Round 18 – Melbourne v Port Adelaide: A Day out for the Dees – and Dad


Over a half-time beer in the Frank Grey Smith Bar, my Dad is discussing his impending retirement plans with a mate of mine. The words come out quickly and I’m not prepared for their impact.

Well, my Dad got to 84 so I’ve got a good 20 or so years left”.

My Dad arranged for me to be nominated for Melbourne Cricket Club membership by two of his workmates back when I was about 2. But, as he keeps reminding me, he forgot to nominate himself! So, when he wants to come to a game I make sure that it happens.


In addition to the inability to grow a beard, another hereditary characteristic I got from Dad is my love of the Melbourne Footy Club. I’m a regular at the MCG for Dees games, but this is Dad’s first game in a while as he’s been working weekends recently. It’s also the first game I can recall bringing him to for a very long time where the Dees are absolutely on fire! McDonald gets a free kick moments into the game and kicks truly. Neal-Bullen sets up Petracca in front. Hogan picks up the crumbs from a pack and bangs one home.  Garlett goals from a set shot and could have scored even more. The Dees are smashing it and Port can’t even register a major. Warm applause welcomes Jack Trengove back to senior footy. Dixon tries to intimidate Jetta but is howled down by the faithful. The MCC members is up and about. They are even more excited in the second quarter when Hogan bangs home two more goals. Dad is pretending to be restrained but even he gives a little fist pump! Port finally get on the board but Hannan answers. Despite the freezing cold weather and a couple of late goals for the Power, the atmosphere at half time is very positive about the red and blue.


Then Dad makes that comment. I’m suddenly the only person in the bar who’s negative.  My first thought is “Wait a minute, don’t say that!” We don’t get to go to games very often, meaning they’re rare, special occasions.  I don’t want to contemplate the prospect that can’t happen – even if it’s still a very long time away.


But soon after I’m thinking – hey, why are they rare occasions? We’re having an absolute blast here (helped by the Dees good form)! In the third quarter, even as Boak and Wingard bring Port back into the contest, we still feel we are on top by enough. Some in the stands are getting nervous, but Melksham gets one on the run and finally Garlett gets one through the middle after his earlier misses. This settles everyone momentarily.


In the second quarter we had visions of a percentage boosting win but in the fourth quarter a few of more fans start clock watching. Port refuses to go away, and that man Boak continues to will his club along. But when Melksham takes a long shot from the Members wing which goes straight through the middle, the roar is electric. It has taken a while for some Dees fans to warm to Jake but he is truly one of us now. Petracca’s goal seals it and the Dees are home.


What a great day with my Dad. I know I need to make this happen more often – when Dad said what he did, he was just talking about getting as much out of your time as possible, and that means doing things we enjoy – like going to the footy and cricket. I wouldn’t have my MCC membership if not for this bloke’s foresight, so let’s show him a good time! When he retires I’m looking forward to bringing him to many Melbourne games, maybe a test match, and hopefully to a few finals. Demons fans have not been willing to get ahead of themselves, but the excitement amongst us all on Saturday night was pretty optimistic.  Don’t worry about what might happen in 20 years – maybe I’ll get a chance to take him to a game in September 2017?

About Joseph Ryan

Lawyer, amateur sportsman, and full-time sports-watcher. Follows Melbourne Demons and Melbourne Storm and is trying to be better at golf.


  1. Michael Blow says

    Hi Joseph. I also was at the Port game with my Old Man, he’s getting closer to 70 by the year. He mentioned to me that is been a few years since he had seen a victory at the G which made the day even more special. He needs a Walker to get around now but still goes when he can. He stayed at my house that Saturday night when on Sunday morning I asked him ‘are you ready’. ‘Are you ready’ he asked me looking a little confused. I said ‘Yeh to watch the replay with a couple of ham and cheese croissants and a cup of coffee, that’s how a Sunday morning should be spent’. The smile that come over his face with the words OHHH YEAHHH was enough to know over the next 2 hours his face would be fixed to the screen reliving yesterday’s game as if it was the first time watching it. Here’s hoping all us Demon supporters get some more days with our Mums and Dads as enjoyable as both you and I had with ours. Go Dees Go.

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