a banana on the run after a tough aerial contest.  A couple of minutes later Motlop scores an open goal courtesy of a Bartel slap out from a contested and congested situation.  A bit of class goes a long way.  A third of the way through the last quarter and we’re up by 20 points.

The sign of a good team is a team who can respond when challenged.  And Geelong needed to be good as the challenge was coming. The Dogs kicked three goals in a row and had a real sniff, a real chance to impose the Cats third loss in a row (a feat not seen since 2006).  Darl was worried.  Indeed so was I.  The Cats were looking a bit lazy or was it a bit cocky?  Could we flip the switch; turn it on and put the game to bed?

Although the challenge was coming, the Dogs could really sense they could win, the Cats kicked the last three goals of the game via Motlop, Bartel and J-Pod.  The Dogs were workman-like and put themselves in a position to almost win it.

Be it luck, or be it by design, the Cats just looked classier when it mattered and got the job done.  The 4 points are in the bag and the Cats can breath easier for one more week.  Darl was happy.  Our holiday continued.

They played like they were on holiday but found a way to win.  The Cats are rebuilding, another five debutantes this year (10 in the last two) and retirements of Lingy, Otto, Moons and Dasher haven’t helped.  I hope for the rest of the year they leave the vacations to us.

Our best: Stevie J, Chapman, Selwood

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.


  1. Great entry dude! Sounded like you got as frustrated as I was at the game lol

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