NAB Cup: Geelong, North Melbourne, Western Bulldogs

By Steve Healy

Travel- It’s a word that circulates through the realms of every footy lover’s soul, season after season. How will we get to our destination? Why are we going there? In this particular situation, it would’ve been quite hard to understand why, from an outsider’s point of view. Is it really worth it for a neutral supporter to travel all the way to Geelong to see a boring NAB Cup clash?

Well, it was today, because for months me, Mike, Josh and Susie had arranged this as a much-anticipated day out together. Especially since we had all been contacting Susie for about a year, but never actually met her.

I have always been very fond of traveling as a cocept. I’ve never been overseas and I’ve hardly left the state. As a result of this, Weather Watch Overnight is one of my favourite shows. I love seeing the mysteriousness of the World’s locations.

I met Mike at the train station and we ate some over-priced food for lunch. Mike laughed at my lifestyle, and once we got on the train, he likened the V-Line train to an aeroplane. I didn’t see the connection. It was a great trip, though. The seats were comfortable and opposite us there was a middle-aged man, with long hair and a beard, talking footy with us. It was the sort of conversation you have with a stranger now and again where nothing else matters other than your love of footy. He explained how he barracks for Carlton, which was comforting knowing there was someone in a similar situation to Mike and I. We complained about the preseason rules and discussed problems of different clubs. He was obviously very knowledgeable and obsessive about footy, but it was as if he couldn’t remember the names of anyone, not even: “ohhhh, you know, that good guy with the tattoos”. “ahhh, that guy who coached Collingwood to a premiership, and used to play for the Tigers”. “ohh, I’ve gone blank, what was the name of that guy who retired for you guys and took the drugs?” It was quite funny.

We didn’t see Susie on the train, but when we got off her mysterious identity was revealed. She was very lovely-looking, short, and what I imagined except her hair and her mouth were a bit different. I fished Josh out of the Cats shop and we finally all sat down in the second row on the flank. Unfortunately, I had the most awkward seat out of everyone, on the outside of a group of four and closest to Josh’s designated driver and father.

The first game, Geelong V North Melbourne, got underway and North’s new recruits like Cam Richardson and Shaun Atley found plenty of possessions, but they broke down in the middle and the Cats swamped their own forward fifty. It was 2.5 to 0 before Ben McKinley snapped a goal to the Doug Wade Stand end and the half was finished. The banter and Susie’s delicious brownies and biscuits kept me more entertained than the match itself as the Cats downed the Roos in scrappy fashion by three goals. Drew Petrie hit Darren Milburn hard. Steven Motlop looked good for the Cats, Majak Daw showed promise and Mike yelled at his old school companion Kieran Harper, whom he allegedly had a toilet experience with once (all perfectly innocent folks!).

The second game was certainly the least I paid attention to, as it would’ve been for most other people at the ground. Josh began to look glum as the Dogs galloped ahead. I guess we were all happy to just be together, however. Robbie Tarrant seemed to be running North’s defence, while Jarrad Grant was starring for the Dogs and Patrick Veszpremi snagged a couple. It’s amazing how different players can look playing for their new club. Jordan Roughead played like a man who will now permanently fill another man’s role. Lindsay Thomas kicked a nine-pointer in the second half but the Roos fell short by 31 points with a goal after the siren from Grant. Not that I was watching it very closely.

Geelong v Western Bulldogs- It was definitely the game to be the most excited about, although, being the third game, it was hard to get excited about. The early evening sun shone on to the terrace. The Dogs gained some sort of ascendancy, with their duo of Father-Son picks finding the footy. Geelong made quite a few changes from their earlier game, bringing in S.Johnson, Hawkins and Ottens. Interestingly, Susie admitted that Ottens “Can’t get off the ground”, which was quite a bold statement from a Geelong fan. In the second half, we moved behind the sticks, and the Cats came charging home with multiple crowd-raising goals. Ben Johnson fitted perfectly in the Cats’ forward line. Geelong won easily, and Josh and his Dad made an early exit. Revealed from my body language, Josh leaving was a much more emotional experience for me than Mike and Susie. After the siren, we left straight away to the station. We quietly chatted aboard the 7:42 train. I hugged Susie goodbye as she left at Werribee. Mike and I continued to talk.

Skilled Stadium- I learnt from today- is like your average brother or sister. They may be dirty, strange, unique and unappealing, but you just have to love them and you’ll never forget the experiences you have with them. Attending one of these junk games may be boring, but it also gives you more time to talk to and be with your lovely group of friends.   I got off the train and walked back towards the place where those dreams about traveling occur.

Geelong 0.4.8 (32) North Melbourne 0.2.2 (14)

North Melbourne 1.2.2 (23) Western Bulldogs 0.8.6 (54)

Geelong 0.7.4 (46) Western Bulldogs 0.4.1 (25)

Crowd: 13,232 at Skilled Stadium.

About Steve Healy

Steve Healy is an entity of a Melbourne supporter.


  1. Great article, Stevie Boy. :) Very astute observations of the game and your company :P It had me chuckling quite a bit.

    It was great meeting you all at last, most fun I’ve had at the footy for quite some time (though I have very few memories of the actual footy itself).

    For clarification’s sake, I said Otto couldn’t get off the ground most of last year. He managed to get a bit of a jump going on the weekend, but, as Mikey pointed out, he was leaping nowhere near as high as his opponents. :P

    p.s. You just HAD to mention me being short, didn’t you? :P

  2. Susie – nothing wrong with being short. All the world’s intelligent people are 5’8″ or less.(about 170 – 175cms?)

  3. Steve Healy says

    Haha thanks Susie, it was great to meet you! Same goes for me, and what was happening on the field really didn’t matter.

    And yeah I guess ‘short’ is a vital word in your description, i know its a bit harsh since you said you’ve grown 4cms in 2 years or whatever.

    By the way, the ‘(all perfectly innocent folks)’ was edited in.

    That’s not good for me Dips, I’m way taller than that!

  4. Dips, after being stunted on 5’3″ since the tender age of 13, I have recently had a spontaneous growth spurt, and am now 165cm tall (half a cm off 5’5″, which is close enough to average height for my liking). I think I can allow my body to stop growing when I hit 5’8″ – don’t want to risk losing my genius tag!! :P

  5. #2. Dips, you’re are absolutely correct. I believe the research shows that there is a bell-curve of intelligence with a high-point at about the 168cm mark.

    Now let me just do a quick measurement of my height. Let’s see now… 166, 167… 168cm. Wow! Who’d have thought, eh?

  6. Susie, looking forward to meeting you in person and confirming your ‘very lovely-looking’-ness.

  7. Nice to know the fine young hearts and minds of footy writing have experienced the rich beauty of Kardinia Park.

  8. #4 – Susie, you can stop now, that’s tall enough.

    I remember my growth spurt – it lasted about 1/2 hour.

  9. Peter Flynn says


    Most great batsmen have been small.

  10. Gigs, my non-existant “very-lovely looking”-ness was destroyed when Katherine headbutted me in the face yesterday.

    JTH – couldn’t agree more, although the “fine young hearts and minds of footy writing” spent half the day abusing our “dingy” scoreboards :( We need to teach these city-slickers some repect for the last remaining country(-ish) ground.

  11. Oops, that was me above – didn’t realise mum had her details in the form :S

  12. #9 Flynnie – so have most tyrants.

  13. Peter Flynn says

    For 18+, taking in the Sawyers Arms or the Lord of the Isles for the post-match chat caps off a pleasant experience.

  14. #13. I imagine a sawyer’s arms would be pretty big.

  15. Steve Healy says

    Haha I believe it was mainly Mike who was bagging the scoreboards, Susie.

    I couldn’t say enough about the wonderful/tiresome experience of being at and travelling to Kardinia Park.

    And for the record, I’m about 186cm tall

  16. #13 part 2. Flynny, can the under 18s attend either of those venues and order a jug of raspberry?

  17. Steve Healy says

    13- I’m sure we’ll all be 18 by the next time we end up going to Geelong together.

  18. Peter Flynn says


  19. 5: Gigs – Being 192cm myself, I am amused at your hypothesis as I did actually obtain a very good ATAR last year and know many other tall people of at least above average intelligence!

    Steve, good read. I again apologise for not being able to make it, but it sounds like you had a good time meeting each other. And I regret still not having met Susie in real life, or even Danni!

  20. DW, Adam, we all know you’re uber smart – Gigs is just talking himself up ;)

    Can’t wait til I get to meet you!!! I’d suggest Geelong vs Richmond, but that’s not til Round 19 :s

  21. Steve Healy says

    Susie, just knock on the window of the Champion Data box and wave, although then Adam will get fired for missing a hard ball get by Easton Wood

  22. #19. Adam, there are always individual anomalies in distributions such as this. I’m very happy to agree that you are extremely anomalous. ;-)

    #20. Susie. You’re right, I’m just talking myself up. Except in height.

  23. Good report Steve, summed up the afternoon’s events well.

  24. So, I haven’t visited the Almanac site for a while… But, Steve: love it, love it, love it!!! I especially loved how you managed to mention Susie’s height. :)

  25. Steve Healy says

    Thanks Susie’s sister(?) I very much appreciate it!

  26. Katherine, you are a royal jerk, but I love you. Need I remind you we are practically the same height? :P

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