It’s only footy

Round 1

North Melbourne v Essendon


At three-quarter time, Essendon were four goals in front and looking good.  I had to remind myself there were more important things in life than football.


It’s only footy.

It’s only footy.


Breathe – like in birth classes.


I was preparing for defeat.  I find if I concede early, the final siren is less painful.


We had started well through the pack work of new captain Swallow and the run of Wells and Harper.  Drew, in his 200th, was looking dangerous and the decision to start with two ruckmen on the ground – Goldy and Hamish – was paying off.  Firrito and Thompson were holding things together in defence.


Three goals up halfway through the second term, we appeared to have a little too much fire power.


The Bombers dug in.  Ryder and Hille got on top in the ruck, while Stanton, Heppell and Watson started winning around the ground and at clearances.  I wondered aloud if Brad Scott was regretting not playing Greenwood, our best in close player.


In an entertaining, frantic and fast paced game, North tired before half-time and the Bombers kicked four late goals, including two to substitute Lovett-Murray, and led at the main break.


Despite wrestling back the lead early in the third term, we couldn’t maintain our run and a fresher looking Essendon again finished the quarter better.


The writing was on the wall and I was grasping for perspective.  I told the Warrnambool mates I was standing with, most of whom are Bombers, they had been the better team and deserved their ascendancy.  They didn’t swallow my uncharacteristic magnanimity.


Pete, a Swan, was his typical smartarse self.  Earlier in the day, he and his equally blonde and chiselled wife, smashed a twenty kilometre endurance, commando course on Phillip Island.  He thinks he’s Bear bloody Grylls.  A few hours later, he showed up at the game fresh as a daisy and full of lip. Going into the last term, he was threatening to call the game and beat the traffic.


When Melksham goaled, I considered doing the same.  The Bombers were one goal away from ending it.


But, as we do at Arden Street, we hung in.  Edwards, who hadn’t had a kick, kicked two.  Wells, who had missed two set shots, kicked a blinder off the ground.  We were back in it and and my perspective went out the window.  I joined in the chant with the members.


A crazy goal square pile-on resulted in a behind.  Edwards may have had an airy, but I was on my hands and knees, so I’m not sure.  Essendon bottled it up the other end.  Hurley took a mark dead in front but was penalised for manhandling.  Again, I’m not too sure.


I declared there was no way we could get through Essendon’s press and up the other end.  Naturally, I was wrong and Hamish took a pack mark forty out on an angle (If you look closely at the replay, he didn’t think he had first grab and was about to play on).


Hamish lined up and the siren went.  In my frenzy, I rushed down into the members’ reserve area to be with my blue and white brothers and sisters to share the great moment.


Hamish missed and I sunk into a seat, head in hands, while, in true Kangaroo tradition, those around me sighed, laughed, shrugged their shoulders, packed their bags, buttoned their kids’ jackets and headed home, happy with a great night’s entertainment.


I need to get me some of that perspective.




It’s only footy.




  1. John Butler says

    AS, could have been worse. Could have happened against the Blues.

  2. Phil Dimitriadis says

    Good to see you Friday Andrew. Forget about perspective. While you have natural emotions let em out! If we didn’t want to feel the extremes of pain and euphoria we wouldn’t be fans. Hang in there mate…and breathe :)

  3. Andrew, if you could have chosen another player to have had that last shot for North who would you have chosen? :)

  4. Andrew, I too couldn’t help feeling that after all the offseason emphasis on skills, we looked uncharacteristically soft in close. I too wondered aloud whether Greenwood might not have been a better choice than a couple who were out on the paddock.

    I also wondered aloud whether some of the time they put into working on disposal skills could have been given over to catching the ball that their mates had disposed of.

    Danielle, it would have to be Aaron Edwards. He’s a lovely set shot. I never really expected Hamish to kick it, and would have felt like we’d nicked it if he had.

  5. Peter Mc says

    Good practice for your upcoming arrival I’d say Andrew. Perspective will hit home then mate.
    Hang in there only 23 weeks to go in the season !
    Go Swannies.

  6. AS – I tipped the Roos in one tipping competition and the Bombers in another. Couldn’t separate them. Obviously they could hardly separate themselves.

  7. Josh Barnstable says

    What a terrible night for a North Melbourne supporter.

    Glad I didn’t go. Wish it was Edwards that pulled down the grab.

  8. Josh Barnstable says

    what are your thoughts on the players that do nothing for our side Andrew?

    Cunnington – still hasn’t clicked. Nathan Fyfe was taken in the round after him, and he’s gonna feature in the Brownlow Medal this year. I know, different type of player, but still. 10-12 possession games week in, week out isn’t enough.

    Mullett – think Bon has fallen in love with his sweet left boot. In such a pressure-packed, physical game, Greenwood would’ve been better value to the side than a skinny rookie who can hit a target.

    Atley – again, with Cunnington, doesn’t do enough yet keeps his spot. Speight is as quick, gets more of the ball, tackles more and kicks goals. Granted, Atley’s final quarter was great, he showed terrific courage. But a quarter doesn’t make a game (unless you’re the sub)

    Campbell – started as the sub, but didn’t provide anything after Tarrant was injured. Why did we keep him? Could’ve gotten a juicy draft pick for him from the Hawks or Cyril perhaps?

    Tarrant – needs to be moved on. We have a genuine forward who wants to have a crack at it waiting in the wings. Give Black a shot instead of this pretty-boy.

    Last year we had it perfect. Goldy was in career-best form, winning 90% of his hitouts, having an impact around the ground, and he had a perfect chop-out in Pedersen, who could play back, forward or on a wing, and kick two goals a game. Now that McIntosh is back, we’re missing all of that, and we shouldn’t be.

    100 point win against GWS or i’ll be disappointed. No fancy celebrations and sucking up to the crowd, a clinical, blue-collar performance.

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