Round 17 – Carlton v Hawthorn: Please, just put it out of its misery

There are a few times in life when we are fortunate enough to be present when an historical moment occurs. For me, one such occasion was the 1970 grand final, which will always hold the record attendance for a VFL/AFL game. Another occasion was watching Plugger Locket beat the all-time goal scoring record at the SCG. I was there when Greg Norman set a course record 62 at Royal Canberra Golf Club. A score that has not been bettered some 30 years later. And done with persimmon. On Friday, 24 July 2015, I witnessed the Hawthorn Football Club put the Blues to the sword by 135 points which is the greatest defeat ever suffered by the club in its history. The first three events were truly memorable. Friday was apocalyptic for the Carlton and those unlucky enough to have been there.

The lads from Canberra were making their annual pilgrimage to home of sport. My son Dylan was making his maiden voyage* with some very hardened companions in Drs Smith and Dobson. Why we had chosen this particular weekend is unfathomable. Melbourne was awash with visitors for the soccer at the MCG and the local hospitality and airline industry had taken price gouging to a new level. The Blues prospects against the Hawks was never going to be pleasant however what played out on Friday evening could only be described as one of the most comprehensive pantsings witnessed in football history. I’m talking undies around the ankles, tripping into the urinal, lipstick painted arse type pantsing.

Friday’s game had a 90s theme. As if watching these hapless arse-clowns run around was not enough salt to be rubbed into gaping wounds of supporter loyalty. Reminding those present that Carlton twenty years ago was a powerhouse – albeit a dodgy one – that had a season the equal of any ever played is bordering on a human rights violation. The irony of Sticks Kernahan carrying the ’95 cup onto the field pre-game was surely not lost on supporters who witnessed the same man oversee the disintegration of the Carlton Football Club during his six years reign as president. Not that the rot hadn’t started long before that. My only wish that a rejuvenated Greg Williams would pop out of said cup and add something, anything, to a woeful midfield.

There was a 90s theme with the “selling point” of the evening being beer and pies at 90s prices. Note to Collo. They weren’t selling mid strength in the 90s and the pies were twice as big. And the cider and wine prices were firmly ensconced in 2015 at a breathtaking $9.80. I know not everyone has a drink at the footy but those who do are most like watching it in a pub or at home rather than forking out $53 to sit in the nose bleeds while acres of empty seats lay below fiercely guarded by Collo’s attack dogs. Obviously this is to prevent any chance of creating some form of atmosphere at the game. Mind you, Carlton did a superb job of stifling any chance of atmosphere forming on Friday night.

The evening kicked off with Sticks and Parko parading the 95 premiership cup. As if the following two hours was not enough of a collective kick in the nuts. However, reminding all and sundry that the rabble that is now Carlton was once a power house of the competition who delivered one of the most dominant season of any club in the game’s history was surely against a human rights charter somewhere. The irony was surely not lost that the bloke carrying the cup had overseen the continuing decline if the club in his six year tenure as president. Mind you, he inherited a basket case from the former brains trust at Princes Park. I was hoping that a rejuvenated Greg Williams might have been poured from the cup however it was just to same putrid mush that had been served up for most of the year. Talk about throwing salt into the gaping wounds of club loyalty.

It’s probably apparent that I have no desire to talk about the game itself as it was a debacle that saw supporters from both sides walking out before halftime and Hawthorn players looking decidedly bored by the whole affair. No, there is not much you can say about being bent over by 135 points where the loser kicked as many goals as Real Madrid scored at the MCG. The only reference I will make to the Blues performance was the rather astounding statistic that Marc Murphy racked up 37 possessions. While the Carlton skipper was one of the few to give a yelp, I can only think that he had 24 of those in the warm-up and another three or four in a kick to kick in the sheds at halftime. Oh, I nearly forgot Chris Yarran. Has any footballer done less to inspire or displayed less interest than young Chris on Friday night? Please, for the sake of God, trade him with the bonus set of steak knives being Tutt and Jones. Actually forget them as we want to ensure the trade goes through.

There was one positive that being the wonderful company of Charlotte Curnow who, unlike her brother, was enjoying the evening. Probably helped that Charlotte barracks for Geelong proving that footy is thicker than blood. However, after Friday, Ed might like to be referred to as Charlotte Curnow’s sister for a while rather than the normal association.

*The next day Dylan was able to tick off another item on his cultural bucket list with a quick viewing at the The Royal Hotel on Punt Rd prior the Tiger’s game. The Royal is like the Galapagos Islands of pubs. The native animals have evolved in complete isolation for the rest of society developing into the unique species which is the Richmond supporter. After last night’s win, there would have been jugs aplenty, pun intended.


About Tony Robb

A life long Blues supporter of 49 years who has seen some light at the end of the tunnel that isn't Mick Malthouse driving a train.


  1. John Butler says

    So you had a good time TR?

    Thanks for reopening the scar tissue which had only just begun to heal.

    At least dear Jarrad didn’t kick the expected bag last night.

    Stern words are required with your travel agent.

  2. Tony Robb says

    Apologies JB
    It should have come with a warning

Leave a Comment