Saturday Night Weird

Football on Saturday night was weird – on a number of levels. Let’s start with the game itself. I heard Adelaide’s coach at his post match press conference talk about what a good game of football had just taken place. I tried to work out which game he had been at. The one I had just witnessed was not a good game of football.

I went to the game with two daughters who were on the home stretch of their forty-hour famine. Audrey is a Collingwood supporter, but Ursula is Geelong. Ursula’s only objective was to be not left at home on her own thinking about food. We went into the Frank Grey Smith bar and discussed whether a glass of raspberry was allowed under the forty-hour famine rules. We were joined by Jim Thompson and his friend Kerry, both Collingwood supporters and both from Geelong. Jim’s daughter is also doing the forty-hour famine, but instead of food, she has given up furniture. Jim is not sure how, under the rules, she was allowed to sleep in her own bed on Friday evening. Compared to that, a raspberry soft-drink must surely be within the rules. Kerry’s husband has no interest in football so she is happy to join like-minded people at the MCG, although she has a jinx reputation with Collingwood games attended.

My secondary objective of the evening was to keep up with the election results. I don’t have phone internet access so chose twitter. I selected Annabel Crabb as my source and opted to receive her tweets via phone. Throughout the preceding few days she had been recruiting watchers who would be working as scrutineers at various polling booths and would feed through information to Annabel (if you follow someone on twitter you are allowed to address them by their first name). I also added Sophie Black, editor of Crikey, probably because she is a Collingwood supporter.

By quarter time Collingwood have kicked one goal, and I have eighteen unread tweets from Annabel. Collingwood has an ineffectual forward line and Maxine McKew is in trouble. Jim and Kerry adjourn early back to the bar and remain there until after half time. Early in the second quarter Leigh Brown goals and Travis has his first miss. At half time Collingwood are still down, three goals to four, and I too go to the bar. There are televisions tuned to channel nine so a bit of election detail is added, but I return to my seat for the third quarter.

A mark to Chris Dawes is greeted by fireworks from the neighbouring AAMI park where Melbourne Storm are playing. Dawes fails to make the distance. Tippett goals for Adelaide and a point to Wellingham is followed by a Cloke goal from the boundary. More fireworks and a quick Adelaide reply from Stevens. Collingwood look a rabble. Three quarter time has Collingwood 4-10-34 to Adelaide 6-8-44. At the break the players head to their clusters and I am surprised to see that a few Collingwood players still consider themselves forwards. I hadn’t seen that from their performance. Audrey, the Collingwood supporter, is so bored, she wants to go home

Annabel advises for the first time that we could have a hung parliament. A miss by Adelaide on the run sees the ball travel up the other end and Cloke marks. Kicking from 25 metres at a 10 degree angle from straight in front, he misses to the left. Soon after he marks again, this time kicking from the left-side boundary, and misses well to the right. Ten minutes into the last quarter and no goals have been kicked. More fireworks. I think I am at the wrong venue. Leigh Brown finally goals after a Dawes advantage goal is disallowed. Twelve and a half minutes and the Crows lead by a point. Cloke marks, five metres in from the boundary on the right, and kicks from forty-five. Misses to the left and scores are level. Up the other end Taylor Walker goals from a free-kick. Didak replies. Cloke marks five metres from the left boundary and has to kick from thirty metres. Jim declares “he will slot this”. The kick doesn’t even travel the full distance. Rushed. This is getting worse. Somehow Collingwood lead for the first time since early in the first quarter. It seems that the air is heavy – few kicks travel as far as they should. A Ben Johnson kick from forty-seven metres is marked by Dale Thomas just outside the goal square to the right. He misses. Collingwood by two points. Wellingham on the run also misses a very gettable shot.

The siren sounds. We have a result. Collingwood are officially the winners of the McLelland Trophy. The meaninglessness of that award seems appropriate given the standard of the game just witnessed. But at least there is a result. Collingwood go into the finals and now have to deal with the Sainters and the Dogs and the Catters, amongst others. That is probably a bit more inviting than what Julia and Tony have to do – try and deal with the Windsors and the Oakeshotts and the Katters – amongst others. Sorry – that needs a lot more work.

About Andrew Fithall

Probably the most rational, level-headed Collingwood supporter in existence. Not a lot of competition mind you.


  1. Andrew,

    Ursula’s Cats overcame the 40 year famine so I trust she managed to see out the 40 hour famine.

    Raspberry and lemonade is a very nice drink on a hot summers day.

  2. Jim Thompson says

    I cant believe I declared Travis Cloke would slot that one from the boundary – obviously spent too much time in the bar!

  3. John Butler says

    Not the same Jim Thompson who wrote “The Killer Inside Me” I presume?

    Audrey and Ursula, did you have anyone in mind there AF?

  4. Very good AF,

    I particularly liked “Collingwood has an ineffectual forward line and Maxine McKew is in trouble”…….. creating visions for me of Maxine streaming through the centre square, looking forward for someone to kick to, deciding to take an extra bounce, …….. and being unsuspectingly run down from behind by some bloke (perhaps carrying a tennis racquet). Ball! She’s gone.

    That is all

  5. David Downer says

    “Sainters and the Dogs and the Catters”
    “Windsors and the Oakeshotts and the Katters”

    Not sure they do need more work AF ..if you look at each more closely, in an abstract sorta way, they all fit rather nicely!


  6. Geez David,

    you’re walking a fine line there associating us with
    ‘the Kat(ter) in the Hat’

  7. Andrew Fithall says

    David – my use of Katters and Catters was deliberate. Just hopelessly structured.

    Arma – I laughed at your vision – very funny. Did it occur to you that if we combine the names of Maxine’s conquerer and the writer of comment #5, we end up with a cross-dresser in high heels (and former leader of the Liberal Party)?

    And I loved this piece of analysis by Paul Harkin from the Floreat Pica Society:

    Matthew Lloyd bestowed best on ground honours to Adelaide’s Will Young on Saturday night. Admittedly, his opponent Harry O had a shocker, but BOG? He amassed 2 kicks, 1 mark, a goal (given to him on a plate by Goldie) and 3 tackles. On those stats, I reckon Presti has been BOG at least 12 times this season, That makes 36 Brownlow votes, I think he’s got it in the bag.

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