Like a moth to a front porch light

By Jim Fidler

What is it about those MCG lights from a distance? Despite having seen the lights of the MCG many times they are like a front porch light in summer and we are all the willing insects. Irresistible.

The walk up to the ground has always created such a great sense of anticipation be it cricket or football. Maybe it will be different this time as my Blue Boys take on a Hawthorn side that has monstered us for years. I walked and talked with a lady who was a first cousin to Carlton’s Des English, maybe that was a positive sign.

Even the souvlaki I ate as we walked to meet my mate at Gate 1 was not too bad, maybe my boys were in for a good night.

Prior to the start of the game I was lucky enough to be invited to a Carlton past players gathering sponsored by the Spirit Of Carlton coterie group. My friend Jamie introduced me to Geoff Southby, which was a great thrill. As tempting as it was to mention the ’73 Grand Final, I resisted and instead had a great chat with a very gentle man. ’95 premiership player Matt Hogg was also there and was very generous with his time.

So the much-anticipated moment had come for the big game, my one and only live game on my brief trip back to Melbourne from Beijing.

It is one of those great sights when you walk up the stairs and take in the initial sights and sounds of the MCG. Could it really be a big night for the Blues? It was clear from the first bounce that Carlton was in trouble. We were timid, lacked confidence and were well off the pace. It is amazing how quickly confidence can evaporate yet be so hard to find again. Hawthorn was awesome and played the kind of game that I had expected. It was clear that this was going to get ugly.

Thankfully, the beer was good at half time as more ex-Carlton players gathered along with three members of the ’47 premiership team.

As expected the second half and the result for that matter, was done and dusted but as a Carlton man and true supporter I toughed it out to the end and enjoyed one final beer with the Carlton faithful before the walk back to my hotel.

All things Carlton were at a very low ebb that night with the confidence severely dented in the coach, playing group and the brand of the Carlton Football Club with Collingwood to follow next week!

Still, that is footy despite the results and yes we are moths to that front porch light and we do what we do because we love this game. Next week? You never know.


  1. Hi Jim – I made the journey from Singapore to see the same game…..the only thing that made the game enjoyable was catching up with the 10 mates who came along. Luckily I was still around the following Friday to enjoy the good win over the Pies with my brother. How’s Beijing? I lived there for 2 1/2 years myself but can;t say that I have too many fond memories.

  2. Andrew Fithall says


    I played basketball for several years with Geoff Southby (and several of his ex-football team mates). For an ex-Carlton bloke, he was a lovely man. His (then young) daughter Eloise would occasionally come along to watch. We must have inspired her to greater sporting heights (or what she saw turned her away from basketball forever – hence netball).


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