Grand Final Discussion

The contest that was expected and deserved has come to be. The best two sides of the season will fight it out for the flag.

Will the weather be a factor favouring one or the other?

Will either team fall for the trap of the unfit player?

The afternoon will tell.

Your thoughts?


  1. John Butler says

    FWIW, I think it’ll come down to what we’re saying about the Cat’s new longer kicking style at day’s end.

    Did it stretch Collingwood’s defence by making their half backs actually defend one-out?

    Or did Geelong bomb it in, simply allowing the Pies to regather and rebound?

    Jolly’s state of fitness will also be crucial.

    Expecting a tight contest given the conditions.

  2. May the football gods shine on both sides evenly, and given the conditions the mentally, physically strongest side prevails in the quest for the holy grail.

  3. John Mosig says

    In these conditions it’s going to come down to which team has the greater store of GAD. Carringbush have always claimed total ownership of the precious metal, but this Sleepy Hollow Outfit has shown over the journey that they have their own reserves of the stuff. In fact, they may have enough of it to outplay, outlast and out muscle The Magpies.

    BTW, we’ve tipped 65mm out of the rain gauge since it all stared coming down mid week – and counting. And we can see the loom of the MCG lights at night. Let’s hope those aggy pipes under the Saintly Sod are free flowing.


  4. forwardpocket says

    Determination and belief. There are no footy gods just men putting their bodies on the line and testing their hearts and souls. Well done Geelong. My only disappointment is the Pies last quarter capitulation, the first three quarters deserved better.

  5. Ken Richards says

    Not unhappy about Pies last Quarter capitulation. Better for the nerves. More a credit to the Cats for grinding them down and sapping their wilpowerl. Time for some revisionism about Round 24 now too. The 96 point drubbing not so insignificant now. More a pointer to the future. Go Catters!!

  6. 1st 4 goals by Travises. Cats seem to have wood on poultry in finals!

  7. ps. Premiership medallion for S Wells?

  8. Pps. Not to mention Drs C Bradshaw & G Allen.

  9. Craig Stephens says

    But for 2008, what might the record be? I expect that without 2008, the steel would not have been there in the final minutes of 2009, nor the solidarity and focus that got them there today.

    What a performance…

    “And Evie Grace Harms was born in 2011.”

    And 2012? We know what’s required. C’mon The Handicapper, you know it makes sense.

  10. While the real Cats’fans are out partying, here’s a few thoughts from a 24-hour supporter, or at least, a passionate memeber of the Anyone – But – Collingwood brigade.

    1. Today’s win confirms Geelong among the all-time great sides. How they must regret that 2008 loss. Four Flags from five seasons would have been a fitting reward for their dominance since 2007.

    2. The current obsession with young talent is bordering on the ridiculous. No games demonstrate better than tough, physical Grand Finals the importance of mature strong bodies in modern footy. The Cats were troubled early by Collingwood’s pace but before the first half was out, the game had become a battle between bulldozers and no team plays that “our way, any way” style better than the “old men” of Geelong.

    3. THe benefits of experience. Maturity also provides calmness under pressure of both the physical and scoreboard kinds. Not many sides would have coped with the Collingwood onslaught between mid Quarter 1 and mid Quarter 2, which produced 8 goals to 3 and saw the Pies out to a 3 goal lead. Geelong showed remarkable composure to make a couple of minor adjustments and just grind their way back into the game.

    4. Biggest isn’t necessarily best. OK, I’m the first to admit being sucked in by all the hype about the uncontrollable juggernaut that is Collingwood. I’m still sticking to my guns that their sheer size and wealth threaten the stability of the competition. Thankfully, however, Collingwood the team is a lesser threat – at least for now. Last week I thought Collingwood had only 4-5 players that really played up to expectations. They should have been rolled by an undermanned Hawthorn. This week was a definite improvement but the blowtorch of a Grand Final is a merciless exposer of weak links, and Collingwood showed a number. As Paul Kelly put it “some reputations came to grief”.

    5. Seeing Collingwood lose a Grand Final still ranks as one of the great pleasures in life.

  11. There’ll no doubt be plenty more of this, so I’ll get in early and then go back to my race form.
    Firstly, congratulations to Geelong, who were fair dinkum unbelievable.
    Secondly, I am presuming that the consensus among fans and neutrals (if there were any in the latter category) at three quarter time was that this was one of the great grand finals of all time between two fantastic sides. So be careful about categoric statements about the merits of one style/team composition/morals over another. I continue to be fascinated by the desire of fans whose teams finished below 2nd (and often outside the top eight) to tell that 2nd team about all their (now apparent) weaknesses, usually assembling straw men arguments to knock down in the process. Robert Walls famously did this to us in 2003 in one of the worst ever examples of the syndrome.
    Thirdly, Premierships are incredibly hard to win. I should know. Everything has to go right, with form and fitness combining to peak together at the right time.
    Finally, statements like para 5 are dull playground cliches and insulting to genuine Collingwood fans who are doing it tough today. Celebrate the Cats, who were brilliant. And then refocus on your own team’s shortcomings to see how they might improve enough to participate in (and maybe even win) another great GF in 2012.

  12. John Butler says

    MOC, commiserations.

    You’re right. At 3/4 time it looked like being one of the classics. Which would have made the last quarter all the more galling.

    But you have to be there before you can lose it.

    You’d still fancy the Pies better placed than most to give it another crack next year.

  13. Eddie (sans son) on Page 17 of Sunday Herald-Sun. Is that some form of child abuse?

  14. Pamela Sherpa says

    Will the Pies be off to Arizona again or simply do some old fashioned sea level training ?

  15. So if there’s no Footy Gods Forward P, explain the goal-post-shaving kick of Wellingham’s that was given the twin calicos on Saturday, just as the Tomahawks goal-post-shaving – and match-winning kick in 2009 was given the twin calicos.

    The Football Gods giveth, and the Football Gods taketh away. But I’m not too sure they’d see it that way down at Seaford.

    And JB – better change your password; someone’s got hold of it and is posting un-Carltonlike comments in your name. What’s galling about Collingwood having the game snatched away from them and being held up by the corner post while they have the bejesus belted out of them in the closing stages before the time keeper mercifully stops the fight?

  16. I think JB meant “galling” for me and other Pie fans, Wrap. I’m sure he would use other words to describe his own sentiments. He was just being nice.
    By the way, was I mistaken, or have Fox removed their scheduled 4pm replay? I was planning to watch the first three quarters and pretend the last one never happened.

  17. John Butler says

    Correct assessment there MOC.

    JM, I was referring to Magpie gall.

    The crowd I was with was in there swinging freely as that post held the Maggies up near the end.

  18. Cats eat birds.
    Dogs eat Cats.

    I’m just not sure what year the Dogs will be having dinner.

  19. forwardpocket says

    It’s just stuff that happened Wrap.

  20. Gigs – did you notice in the Grand Final that the team that had arms around each other whilst the national anthem was being sung, lost………..again. There’s definitely a trend emerging.

  21. GIgs, I wouldn’t be so sure.
    Please make your way to the link I am about to share on your FB wall … :p

  22. Firstly, an apology to MOC and other hurting Pies fans – Point 5 was a cheap shot, not best made within hours of a great game. You’ve got to be at least second best to get to the GF and in 2011, it was clearly a case of first, second then daylight.

    I agree that assessments about the losing team are usually harsh but they’re assessments made in the context of the biggest, toughest game of the year, where little weaknesses can be hugely magnified. The last GF I attended (2009), both sides genuinely deserved to win, I couldn’t make any criticism of the Saints, except perhaps for a couple of crucial missed shots for goal. They were awesome. By contrast, Collingwood was clearly outplayed when it really mattered. This is largely to Geelong’s enormous credit, but it must be said that individual players have been singled out by many observers (including Collingwood fans) as not having what it took on the day. I agree with most of those criticisms.

    That said, I’d probably side with the bookies who already have Collingwood as favourites for 2012. Your star players are mostly still on the rise. A couple of younger players will learn heaps from yesterday and will improve. And relative to Geelong, there are relatively few older players for whom time is the enemy.

    And if we’re going to cite past years, I’d look at West Coast 1991 as a good comparison. A brilliant (over-confident?) young side died on their run late in the season and were towelled up by a more seasoned campaigner. Some of their players looked totally overawed on the day and duly copped it from the media. They came back less flashy but mentally and physically much tougher the next year.

  23. Stainless – your grovel to Pies fans will make no difference. I got told long ago ‘if you’re going to knee someone in the balls, don’t turn around and apologise.’
    On behalf of ‘daylight’ – blue and gold; brown and gold; dark blue – just for starters – let me say we are all very offended. Geelong beat Collingwood and Eagles by similar margins over the finals. Hawks and Pies are clearly evenly matched; as are Blues and Eagles with close fought finals. Eagles were within 7 points of Pies with 8 minutes left in game.
    1 Champion team then 4 good to very good teams. Question for the future is can the Cats maintain their standard or is the drive to succeed diminished (more than ageing per se). Which of the next 4 will show the most upside is an open question. Each has its upside and downside. Only 167 more sleeps!!

  24. In Stainless’ defence, going into finals many (pretty much all) media outlets were spruiking it as a two-horse race.

    I think WCE and Hawks both made big statements in the finals, however. Hawthorn has been very good all year, no doubting that, but the game against Collingwood in the Prelim I think beat many people’s expectations. It just shows that, apart from being a skilled bunch of players, they also have the key, main and undeniable characteristics any team needs to be in with a chance for the premiership:

    Belief. Heart. Unbreakable will.

    The Hawks were not at 100% going into that game, and were up against the best team of the past two seasons. They should not have been able to do what they did, but they showed their true mettle. They are going to be right up there again next year, and with Roughy still to come back, are a scary force to be reckoned with.

    WCE had a very good year also. Winning a wooden spoon is demoralising. It takes some clubs years to really get over. WCE just sucked it up, stuck to their guns, and moved on. So many people said they should have sacked Worsfold, but they stood by him and look what happen (take note, trigger happy Victoria clubs). Earlier in the year, all the talk was about the big four from Victoria. But WCE just happily bided their time, tearing up the competition and working towards a top four birth. They limped into the prelim, but didn’t just lie down and let the game run away from them. Far from their best game for the year, but given the bruising, thrilling game they’d played a week earlier, it’s hard to expect them to be at the top of their game.

    And as far as Carlton is concerned, I think their semi said it all. Yes, they may have lost, but for too long, it’s been Judd and his support act. Judd was taken out of the game by Scott Selwood, but look how well the rest of the team stood up and flew the flag. They’ve taken on that responsibility, they’ve grown up, and next season, they’ll be ready to do it all again.

    It’s going to be a fantastic season next year. I can hardly wait!

  25. Fair enough, Stainless. My response was also made within the 24-hour grieving period during which no Pie fan should approach the keyboard. I have now watched the Pies live in 11 grand finals, with the record standing at 2 wins, 2 draws and 7 losses. I am still however surprised at the bucketing that the runner-up cops (whether it be Collingwood or others), with some happy to relegate them below the also-rans. Not saying you were doing this, and I must admit that today’s media has largely held off (inc Walls).
    And I got yesterday’s Flemington quad to salve the wounds (a bit).
    Life goes on. When’s the national draft….

  26. Jimmy Bartel: premiership medalx3, brownlow, Norm Smith…..I reckon Nobel Peace prize is not too much of a stretch…look what happened shortly after last consecutive Pies flags (35/36)!

  27. I don’t care what anyone says – it was the perfect GF. A titanic struggle till the final quarter for those who like uncertainty and excitement with their footy, and a humiliation for Eddie in the last quarter.

    But Mick knew when the Cats clawed back the lost ground just before the long break he’d fired all the shots he had in the locker.

    And what about Hawkins of the Lower Sixth? He’s even inherited Sammy’s white boots.

  28. Wrapster,

    Sammy played 300+ games for no flags.

    The “Hatchet” has played 70+ for two.

    As a long term Cat nut I see a distinct difference.

  29. It’s now mid Tuesday morning and no sign of Harms. Is this man just lazy, or is he the Meatloaf of the Almanac GF entertainment? A headliner who knows how to keep the crowd waiting. You Am I and all the local demi-gods and tittilaters do their thing before the big man strides on stage. Maybe he wasn’t even at the ground, though I think I saw someone who looked like him grinning with beer and victory in the Blazer Bar.

  30. John Butler says


    He’s been busy with his blue pills.

  31. I feel another premiership coming on.

  32. While the tears continue to tumble there remains a severe danger of damaging my lap-top. I think the fountain will cease sufficiently by Wednesday morning (that’s the hope anyway). Although if I watch the Chris Scott interview again On The Couch there may be a further delay.

  33. An interesting observation.

    1. Cats have not lost a game to Hawks, Saints or Magpies since losing to them in finals. Obviously take it personally.

  34. Still on cloud number 9 – it’s smooth, silky and comforting (just like another number 9).

    Some hack in The Age described the Geelong theme song as “unimaginative.”

    I think John Watts was a prophet.

  35. Meat Loaf has just been quoted in the Age as saying that the AFL are jerks and he will go out of his way to discourage other big international acts from playing there on grand final day.

    It’s an ill wind that blows no good.

  36. Mark Doyle says

    This year’s premiership was a great win for the Geelong players and testament to Mark Thompson’s coaching from 2000 to 2010; Chris Scott has been lucky to take over a great team and has done a good job in managing player fitness and workloads. I saw the final 15 minutes of the GF in a hotel room in Ha Noi, Vietnam plus the immediate player celebrations and medal/cup presentations, which were an inspiration for 12 days of cycling in a beautiful country. I look forward to a replay on Foxtell this coming friday!
    The Geelong teams of the last 5 years must be ranked with some of the great teams in VFL/AFL history – an 80% win record and 4 grand finals with 3 premierships.

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