Finals Week 1 – Geelong v Hawthorn: I am potentially Geelong

GEEvHAW

A spectacular irony. I don’t even barrack for Geelong and yet I am high fiving a man in his Geelong jumper who I have never met just after he has hugged my friend who barracks for Brisbane!

 

We live in the Geelong region and are going for the Cats tonight because they play the game as it should be played and in any case I’ve had enough of Hawthorn now; three in a row is more than enough.

 

Give someone else a shot.

 

From where we are sitting Isaac’s Smith shot looks like it is sailing through and the Hawks have got out of jail again when they should not have; all nearby believe the same. I spot the goal umpire banging his chest, a sure sign he is about to signal behind the stick. Before I can point this out to anyone all doubt is removed by the song blaring through the speakers. ‘We are Geelong’ is reverberating around the stadium as the Hawthorn crowd file towards the exit. No miracle tonight, no escape, no dream run for them.

 

Geelong fans are jumping, dancing, waving their arms, singing, yelling, reminding some Hawthorn people of earlier comments. “Hey, Hodgey your free kick and 50 metre penalty cost you the game.” Seeing the replay of the incident later it really was a huge brain fade.

 

The game is a celebration of our great game with all skills on display – huge marks by Rioli and Puopolo; great goals on the run from Burgoyne and McCarthy; the skill of Mitchell, athleticism of Danger, desperation of Selwood plus precision passing from both teams and then the one per centers. Some great tackles, finger tips, run downs from behind, shepherds and dare I say it the zones which work even though they don’t look like the can. The enthralling last few minutes when desperation by players adds to what has been a brilliant contest.

 

I’ve mentioned on this website before of my intrigue of the crowd, and how some people’s thought patterns must work. There’s a couple of older Hawk fans behind me. They both look a decade or more older than me; I can remember the 1968 Grand Final so I am guessing they can remember further back – potentially they have seen every one of Hawthorn’s Premierships. And yet they’re down on their players and their club throughout the game “Frawley’s no good, don’t give to him”, “Always the same Schooenmakers, trust him to muck it up.”

 

There’s moments in game like this, that seem defining – obviously Smith’s miss is crucial, but a fingernail here, a toe poke there (who can forget the greatest toe poke in history?), a nudge, a tackle, a knock on, a smother. They all add to the whole and tonight Geelong’s whole is slightly greater than Hawthorn’s.

About Noel McPhee

Noel's background is in statistics including 13 years at the ABS. More recent employment has been at Deakin University. He enjoys working on the Census and elections. His weekly article, 'The Stats Bench' appears in the EFL's football record - The Eastern Footballer. Noel's legacy as a sportsman is that he tried hard; two cricket fielding trophies, a tennis premiership and boundary umpiring about 80 EFL senior games and a couple of underage grand finals.

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