Round 19 – Melbourne v Gold Coast: The Curse of Barry Manilow



by Dan Hansen                                                                           


It was time to sort out my taxes so whilst I sat in the study shuffling through group certificates, bank statements, receipts etc I turned on the television and started watching the Melbourne vs Gold Coast game. I look up every now and then and see the scores. Gold Coast kicked the first three goals and looked the better team. In an error-riddled quarter Gold Coast finished two goals up.


The game meandered along and just as I found my private health care statement I look up to watch the Dees kick three quick goals and open up a thirteen point lead. The third goal from a dash through the centre and a forty-five-degree bullet pass from Petracca. The kid can play.


The next quarter and a half were spent thumbing my way through my bank statements before I realised this scrappy game was finally worth watching. Gold Coast hit the lead half way through the last quarter and Melbourne didn’t look like scoring. Then cometh the hour, cometh the man. The much maligned Jack Watts marks at a tight angle and as he came in I dared not watch. A miss would mean another six months of relentless criticism for the poor bloke. In what looked like a casual approach the ball sailed straight and never looked like deviating. Watts had put the Dees in front.


The next two minutes the ball spends a lot of time in the Dees forward fifty but like much of the game the Dees never really looked like scoring. Gold Coast finally managed to get the ball forward and Tom Lynch kicks a scrappy kick deep into the goal square where Jack Watts marks unopposed. Watts kicks a short pass to Bernie Vince with seconds remaining. Surely this was game over. Then inexplicably Vince tries to chip over Tom Lynch who marks about forty-five metres out near the boundary with seconds to go. As he goes back the final siren sounds and he has a chance to win the game after the siren.


As Tom Lynch line up for goal Matt Jones was standing the mark and tried to put him off. Over the years I have witnessed many tactics to distract a player as he was kicking a set shot. Some of the common favourites were throwing grass in the air or yelling out “chewy on ya boot”. A former premiership teammate of mine, Andrew Lamb, would often stand the mark and sing Copacabana, complete with Barry Manilow dance and arm movements (minus the sleave tassels). He informs me that no opponent had ever kicked a goal when he performed this routine. However, like a powerful antibiotic, this routine was only performed at critical stages in games as not to dull its effectiveness.


Also a teammate of former Macquarie University gun forward Jamie Graetz tells a riveting story of an opponent trying to distract him when kicking for goal one day. As Graetz moved in for his kick his opponent standing the mark grabbed the bottom of his shorts and exposed himself. Undeterred Graetz kicked the ball long and straight, and as it sailed through the goals, he pointed at his opponent’s nether region and yelled “Check this out guys, it looks just like a penis, only smaller”.


Matt Jones was initially standing the mark but Jesse Hogan runs over to take over the duties. What was he up to? I watched Jesse Hogan carefully as Tom Lynch came in to kick the ball. He definitely kept his Jatz Crackers in their packaging but he was yelling something out. I watched closely and as his lips moved I could clearly see what he was saying.


“Her name was Lola,

She was a showgirl ….”


The curse of Barry Manilow strikes again.




MELBOURNE     1.3   6.6   7.10   9.12 (66)

GOLD COAST     3.3   4.6   6.8     9.10 (64)



Melbourne: VandenBerg 3, Watts 3, Dawes, Kent, Petracca

Gold Coast: Lynch 2, Garlett 2, Matera 2, Malceski, Shaw, Grant



Melbourne: Hogan, Watts, Gawn, Vandenberg, Tyson, Petracca

Gold Coast: Rosa, Miller, Day, Lynch, Matera, Nicholls


Umpires: Fisher, Margetts, Foote


Official crowd: 20,627


Our Votes: 3 Hogan (M), 2 Watts (M), 1 Rosa (GC)


  1. Gold Danny having witnessed Lamby do the above it was truly a privilege to witness
    ( some how I don’t think the censors will allow the Bob Neil Lola song to be printed here unfortunately )
    I wonder if Jamie is related to Darren Graetz as I have no doubt the Jerk would have been just as quick and given exactly the same reply

  2. G’day DV,

    An amusing review – good stuff.
    Lamby = Legend!


  3. PS – Any review of the “No Stress”, funny Port v Brissy Game?

  4. Silver Bullet says

    I once witnessed a player make some unhappy remarks about Michael Jackson to a player lining up for goal. They deterred neither the player who kicked the goal nor the tribunal chairman who meted out a 2 game penalty for unsporting conduct. His name wasn’t Lola.

  5. Mick Jeffrey says

    Best I’ve tried was in 2007. Inspired by the introduction for the competitors in the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating contest, I attempted to put someone off mentioning something about deep fried asparagus. We were getting spiflicated so it didn’t matter but it confused him.

  6. kath presdee says

    I love the comment used by Michael Voss on his younger brother “My dad’s sleeping with your mum!”

    It was also supposedly used by the Johns brothers in Rugby League.

  7. Earl O'Neill says

    Thanx Dan, a genuine LOL.
    I’ve wondered what I’d do standing the mark at a crucial moment. Cheerleader moves –
    “Gimme a M!” Shape M
    “Gimme an E!”

  8. Good stuff Danny, I knew that Jesse bloke had a future. We’ve all taken tips from and been amused by Lamby and I’m glad you said no opponent ever kicked a goal. It just focussed me when he tried it on this teammate at practice. Hogan’s job on Lynch may well be remembered as the start of the Demons’ run to glory (in my dreams – at least beating Hawthorn is a start!)

  9. Thanks Dan. The trouble with singing The Copacabana, was it tended to enrage the bloke who had been put off and missed the goal. I’d spend the ready of the game trying to dodge covert gut punches at the bottom of packs.

    Does anyone remember ‘Batlamb’, when I took the field at Athelstone wearing a Batman cape and cowl? My brother had gone to a fancy dress the night before and left the costume lying on the floor. As I left for the game, I thought to myself, “That’ll work”.

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