Round 1 – Geelong v Hawthorn: Tell me why I don’t like Mondays

You’ve probably seen the meme doing the social media rounds. The one that asks what season you like best. It sports quite literal images of the four seasons before proudly declaring, I love footy season. As my son Jackson and I waited at Bell St station, along with others in their tribal gear, texting a friend in Perth who barracks for the Cats and then a real friend who happens, coincidentally, to be a Hawks supporter, I thought, man, that meme is so corny. But you know what, I love footy season. I really do.

We walk down the grassy incline through the parked cars to Gate 3 at the G listening to the droning stadium messages and taking in the spectrum of colour and hum of activity. Where the grass and concrete meet I stop to gaze up at the walled perimeter of this stadium and take in the moment. I really do love footy season. It is its own reality or realities. So much of it is prosaic and so much is extraordinary.

Now we are in the throng, hardly moving towards the gate. There are security guards standing at what look like fold out tables purchased at Bunnings, checking bags. That slows the rolling crowd down to a stony faced mob. While technology has improved logistics of moving mass crowds we still haven’t nailed the bag checking thing. I love that too.

There are barcodes and screening guns and in the middle of this brave new world I must open my bag (which will reveal a jacket, some chocolates and a thermos of oolong tea). This process is conducted by some security dude who never quite correlates with the weighty reasons we have security checks these days. Then we are off and up the escalator. Footy season beckons.

On level four of the Olympic Stand we trudge up the stairs to god knows where and find a couple of seats. The thing about the MCG is that you can sit pretty much anywhere and be guaranteed of a good seat. And we sit. And I let out a little, “oh yeah!”

For the next couple of hours this is our patch. Our country. We will scream and holler, disagree and challenge, tighten our fists and clap like excited dolphins. We will talk in animated and exaggerated tones and terms, flail about like lost ideas and push our right, crooked, pumped-up arm skywards, through the fabric of time itself in salute of that moment when brilliance becomes electric. This is footy season and I love it.

At quarter time I’m not quite as sure of my love for footy and my ramblings are not quite so romantic. By half time I’m wishing the oolong tea was something a shitload stronger. And damn the bloody thermos. It’s the real deal and doesn’t it keeps the tea hot. Yes, I love that, of course I do. But who really cares for smug little inventions that do the heavy lifting without reward or recognition. Oh, I’m not talking about my thermos. I’m angry with my team. Where are the heavy lifters? And who in the name of fairy bread is Number 35 for the Cats? Is it Superman?

On the way to the game I had texted my Hawks friend in Perth. It said: “not feeling overly confident, lot of newies in the team”. Newies, hell, I didn’t even know who Pittonet was. By half time our lack of depth was half the story. The other half was Dangerfield. Man is he good. He runs, he jumps, he gives as good as he gets and his bloody smile is too cool for skool. He must be destroyed … mmmm, did I say that out loud or was that a thought in my head?

For one quarter the Hawks showed one and all what they’re made of, and it aint just frogs and snails. For one quarter we dared dream. Not the four in a row dream (way too early for that). No, just the dream about doing the Cats in. It was, as some random commentator would say, special. Then it got unspecial.

As you can imagine, Jackson (my Cats loving son) had the most of the day. I like him when he enjoys himself but I like him more when he’s sullen. Cue plenty of photo opportunities in the Third. He had found a friend in a guy sitting in front of us. The guy’s girlfriend was a Hawks supporter, he, a Cat. There was some ribbing through the first half and then Jackson and his older mate fell quiet for about 31 minutes while the two of us got our loud on.

During the Last Jackson and his new mate found another voice in their back pocket. I swear, they did not need to be noisier. Jackson even instigated a Geelong call and response and his friend led the chorus. When Dangerfield took that speccy such was their excitement that the guy offered Jackson his beer. I declined on behalf of my 14 year old son, pointing out that he was driving me home today.

If one swallow does not a summer make then as day follows night and shittiness follows a loss, one Dangerfield does not a footy season make. They might beg to differ down the other end of the Princess Hwy and good luck to them. Up in the leafy suburbs of Preston where some of us barrack for the mighty Hawks we will lick our wounds, make excuses and ready ourselves for next week. Footy season is here and I love it.

About Rick Kane

Up in the mornin', out on the job Work like the devil for my pay But that lucky old sun has nothin' to do But roll around Heaven all day


  1. Magnificent RK. One Dangerfield does not make a season, but the Cats really needed to beat the Hawks on Monday. I have to say I quite enjoyed it. It was good to see them do it. Though the giving up of multiple goals is still a concern by the look of it.

    I watched the game in The Gift Hotel in Stawell. Plenty of noise when No. 35 for Geelong was tearing the game up in the last quarter. Pity he can’t kick. But I liked the game of No.6. He’s a beauty.

    This game was tough and hard and great viewing.

    How did Jackson go negotiating the traffic on the drive home?

  2. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Great work Slim,
    I went to the game to get my mind off Saturday night’s debacle and had a wonderful afternoon watching open, skillful footy. Thought you might run over them in the last after excellent 3rd quarter. P. Dangerfield is a class player in any era. I’ve learned from painful experience to not write the Hawks off. Long way to go. And yes the security, first time I got metal detected at the footy.

    Does this mean that the war of terror is targeting newly radicalised Hawthorn fans?

  3. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Great stuff,RK a really enjoyable read bloody,Dangerfield is a freak and may well turn out to be the most important recruit in years ( I reckon the crows will only wear black arm bands for about 5 years )
    must admit I found the Glenelg oval bar to watch the footy as the Vic’s got well on top in the shield final.
    The Hawks have been amazing at coping with injuries time will tell if they can cope with the very significant current crop

  4. jan courtin says

    I really enjoyed this read Rick. Yes, the footy season is here, and I love it too!

  5. Steve Hodder says

    I was fishing the La Trobe River on Monday and called into the Noojee Hotel at 3/4 time for a pot and a score Both had me feeling quite buoyed and so I happily rambled off to keep casting a fly. On the Tuesday I ran into someone on the Tanjil River who told me Hawthorn had been overwhelmed in the last phase of the last quarter. I reckon I’ve seen that before. Lots of seasons, lots of ebbs and flows. The trout wind down as the footy dials up.


  6. Rick Kane says

    Thanks to your very generous comments. (I’ve only just got back to this).

    Dips, a pub called The Gift. Love it. I trust it’s The Gift that keeps on giving. Jackson was fine driving the tram home by the way.

    Mr LB, the game was great to watch … at times

    Thanks Malcolm and yes, we’ll see how they battle through the current injury list. It was heartening to see the mid level players improvement against the WC Evils

    Thanks Jan, let’s hope I love it more than you :)

    What can I say Mr Hodder, your fishing analogy is terrific. “The trout wind down as the footy dials up.” has got to be the first line of a novel surely.


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