Round 1: What should a good Geelong fan think?

by Daniel Paproth

Being a Geelong supporter over the past few years has been a good ride, and I have ranged from being a hopeful fan (2007) to slightly overconfident (2008) to worried-but-quietly-assured (2009).

In 2010 nearly every man and his dog has tipped the Cats to begin that inevitable slide, at the same time being sucked in by the Footscray romance story.

So with that, I’ve spent most of the pre-season greatly talking up our chances, much to the chagrin of, well, everyone.

Round one against Essendon should be one to chalk up pretty easily, I reckon. But as me, Dad and younger brother Matthew sit bumper-to-bumper in Punt Rd traffic listening to the new-look Triple M, all of a sudden I’m not so confident.

Matthew, an Essendon supporter and learner driver, is holed up in the left lane and is being swamped by idiots trying to merge at right angles. Shannon Brynes is running hot we hear, but missing from every angle.

We finally turn into the G and score a park, and begin the scramble to gate three to pick up tickets. Matt and I are already on the elevator up to level two while Dad’s ticket won’t scan. Running around like headless chooks trying to find seats grows ever more frustrating amidst cries of “BAAAAAAAAAALLLLLL!!!” and “BOOOOOOO!!!” and heartbreaking when the unmistakeable “YEEEEAAAAHHHH!!” goal cheer goes up.

Our seats are located directly behind the cameraman behind the Geelong cheer squad, whose chants are adapted directly from the cricket crowds of the summer. “Shit chants,” Matthew comments. “Thanks Sandra,” I retort.

The Bombers’ attacking style is proving to be beneficial for them, as they snag a few eye-catching goals, but our experience and tough mentality ensures they never gallop away.

Half-time and the Dons are left to rue missed chances as we sit four points up. I’m content. Matthew is as well. As is the young kid next to me who puts aside his Footy Record for a moment and concentrates on getting Mario through to the next level on his DS.

I feel a bit sorry for Essendon – the Auskick version that is – as their defenders just can’t seem to get the ball out of Geelong’s forward half. The poor Geelong backmen and Bombers forwards don’t get a touch.

Ten minutes into the third quarter I’m starting to think how ironic that is, after Essendon has piled on their fifth unanswered goal. Suddenly 90 per cent of the crowd were in raptures, Matt is getting stuck into me, and Dad is smiling to himself.

23 points in arrears, my mate Andrew texts me to say “we are playing like a pack of girls” and just as he does Jay Neagle – apparently the Bombers’ great white hope in ’10 – marks directly in front, 30 metres out.

I gulp.

But wait, did he just—yes, he’s played on! Harry Taylor was in his pocket the whole time! And bang, down goes Neagle in a fierce Taylor tackle.

I smile to myself as Matt screams in anger, and all of a sudden I’m not so worried. And I didn’t need to be. Joel Selwood is playing beyond his years – as usual – Ablett’s back into the game, Chapman is workhorsing, and Brynesy is lighting up all over the place.

We quick the next nine goals and end up 31-point winners. One chalked up. Not easily, but comfortably. Andrew texts “what a great team” and we begin the long search for the car.

I wonder what sort of fan I’ll be in 2010?

About Daniel Paproth

Auskick superstar. Melbourne Weekly writer. World's whitest Outkast fan. Arrogant Geelong supporter (hey, we've earned it).


  1. Hey Pappy!

    Fancy seeing you here.
    What a game, eh? Had elements of 2007-2009, but also a touch of the ’06 Cats about it at times.
    Byrnesy was spectacular, and Harry Taylor did well. I thought Mackie was fantastic, especially at the start when a lot of the other boys were down.

    I am quietly confident of a Geelong-Hawthorn Grand Final this year. And this year, it’s our turn.

  2. johnharms says

    Susie, that sort of confidence is admirable.

  3. Foolish, headstrong and ignorant, my family would say. But I prefer your phrasing :-)

  4. Hey Susie, how are you? How’s uni life? You taking on work exp this year?

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