Footy: When Jeff joined in the chorus

By Josh Barnstable

School athletics have always been fun to me, through primary school years and in high school. In primary school, you strive for that finish line, trying to win points for your house, while in high school, many kids, like myself, would rather go down the street to grab some fish and chips and return to watch the action from the comfort of the high-jump bags. Some just take the day off, like my friend Jeff.

Back to primary school: me and Jeff, same house colour, good friends, wanting to win points for our house. As the heat on the track intensified, on the sidelines an interesting conversation was going on. Something like this:

My Mum: God, what mother would let their child get hair like that?

Jeff’s Mum: The one you’re talking to.

Of course, back then Jeff sported a small Mohawk with a long rats-tail. Over the years it has changed to fully bald, Mohawk and just plain long, which he now prefers. And, he’s recently joined the Almanac. So, hopefully he can become a good writer of this website and also get a spot in the 2010 Footy Almanac. But, go easy on him. Going for Richmond is hard enough for him.

I’ve known him since grade three, but despite a minor setback between us on camp that year, we’ve stayed fairly close up until the present time. One of my many highlights of knowing him was when he fell, twice, playing kickball in grade five, breaking his arm. Also, our commentated-AFL games on the Playstation have always been good, especially since I always win. So when I thought of whom to take to North Melbourne v Western Bulldogs in 2007, the choice was easy.

The night before the game, I watched as the Tigers fell to the Saints, and sensed that Jeff’s patience of Richmond was wearing thin. So, expecting him to be in a bad mood, we didn’t talk much going to the ground. But as we neared the MCG, the conversation sparked up, and I was getting nervous about the game. Archer’s 300th.

Getting a Glenn Archer cap before the game helped me settle in a bit more, but I couldn’t believe what I was about to see. Drew Petrie marking, 40 metres out and kicking the first goal of the day. Then he marked from the same spot and kicked his second. Then a good mark followed by his third major. After Archer influenced a contest with the trademark grit and determination that brought him to 300 games, Petrie took a screamer 30 metres out from goal to kick his fourth goal. A terrific snap saw his fifth go through and then a mark and goal saw his sixth major of the quarter sail through above my head. We had blitzed the Dogs, and surely there was to be no comeback made from this, a pure determination to give Archer a great milestone game.

The Dogs did come back, but never threatened. Petrie kicked his seventh, but wouldn’t trouble the scorers after that. Scott McMahon kicked his first goal in the big league, but the Dogs stayed just within reach of North Melbourne. They grew closer thanks to Brad Johnson, Chris Grant and Daniel Cross, and my nerves grew as the three-quarter time siren sounded.

Enter Brent Harvey. The only player on North Melbourne’s list that Jeff rates, he kicked two superb goals from tight angles to kill off any attack that would threaten again. North won by 26 points, and we exited the MCG happy, Jeff happy that he didn’t have to face a tough ride home in a car full of despair.

As we entered Numurkah at about 11 that night, we pulled up outside the butcher. Opening the boot, we grabbed one of the signs we obtained at the game, with Arch’s 300 emblazoned on it, with Go Roos on the other side. The butchery is known for the footy jumpers that hang from the walls, and the numerous photos of Bulldog players and jumpers on the main wall. With a black permanent marker, we scribbled “Join in the chorus” on the sign and slid it under the door.


  1. Well said mate;).
    Gettin a haircut soon actually hopefully before school.
    I don’t think i’ll ever go back to the ever so popular mohawk and ratty though that wasn’t the best look.
    Yes I never got the butchers reply from that ?

  2. Another Tiger eyy? im feeling outnumbered!
    welcome Jeff and if you are anything like Josh you should fit in fine.

  3. Thanks for that Danielle :)
    and Josh I thought we were never to speak of grade 3 camp ever again ? lol

  4. What happened on grade 3 camp stays on grade 3 camp

    Oh and the butchers loved it 8)

  5. I think the prince just flew over my house. I heard he was flying between the bushfire affected areas at a low altitude and a plane flying pretty low just went across.

    Pretty hard to worship the HS when they called T. Varcoe “Travis Vascoe” in the paper today, and on the AFL website they called the new Collingwood recruit “Shae McNamara”, isn’t it Seamus?

  6. lol omggg JOSH!!
    lol u should have seen me when i saw that lucky girl give him a kiss..i was green with envy!!!
    hes such a pretty prince!! :)

    ohh who cares if they got the names wrong! they got my question answered By Rafa!! RAFA!! :)

  7. Mum says he’s pretty stunning too.

    Haha that reminds me, i was up wednesday morning with her watching the footy replays on 7two and in the Bulldogs v Adelaide game, everytime Luke Darcy got the ball she squeeled and said he was so handsome, then in the next match she was saying how cute Ryan Fitzgerald is. Never thought mum was like that.

    danni, did your question get published in the HS? Or just on the website?

  8. Damian Watson says

    Yeah that match was probably Drew Petrie’s best individual performance.

    lol Danni my friend got to meet the Prince today.

  9. lmaooo hahhahaah Josh ur mum and i would get along very well! Manu, Prince William, Luke Darcy!! :) lmao

    umm i dont know i didnt have the paper that day.. :(

    OMG Damo, i hate your friend!! lol
    why does the Prince have to be so pretty!!? and he went to watch Federer play! if i was at that match i would have died from neck cramp after not knowing who to look at! lmao

  10. <3 comment Superman! :P

    ps. i woke up at 10:00 to watch Colin Firth on Ellen, if thats not dedication i dont know what is! and YES he is still pretty and doesnt even look 49! ;)

  11. Ellen at 10? Its on at 1 in the country

  12. Status – just finished watching Judge Judy, that bitch scares me :| LOL

  13. nah i watched it on Arena (cable tv)

    lol nah shes cool the way she yells at people. lol

  14. Now im gonna watch the One Day Cricket. Aren’t the One day internationals great Danni??

  15. …one day what????
    Josh you know i have no Cricket brain!

  16. Status – depressed, school’s back soon

  17. Status- squealing to the xtrem at Superman in last photo of Collingwood training! i think hes gone blondy again!! :)


  19. OHH and i stil have hw left to do, not a lot but still id rather stare at hottie SUPERMAN all dayyyyyyyyyy. :)
    Hawt dayum!

  20. calm down. Starting to think the Almanac needs more North supporters..

    Oh and Steve just texted me, he’ll be back monday afternoon

  21. calm? how can be i CALM! when hotness liek Jack Anthony is not within my reach!
    mann i need to find out if he has a girlfriend!
    lol more like we need more Collingwood supporters!

    lol wonder if steve got haircut..i hope not. :P

  22. ohh and speaking of, HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACK!! he turned 22 3 days ago!!
    my superman is 22!! :)

  23. Haha steve texted me before saying he’d been to a beach called Collingwood Beach.

    Hmm, i’ve been havin shocking stomach aches for 3 days..i think i’m pregnant :|

  24. …Josh dont go there lmaooo!

    if ur interested Macbeth is on tonight at 10:00 ill def be watching that, havent seen it since i studied it in year 10.

  25. Michael Allan says

    I’m studying it this year, it’ll be so boring. Shakespear is terrible.

  26. I’d like to put my worries at rest though..i might see a doctor tomorrow..

    If im interested? im not

  27. Nah Mikey i love it the most more than Romeo and Juilet.
    i think its the modern day version if it is i reccomend u watch it. theres a lot of murder.

    fav quote-
    Lady Macbeth- “look like the innocent flower but be the serpent beneath.”

  28. yeah Josh good idea. i used to have really bad stomach aches then i found out i have reflux where if i have acid my stomach hurts so bad i have to go to the hospital. i take medication for that now.

  29. Michael Allan says

    Can I say one thing without you disagreeing with me Danni?

    What is it about me that you don’t like? lol

  30. ….whats wrong!
    im just saying that Macbeth is the best play he wrote and that its better than R&J.
    …well there is the fact that u go for Richmond LOL :p

  31. Michael Allan says

    You like Shakespear, Shakespears terrible.
    But we’re not going to argue about it.
    And as for the Richmond v Collingfwood thing. That’s predjudece.

  32. …Well not exactly i wouldnt have read his plays if i wasnt forced with Lit and English. i don’t like reading them but the plots of his plays are pretty good i admit.
    i have only read
    3.Merchant of Venice

    lol i was only kidding Mikey! i just wanted to give people a dose of their own medicine, you know the reactions i get when i tell people who i go for!

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