Round 21 St Kilda v Geelong: On good terms with ourselves … not quite…


Stephen Alomes
St Kilda vs Geelong
Bright Lights (Docklands) Stadium
Saturday night, 22 August 2015



It was my third recent visit to ‘almost bright lights’ stadium.


The ‘sad’ moment when Essendon imploded, again, when it was “Claustrophobic Catastrophe” stadium with the roof closed on a clear day. I was tempted by my French friend’s Guardian Weekly when the game fell apart in the second quarter. Does the game need a ‘mercy’ rule?


The smiling assassin moment, or so it seemed from the pics, when Luke Hodge bumped Wingard near the post, seen on television only, as Hawthorn turned ‘unsociable’ football into very nasty, unsociable football…as in how some people rewrite that song…’We’re a thuggish team….’


Saturday 22 August was the Cats vs St Kilda and I went with another Cats member and a Swans supporter. Often, I go for the easier option of TV as I can leave the room or when the game gets tense I can try something else for a while (New Tricks, Sex and the City or that great Martha Gellhorn Ernest Hemingway biopic, in which Nicole Kidman won over those who are tempted to boo her)….not the crazy me of adolescence, upset Saturdays, downcast Sundays after a loss…now moving to a ‘life should be a little easier’ default position, as the computer says!


After St Kilda kicked four opening goals, I asked, inappropriately as I was reminded, ‘what’s on TV tonight?’ The Cats came back but were slow out of the blocks in the opening minutes of the next quarters too. And Stevie J admixed magic, goals from all angles, with folly, dropping a chest mark and ambling in to goal not knowing he was hot – lucky to get a point. Nick Riewoldt was getting plenty of possessions often on the backline but was not the star you might sometimes come to watch, Sam Gilbert and Montagna were getting their share of the ball, while Darren Minchington (who?) kicked three.


St Kilda lacked tall timber except for their imported American redwood tree, Jason Holmes, and therefore won many centre clearances. Frequently, they outmarked the Cats in one to one marking contests around the ground. The Cats missed Kelly turning defence into attack and the goals and movement from Duncan. St Kilda, without Armitage, showed more desire as they moved the ball forward, rather than sideways like the 8 handball-chain Cats.


While the Cats kept up this season’s accuracy, and avoided having their usual quarter sleep, cat naps after each opening siren had the same result. Nor did the Cats have the usual variety of goalkickers and Selwood was unusually sluggish after his game out. Motlop was getting plenty of the ball but was the second playmaker not having his usual impact.


At half time with the Cats having come back to a 1 point lead, I emailed the FA superguru, with deep bow after my time in Japan, saying I was interested in writing up the game, especially if we were ‘on good terms with ourselves’…


Well, almost, not quite, no, definitely not. Having created some new concepts recently, Dropsy (dropping things) and Lostsy (losing things) I now have to add Confusey – as Hamlet said ‘the world is out of joint…’, and ‘cursed spite’ that we the supporters wish/think we could set it right. Like many I was confused when the result was a draw – St Kilda 14.13 (97) Geelong 15.7.97.


Wuz we robbed? Maybe, did Motlop take short steps or long strides before kicking that goal – if the former, definitely….etc The unbiased Swans supporter said yes. Yes, definitely. Grand theft larceny as Mr Holmes might call it, if he was wearing horizontals not verticals!


The really good news is that I wuz not robbed. Unlike the Cats, I had an adrenaline rush…but just avoided a car crash, apologies to the Mixed Metaphor Department. When I left home, unusually, I locked the front gate which I hadn’t been doing. Went off to din dins with friends and then we went to concrete central. Got home to find front gate stiff as always, and locked. But I wuz not robbed. Had left the wire door ajar, the front door open, and the other Cats, Mal and Genki (Mal after Mal Pascoe, a Hobart story, Genki Japanese for energetic, although usually applied to a boy…and she’s a girl) were quietly asleep and had not decamped.


Next time, I’ll handball the adrenaline to the capital C Cats!


Or are the Cats too much in transition – older players with less run in their legs, younger players who aren’t ready to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and kick goals at the psychological moment?


And finally, as one lady caller to nostalgia rock said later that night, a draw is like having a bath with an overcoat on. Pleased that even in my Dropsy, Lostsy and Confusey moments I haven’t done that yet.



ST KILDA   5.4   8.7   11.9   14.13 (97)
GEELONG   5.1   9.2   13.4    15.7 (97)


St Kilda: 
Bruce 3, Minchington 3, Hickey 2, Gilbert 2, Membrey, Savage, Riewoldt, Newnes
Geelong: Johnson 4, Hawkins 3, Vardy 2, Mackie, Taylor, Gregson, Guthrie, Motlop


St Kilda: 
Riewoldt, Gilbert, Newnes, Steven, Bruce, Minchington, Fisher
Geelong: Motlop, Guthrie, Johnson, Hawkins, Enright, Taylor



* Stephen Alomes’ article on AFL corporate culture and the people, which follows from his book, the history, present and futurology of Australian Football The People’s Game 1958-2058  ( appeared in the Age on Monday (click HERE to read Steve’s op-ed).






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