Round 23 and other anomalies (from a pumped Bluebagger)



It used to be the teams with the most wins who played finals. But Essendon’s marvelous doping scandal has thrown all the rules out the window.


For months, like all other footy followers, I have followed the story of James Hird and his “Whatever it takes” policy application at Windy Hill. His denials and defiance have intrigued and frustrated me. I have devoured info, even printed out the AFL Charge sheet & under-lined bits.


Yet, the day it was over & he accepted his punishment (not enough for me, I want them to suffer more than we did), I completely lost interest.


What did interest me, however, was the fact the Blues could make finals!


I wasn’t the only one interested, I might add. Juddy changed overnight from  a wounded warrior in a knee brace to a grinning brace-less participant at training drills at Princes Park.


Carlton hasn’t competed much in Spring for more than a decade. Ratts got us to Perth in the first week of September 2011, and I was so excited that I went there. We lost by one miserable kick.


Now, by virtue of Essendon’s crime, we are playing again in Spring, and I’m pumped! I know the records say we have only won 11 games, but the way I  see it, we have just been awarded the 2 games that the dodgy Bombers stole from us, with their questionably amazing, come-from-behind, one-kick wins in R. 11 and R. 22. As I see it we are, by default, a 13 win team.


Of course, this means that all the other teams that the Bombers beat in heart-breaking come-from-behind wins could argue likewise, but awarding West Coast the win in R.14 or Freo in R.3 would still have us playing in September. Yes, we certainly deserve to be there.


Playing finals, even just one game, has put a spring in my step.  Is this how Geelong supporters have been feeling for year? I cheerfully thank the butchers (Bombers fans) for the opportunity they have awarded us. I sing “Dah da-da da-dah” loudly as I walk past my fruiterers (Richmond), likewise at the newsagency. This is great!


Of course, we nearly blew it.  I dragged my husband to that game in Adelaide, and we sat in a sea of teal and stripes. The game was sold out the day before (a fact lost on my brother who woke up Saturday & decided to drive to Adelaide), Port paraded its past champions before the game, a nasty tactic used to great effect against Carlton by North in the past, and the Blues were not switched on. In fact, it was a wonder we weren’t down by more than 39 points.


The final siren awarding us a one point win was the best sound I have heard all year. Roll on finals! Nyah-nyah Bombers!


  1. Peter Fuller says

    I went too, the first time I have been to a match outside Victoria. A very ordinary performance for two and a half quarters transformed by a super finish. Maybe we’re a chance on Sunday if the team of the final forty minutes turns up, rather than the one which under-performed until midway through the third.
    I’m disappointed for your brother; I decided to go several weeks ago, as much for the sense of occasion of the last match at the ground. My early decision looked stupid/inspired at differing times as the Bulldogs, Dockers and Bombers made us look third-rate, but then there was the hiccup of the surprise win against Richmond. Anyway, very glad I made the trip, a great occasion and a wonderful win. Walking on the ground after the game gave me a nice rush of nostalgia too, ducking flying footballs.

  2. Barbara Smith says

    We got my brother in, Peter! Port released 200 tickets when he was more than halfway there. He was prepared to just watch from three quarter time when they opened the gates. They still do that, don’t they?? He missed the first quarter, probably lucky there, and drove back to Mekbourne about two minutes after the final siren!
    And yes, we’re a chance if Good Carlton turns up.

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