The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 12 – Carlton v Hawthorn: A half is enough to head to bed

The first printed edition of The Footy Almanac came out in 2007, before we had a website. In the absence of a real 2020 season, we will be publishing the 2007 pieces for the first time ever on www.footyalmanac.com.au. Follow the season!

 

 

Carlton versus Hawthorn

7.30pm, Friday, June 15

Telstra Dome, Melbourne

by PAUL MITCHELL

 

FOR THE FIRST TWENTY MINUTES, Carlton matched it with the highly fancied Hawks in the foggy Dome (how the AFL managed to get those special effects in after denying the Saints their spotlights and gadgets has yet to be revealed). With the Franklin-less Hawks finding plenty of other scoring options, including Jarryd Roughead and Luke Hodge, and with Carlton continuing their exuberance after wins against the Bulldogs and Port Adelaide, all eyes in my brother’s Geelong shed were trained on his 1970s colour television.

 

My Blues-hating, Tigers-loving brother’s shed contains several hundred empty stubbies, two beaten-up vinyl couches, a disused pool table, his painter’s truck, a life-sized cardboard cut-out of Matthew Richardson, two fridges, a pot belly fire, a DVD player, a barstool and tables, and a hi-fi. He has been known to go inside his house to shower. And, like his Tigers, the boy has a bit of an attitude problem.

 

After he’d played me a DVD of a violent, hard rock band called Black Label Society, whose claim to fame is that their fans drink the bar dry in every town in which they play, I finally got him to turn the footy on. He talked over the intro and anyone else in the shed trying to talk about anything. He told me that my recent book of short stories, that I’d gifted him, had cured his insomnia.

 

Midway through the first quarter, the Hawks wrested control, with their midfield dominant; Chance Bateman was taking every chance and Tim Boyle was a blister on the Carlton backline. Around this time, one of our boys (I’d had a few Coopers myself ) got caught in the middle of the ground, created a turnover, and the Hawks kicked a goal. I chucked my stubby holder at the television and my girlfriend, Jo, announced she was going to bed.

 

After the Blues versus the Bulldogs – when I’d acted like a goose – she said it might be worth modifying my behaviour. With my son Hugo sitting next to me and taking it all in, I said, “Honey, don’t punish me,” and she said, “I’m not punishing you; I just don’t want to see you like that.” Where other significant others had tried other approaches, Jo’s worked: I sat calmly through the second quarter, watching as Sam Mitchell and Shane Crawford dominated, and the Blues got neck strain watching the ball sail over their heads through the goals.

 

Some time before the long break, my brother and father had nicked off to the car, checked the radio, and discovered the full extent of the damage. So when I was still barracking (without being a tool) at the start of the second quarter, they looked at me like I was a twit. We know whats happening, give it up.

 

Part way through the third, with Hawthorn looking every bit as strong as the Hawks of the late 1980s – and with the margin above 50 points – the consensus was to turn off the footy.

 

“I’ve got to write this up,” I complained.
“It’s not real hard,” my brother said. “Just write, ‘Blues are shit’.”
“Just write it up from the paper tomorrow,” my Dad said.
I said, “I can’t do that…”
Jo, also a writer, put in her bit: “I think everyone will understand if you do that. It’s boring. I can’t put up with any more of this…”
I asked her what she’d do if the Dogs were getting thrashed by this much (the margin was ticking over 10 goals – the Hawks dominant on every line: Robert Campbell killing the Ackland-less Blues, and even St Kilda reject Brent Guerra getting amongst it.) “I’d go to bed with my boyfriend,” she said.

 

I noticed that no-one was watching the footy; my brother had got out his pet rat and snub-nosed dog for everyone to play with, and had, at the same time, begun to pay out on everyone in the room (he’d had more than a half-dozen cans before we arrived at 7.30pm from Melbourne). And I noticed Hugo had gone.

 

“Where is he?” I asked my Dad.

 

“He’s gone to watch Pirates of the Caribbean,” Dad replied. “Said he’s not sitting here and watching the Blues get smashed.”

 

Now that’s the heart of a Carlton fan. I remembered listening to the Blues when I was a kid and, if we started losing, I’d turn off the radio and start crying.

 

“Okay,” I said, “Fair enough. Let’s turn it off.”

In the second half, as the score line indicates, things got a lot worse.

 

Apparently Joel Smith, Simon Taylor, Trent Croad, Roughead – just about all the Hawks – ran riot. But I’d decided on the Bulldogs’ approach to losing and headed to bed with Jo. The last thing I heard before I got into my jim-jams was my pissed brother knocking on the door. He’d been listening on the car radio again.

 

“What?” I whinged.

 

“Hawks were 94 points up and then kicked a goal on the siren… a hundred points!” he laughed. No use reminding him that Richmond hadn’t won a game for the year. For a Tigers fan, a Carlton loss is as good as a Richmond draw.

 

 

Carlton  4.2 6.5 9.6 12.8 (80)

Hawthorn  6.4 13.6 18.13 27.18 (180)

 

GOALS

Hawthorn: Roughead 5, Hodge 4, Boyle, Croad, Ladson 3, Smith, Campbell 2, Lewis, Crawford, Ellis, Osborne, Birchall.

Carlton: Fevola 3, Fisher 2, Murphy, Waite, Wiggins, Whitnall, Walker, Koutoufides, Simpson.

 

BEST

Hawthorn: Smith, Crawford, Mitchell, Hodge, Lewis, Roughead.

Carlton: Walker, Fisher, Waite, Wiggins, Carrazzo, Scotland.

 

MILESTONES

Hodge (Hawthorn) 100 games; Pagan (Carlton) 100 games as coach at current club.

 

UMPIRES

McBurney, Avon, K. Nicholls.

 

OUR VOTES

Smith (H) 3, Crawford 2 (H), Mitchell (H) 1.

 

BROWNLOW

Hodge (H) 3, Mitchell2 (H), Crawford (H) 1.

 

CROWD

53,459 (Stadium record)

 

 

For more Round by Round reports of the 2007 season click HERE

 

Printed copies of The Footy Almanac 2007 can be purchased here.

 

2007 Footy Almanac

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