Round 20 – Geelong v Essendon: The Turning Wheels of Boris



Dear Thank You Bot,

You’re welcome.

20 years ago, I sat within a crowd of over 75,000 at the MCG to watch these same clubs compile 39 goals between them.

Some of the names featured that night were Hird, Mercuri, Fletcher, Lucas, Long, Brownless, Couch and Hocking.

Despite the presence of these footballing luminaries, the hero of the night was Darren ‘Boris’ Bewick who kicked 9.0…sorry…NINE GOALS STRAIGHT…to win the game for Essendon.

At quarter time in that match, Essendon’s score was 4.2.26. At the completion of yesterday’s game their score was 4.10.34

Now I appreciate that the Dons have found themselves in a situation created by its own wrongdoings and I’m also acutely aware that in football (in sport, in life rah rah) the wheel turns. Nothing illustrates this more than the fact that 10 years ago, a Geelong supporter would still consider their team to be a less than 50% chance of winning with a half time score of 7.4.46 to the opposition’s 0.4.4 – but that doesn’t make days like yesterday any easier to swallow.

Whilst the city of Melbourne drank from the cup of mid-winter sunshine and the Saints put a severe dint in B Bolton’s Coach of the Year prospects, myself and 29,000-odd others locked ourselves in the 3008 Dungeon. We did it either out of blind loyalty, the prospect of a good old-fashioned flogging or both.

Instead, what we were treated to was an under-skilled away side (to put it mildly) acting as the ball of yarn to a Geelong side that could only be described as the most arrogant opposition I’ve witnessed this year (and it’s a Cox Plate field). Not since mid-2008 has a Cats team seemed so intent on getting an assist rather than a goal (and we all know how that year turned out).

Despite their (albeit understandable) disrespect for the opposition, the ‘pros’ held the squad together. Although not as instantly eye-catching as the man who held his moniker 20 years ago, ‘Boris’ Enright put on a masterclass. For a man whose forte is ‘mopping up’, Essendon of late 2016 are as lucrative as a contract to clean up after all the nation’s university functions. Cats fans like to tell anyone foolish enough to listen that he’s ‘underrated’ or ‘doesn’t get the kudos he deserves’. If that’s the case, there must be an AFL-supporting class that doesn’t rate genuinely good people who hold club games records and multiple best and fairests in premiership years that I’m not aware of.

Harry Taylor was magnificent too. Always is. Danger went at half pace (don’t blame him), Hawkins kicked a very lazy three and Guthrie and Caddy did a bit…but gee I’d love to see how they’d go in our side this year.

The other ‘Cats Pro’ who played as if the scoreboard wasn’t there was James Kelly. He’s been a pleasure to appreciate this year. Judging by his tackle in 2nd quarter, I’m not sure he and Motlop went over to the Lord of the Isles for a cheeky pot very often.

So Messr Bot, it wasn’t the greatest of days. Despite there being some genuine champions on the field and some very impressive LED lighting surrounding it, sometimes you just need something more…like…I dunno…goals from the team you support.

While us fans didn’t all get what we wanted, we did get something. The Cats fans got the win – which, even after almost a decade of dominance, they still seem to treat like a pleasant surprise – and I ticked off my eleventh match of 2016 with 3 rounds to go…and I’ll remember them all when the wheel turns.

Until then, I’ll be on youtube with Boris.

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About Andrew Else

Andrew has self-reported to this site as a lifetime Essendon supporter. He also played local footy for Lara and Melbourne Uni Blacks.


  1. That Boris game was painful. Was it the centenary of footy game as well? I recall watching it at about 2am Qld time – as the national TV schedule was still being dreamed up.

    This Boris game was also painful. yes, your assist observation is spot on. To the point where sectons of the crowd were screaming (often): “Just go back and kick the goal.”

    This week’s fan article in Inside Football is written by three Under 9 players whose coaches have encouraged them to get and go and look for a teammate. In the last month they have worked out that a player running flashes past a player standing still.

    The Geelong side could have done well to acknowledge the fruits of that approach. They were stagnant.

    I like Mac-Tip. And put Daniher in a top 4 side and you have a mega star.

  2. I witnessed a young boy in the half time Auskick kick 2 goals in 2 minutes. Pure joy etched on his face. I loved it too! I wish I could say I saw the same thing from the players during the game but I didn’t. Is the game becoming less enjoyable for the players too?

    Nice article, Andrew.

  3. Andrew Else says

    Correct JTH. In my haste I left out some important details. It was held on a Wednesday night to mark the 100th anniversary of the first ever game. There were calls of ‘go Same Olds’ and ‘go Pivotonians’ in the crowd.

    It was also Boris Bewick’s first game back from a reco and M Long did his knee slipping over while kicking for goal.

    The highlights are well worth watching…especially for all the Cats fans who say they love ‘the game’

  4. Nice one Andrew – I appreciate how you’ve tallied your games attended for future reference when the wheel inevitably turns. I reckon Dons fans who get to double figures in 2016 deserve a discount on next year’s membership.

    I remember the 1996 Centenary game well – I was Ron Barassi’s team manager and helped organise the pre-match legends game as a work experience placement at the AFL. Poor old Dick Reynolds was invited down from Queensland and got lost. Being in the rooms before and after the game was like a Jamie Cooper historical montage, but in real life.

  5. Paul Spinks says

    I prefer to recall the ’89 preliminary final myself, but the red and black Boris was hard not to admire, even when kicking goals against us.

    There were two things of note about Sunday’s game (from a TV perspective): Essendon were intent on limiting our scoring by crowding our forward line (and applying defensive pressure), and we were intent on giving them time to complete that task by exchanging handball pleasantries upfield.

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