Round 10 – Carlton v Geelong: If Shakespeare were a Cats fan

Out, out brief candle.


The footy season is but a walking shadow. Geelong team members are poor players who strut and fret their hour upon the turf of Etihad, and some of them will be heard of no more (Smedts and Murdoch).


“Is this a football I see before me?” they ask. It is red like the rose and its beauty gives the player of merit and skill the tranquillity and contentment of good intent. So why doth the Geelong players butcher it so? It is sliced and carried into wasteful corners. It pierces the hands of our outstretched forwards. It bounces around the hapless and confused (Smith and Stanley) who reach for it lamely like a drowning man reaching for a twig. And, most sadly of all, this red football is a complete mystery to some. Its delight is not enticing to them. They don’t see it, they don’t feel it, they don’t caress it to a team mate for a greater glory. It is as mysterious to them as the covered breast of my young love (Caddy and Kersten).


Only one stands tall. He has brought with him the spirit of the Blue. He is Henderson. He suffers the jeers of the uneducated and marauding Blue army but he gives no heed. His calling is more superior than to acknowledge the shouts of the hooligan. But despite this behemoth of the Geelong defence the ball is left to bounce into the arms of the Blue army who doth dash away with it, untethered. They scatter and torment my Geelong brothers with vicious laughter and the horrid calls of savage animals. And the supporters of the Blue army do laugh at us. Yes, they laugh. Hyenas at a carcass. Their cries are beastly giggles. My blood doth boil but my reaction is weak. I am caged in torment. Have they no memory of the past? No. The past is past. It is but a mist against the strength of the sun. It vanishes in the din of Blue pandemonium.


I wash my hands of them, these men of mild temper. Have they no fight? The enemy is wounded. He is two down. And yet he runs past us. What is this? Why do my Geelong brothers bow before them? Why doth Armfield (a weak chinned soldier of ill repute and painted arms) roar like a victor with so many minutes still to traverse? Has he seen defeat in the eyes of the hooped ones? Does he smell blood? Have they yielded? They shall never yield! Oh, but they have. Even the Dangerous one is a shadow. And the leader, the man of Selwood courage, even he of fortitude and bravery beyond measure, even he doth fall! What’s to become of us? Must we contemplate missing the glory of the eight?


I must wash my hands of them. But the blood sticks to my fingers. The blood of my brothers. Their heads are down. They have permit the Blue army to despise them with ridicule. The beast has grown from a feral vermin to a mighty warrior in but two quarters. And my brothers do so very sweet F.A. about it. They fiddle, they faddle like a dressmaker with worn, yellow cloth. They kick at the rose but it refuses to obey their instruction, gliding by the big sticks as a dagger does open up a torso. Some doth not kick at all. They are men without substance in the eye of the storm.


Oh how I must wash my hands of them. These men of mild temper.


One must only look ahead to the passing of six moons and the season confronts its devil. My Geelong brothers must antagonise Giants. These plucky Blues are but a scratch on my blade compared to the valour and potency of the Giants from the seedy north. What unspeakable destiny confronts those who, until recent sunny times, have proudly carried the jumper but now trample its history under muddy feet and soiled thoughts? The seething, orange and grey swarm that the Giants do muster from the bounce may cut at the Geelong legions and lacerate it to pieces. And the monster they call Mummy is spiteful without comparison. Do they fight after six moons or yield again?


We must wait. We must wait with heavy hearts and reasoned contemplation. The defeats at the hands of black and white ogres and now those of the blue pigs’ arses must be dispelled! We must wait under the autumnal tree and either the bow will break and kill us, or the winter chill will hold it. I am folly. I wash my hands but grime remains. The grime and grit of seasons past. Memories once black but now lovely will sustain me. I shall fall in with my brothers for one more week.

About Damian O'Donnell

I'm passionate about breathing. And you should always chase your passions. If I read one more thing about what defines leadership I think I'll go crazy. Go Cats.


  1. Neil Anderson says

    Because Geelong is playing the Bulldogs in a couple of weeks time, I hope their poor form is not just a passing phase and is really much ado about nothing.
    I don’t want your mob to ‘ Cry Havoc! and let loose your own dogs of war. Any more losses like that it might be a case of Out Damn Scott! anyway.

  2. Hi Dips. I have been looking forward to some posts on the Blues v Cats game. While a great read, this is too focused on the Cats to satiate my thirst for reliving an unexpected victory. I saw a great GIF on twitter about Henderson, too bad I’m not competent enough to copy and paste into here.

  3. John Timlin says

    Very good fantasia. Has O’Donnell read Shapiro’s 1599 and 1606? They add to any accountancy
    of the blues and their victory .


  4. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Oh Dips, “Something wicked this way comes. Open locks, Whoever knocks!” (Enter Carlton)

  5. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Entertaining Dips but I reckon your being a bit tough on Henderson but I admit I did not see the entire match

  6. Yes, most enjoyable Dips.
    I am always up for one of the bard’s tragedies.
    And that certainly was the case at Etihad for the Cats.

    Alas poor Kersten, I knew him well. He is not up to it.

  7. Citrus Bob says

    Alas poor Dips.
    I wandered into the Rotunda and watched as Gibbs and his men moved with ease.
    The Caesar (14) and his senate looked in complete disarray. Even Antony (35) could not lift the senate who looked like a group that had been dissolved by the patricians.
    Yond Arnfield has a lean and hungry look so let it be with him – he will not cause damage MUCH!.
    Casboult and Kreuzer also suffered with the same afflictions plus more – they will cause us no pain!

    Dips you are a noble man so let it be for another week.
    What light through window breaks is it the dawn ? No it is Senator Scott he will carry us through so weep no more.
    Citrus certum pete finite

  8. “The Cat is referred to in 37 of Shakespeare’s plays, albeit always negatively.”
    In Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio remarks “Good king of Cats, nothing but one of your nine lives.” (13/9 should sneak into the 8).
    In Henry IV “I am melancholy as a gib Cat” (gib means castrated by the way)
    In the Tempest, Antonio states “For all the rest, they’ll take suggestion as a Cat laps milk” and Shylock says “a harmless necessary Cat”. (Hawkins?)
    In Much ado about Nothing, Benedick says “hang me in a bottle like a Cat and shoot at me” (cats in a bottle could soon replace fish in a barrel).
    Most worryingly the First Witch in Macbeth (hubble bubble toil and trouble) says “thrice the brindled Cat hath mew’d” (bad omen for the milk drinkers against GWS on the weekend).
    Love your work Bard of Bellarine.

  9. A straight kick! A straight kick! My kingdom for a straight kick!

    Oh, in what high esteem do I hold my Almanac brethren and sistren.

  10. The People's Elbow says

    And the architect was Brendan Bolton – to quote from King Lear, “The prince of darkness is a gentleman!”

  11. So eloquent Dips, a way with words that would make Bertolt Brecht proud.

    This is one of Geelong’s worst losses for a while, OK since the Melbourne game at Kardinia Park last year. When your record against this side at that venue is 14-0, when the other side lost by 10+ goals the week prior, when your opponents are two men dawn early in the match it should be a gimme. Yet the handbaggers got rolled; badly.

    It seems like Geelong wa believing its own hype. It was only last Saturday there was talk of premiership favourites, top four etc, There’s a string of hard games coming up in the next month.As a former supporter I now have flashbacks of 1988 when they had a solid start then lost 6 in a row mid sesaon to put a kybosh through the year. More disconcertingly they have cost me a fair $$$$$$$ !

    I might stick to the nags and pollies from here on in.


  12. Bertolt Brecht, Brendon Bolton, William Shakespeare.

    The Blues were great. Filled with the fire in the belly, the rage against the human reality. If a coach can instillthat – indeed, if any leader can.

    On a less allegorical plane, Cats skills are terrible and confidence down. They have butchered many opportunities to get into open space which is so important now.

    Still very worried about the big blokes – except for Hawkins. Stanley and Smith are not playing like OCRs.*

    *Old Country Ruckmen.

  13. Tony robb says

    Who did Shakespeare play for? Twas a great day to be Carltonian Dips.

  14. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    Thou mak’st me merry Dips.
    The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.

  15. JTH – the big blokes are as flakey (except Hawkins) as the contents of a fish and chip box. Apparently Blicav’s possessions in the second half were 0, though he’s been OK in prior weeks. What’s happened to the Z. Smith of round 1 who was bashing over packs and skewering Hawks?

    If we lose this week I’m going to imagine Clint Eastwood as a Cats fan.

    “Dyin’ aint much of a livin’ boy”

  16. Skills under pressure. Composure.

    And, is there an elephant in the room?

  17. Surely you’re not suggesting old mate Boris is cooked? And Lonergan?

    To me it has become quite stark. Opposition teams have worked us out (especially when we play badly). Take out Dangerman and Selwood, ensure Guthrie plays at half back, and you win.

    Menzel and McCarthy are crucial.

    My brother reckons Caddy and Smedts are spuds.

  18. Peter Flynn says

    Who was King Lair?

  19. A Geelong supporter’s perspective:
    “Now is the winter of our discontent” (W Shakespeare, Champion English playwright)

    The Question:
    “To be, or not to be?” (ditto)

    The solution:
    “Get ferocious” ( R. Hickey, Champion Geelong player and coach)

    Cheers, Burkie

  20. Hamish Townsend says

    I think the Cats are guilty of thinking a few weeks into the distance. Their opponents don’t care for such things, they are present, in the here and now, playing for nothing but each other and the joy of maybe, maybe, maybe smiting a giant. Remember the Cats have had more shots at goal than both their opponents the last two weeks and lost, it means there is not a heap wrong further back than the minds of the forwards. When they “snap out of it” there will be blood.

  21. Paul Spinks says

    Unfortunately, Dips, this Shakespearian tragedy of sparkless endeavour is a reprise, appearing at inopportune times in the past four years, usually at season’s end. Groundhogg Daye? Happening closer to mid year could turn out to be a good thing, if you’re a glass-half-full kinda guy – a glimmer of hope to see before thee.

  22. Tony Robb- when in London Shakespeare played for the Globe-trotters.


  23. E.regnans says

    et tu, Geelong?

    This Carlton is again becoming a Problem..

  24. William Shakespeare was the first to break the restrictive shackles of the sonnet to pen this ode to his beloved cats.

    Now when we broke up I didn’t really mind
    A new love surely wouldn’t be so hard to find
    But now i see myself, I know what lies within
    And now I realise the fool that I have been, because

    I cant stop myself from wanting you
    I cant stop myself from needing you
    I tried so hard to get over you
    I cant stop myself from loving you

    I tried to get you out of my mind
    But it’s just a waste of time, I can’t get you out of my mind
    I told myself I’m glad we were through
    But I know I’m needing you, I know that I do
    I tell myself that I’ve been doing so well,
    but over and over Ive been fooling myself because

    I can’t stop myself from…..

    I wish there were a way I could find to turn back the hands of time, again you’d be mine
    Me and you we have a lot we could share
    Without you to help me I’m just going nowhere because

    I can’t stop myself from wanting you….
    William Shakespeare – genius

  25. John Butler says

    Marvelous afternoon, wasn’t it Dips?

  26. Citrus Bob says

    King Lair was Dwayne Russell of Geelong fame!

  27. Luke Reynolds says

    Brilliant Dips. S.Johnson’s return to Kardinia Park shapes up as a clash of Shakespearean proportions.

  28. The ghosts of 2008 return to haunt us! Poor kicking is poor football. It saps the belief from the believers and energises the opposition. Confidence is a fickle thing and until it returns there will be more anguish for the Cats. Carlton were magnificent. They had the belief, the skills and the confidence, even without the numbers.

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