Round 15 – GWS v Geelong: Theseus and the Minotaur



We think we are living in an age of great insight. We think we have all the answers. We think the ancients were misguided fools. We think history started in about the year 2000, when “the screen” commenced providing us with all things we need to know, except knowledge. The old saying that “there is nothing new under the sun” has been contorted by modern-speak into “there are only new things under the sun.” But this is so completely wrong.


Consider the following historical passage:

“In 605 BC, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, invaded Judah. To save Jerusalem, Jehoiakim, king of Judah, pledged allegiance to Nebuchadnezzar. A deal was brokered, and Nebuchadnezzar returned to Babylon with tribute monies secured from the king, valuable artefacts looted from the temple, and captives taken from the cream of Judean society.”


Now consider this:

“In 2008, Demetriou, king of the AFL, invaded Sydney. To save Spotless Stadium, Sheedy, head of the Greater Western Sydney Giants, pledged allegiance to the AFL. A deal was brokered, and the AFL returned to Melbourne with tribute monies, secured from the Giants, valuable contractual artefacts (like a guaranteed flag within 10 years and obscene TV rights deals), and had bequeathed draft picks taken from the cream of football’s youth.”


There is nothing new. A myth is often just a twisted, forgotten truth.


The Giants, the Greater Western Sydney Giants, are not new, they are simply another incarnation of a ghastly historical figure; they are the Minotaur of the modern AFL, designed to terrorise and devour other teams, and thereby pay homage to Demetriou The Great. They dwell on the edge of the footballing world, on the edge of a mighty city, on the edge of reality.


But there is always hope that the Minotaur will be slain. It has not lost on its home deck since Minos’s Queen was fouled and the hideous creature came forth. The symbol of the Minotaur is a giant beast. This beast is called Mummy. Mummy has a barrel chest which spews forth fire and a desire to hurt. It feeds on those who carry the name “Duncan”.


Where is Theseus?


Theseus dwells in a little village to the west of Melbourne where the sea meets the sky; Corio. Theseus, in an attempt to slip under the celestial radar, takes up the name “Geelong”. It takes the symbolic form of The Cat. Its warriors are brave and determined (mostly) and it longs for the battle. The Minotaur will be slain with a sword and shall topple from the top of the ladder. But Theseus must travel forth to do so; north into a foreign hell, where it is rumoured the people honour another God, the false God of rugby, where the ball is thrown and where there are but two posts.


Theseus prepares for battle. On the trek north warriors fall, Menzel The Magician being one of them. The task seems hopeless. Heroic young soldiers come forward, some so young that a beard is but a pipe dream. But they take up arms against the Minotaur for it is righteous to do so. They are Guthrie The Younger, Simpson not Sampson, and Buzza The Bounder.


For three tortuous ages the Cats have the Minotaur confused. They run and harass. Several times the sword is raised above the beasts head, but the beast is shrewd. It has endured many battles from false prophets. After three epochs of relentless struggle the great warrior Dangerfield wounds the Minotaur and causes a dreadful howl from its followers. But the people who do not live under the tyranny of the Giant, celebrate. Surely the beast is running out of time? Theseus, the promised one, is here!


The Giant writhes in agony. He calls forth his soldiers with a hideous roar. A young beast, some say the heir to the Mummy, who goes by the name Patton, rips away the impending defeat. He has Scully and Shiel at his side. He is brazen and belligerent, slaying everyone in sight, even the brave Lonergan. The Minotaur rises! It grasps the sword. Theseus, the Geelong Cat, momentarily cowers. And Dangerfield is spent.


But there is another. Hawkins, a mountain, reaches for victory. He grasps it in one hand. There is a saying that a truly happy full forward, one so caught up in the delights of holding the ball aloft in a pack, is thereby so totally consumed by this delight that he forgets what each hand is doing. And so it was. Hawkins the brave, sprays the ball; his ball-drop is awry. Time is up. The Minotaur collapses but not in defeat. It breathes heavily with the blood of its foe and its own blood dripping to the grass, but with vengeance in its heart. It lives to fight another day. Theseus retreats, brave and wounded too, but knowing that the Minotaur is vulnerable on the wide open spaces of the Temple in September.


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. Peter Crossing says

    OK. I’ll bite. What is the mythical equivalent of Toby Greene?

  2. Rulebook says

    Superb Dips ! ( Can you org to get the Crows supporters slain who say they are a better side with out the mighty soldier,Dangerfield? )

  3. Speaking as one prehistoric relic to another – can I ask what the difference is between the codes? Throwing the ball? Hardly. And the middle 2 posts seem superfluous for many teams. Sydney 11.19. WCE 12.15. Scrums and mauls looked all the fashion in much of what I saw on the weekend.
    Doubtless the game has not been the same since South Melbourne moved to the Emerald City, and Kardinia Park was no longer the most challenging road trip in footy.

  4. Stephen James Fenton says

    Magnifique! Epic theatre at its best.

  5. This was quite the journey! Superb storytelling, Dips. We will see which team prevails come finals time.

  6. Luke Reynolds says

    Absolutely brilliant Dips.
    I’d almost forgotten about Demetriou, king of the AFL. Almost.
    Will be fascinating to see how it all plays out at the Temple in September.

  7. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    I read this morning, Dips, that the Roman marine concrete is doing well, while the modern stuff is crumbling. In fact the Roman concrete got stronger with age rather than deteriorating. The new stuff is designed so it cannot change once it’s hardened meaning anything it reacts with causes damage.
    How do we work that into the metaphor ….

    Love it.

  8. Mathilde – yes I saw a documentary about this. Apparently the Romans had a particular sand in their cement that is only found in their part of the world. They figured out that it can set under water. Genius!.

    Like sands through the hour glass?

    Peter – Toby Greene is still a foot soldier in the myths of time. But legend awaits him if he holds a Cup aloft.

  9. kath presdee says

    You do realise that Theseus was a cad; leaving Ariadne on the beach as he escaped from Crete after slaying the minotaur.

    So who got left behind in Sydney?

  10. Kath we shouldn’t judge the poor bloke. Those were different times. Theseus apparently got a deal with Murdocholous to slay dragons in the northern regions. He went for the money.

  11. Ha ha, a fine read, thanks old mate.
    Will await the sequel, in September.

  12. Rick Kane says

    Too good Dips (and an almost nice dodge from tough Kath P question). Sparkling wit even if I hardly believed a word. I will giveth you this. Duncan (from a play about murder and mayhem called Macca) notes to his team-mates after a great battle: So well thy wounds become thee; They smack of honour. The Cats were courageous (that’s as generous as a Hawker will get re your lot of mythical creatures) and at times played out of their skins. As for Hawkins. Time will be the judge of how costly that kick was.


  13. Paul Young says

    Very entertaining read.
    As Stephen James Fenton said – nice to read some Epic Theatre on the Almanac.

  14. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Ripper Dips,
    Great to see you channeling your inner Greek. Demetriou/Nebuchadnezzar comparison a beauty. A Herculean effort by the Cats sans the Selwoods.

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