The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 8 – West Coast v Melbourne: What Dees fans are really like

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 Follow the season!



West Coast versus Melbourne
2.40pm, Sunday, May 20
Subiaco Oval, Perth



IT WAS WITH A SENSE OF FOREBODING that I sat down to watch this match. West Coast was in second position and Melbourne was second last. The contrast between their seasons was stark.


Encouraging noises were being made about the Demons’ prospects in the lead-up. Rodney Eade had said that the Demons were no slouches, and could well have knocked off the Bulldogs the previous week. Mark Williams’ comments after Melbournes game against Port Adelaide predicted an impending Demons victory. It is one thing, however, to be close and quite another to actually win.


The 1988 season was my football awakening. I went to 26 games that year, including the Grand Final against Hawthorn. Watching your team lose by 96 points on the last day in September can be traumatic for a 10-year-old. It was on that day that I first understood what it was to be a Dee. Seeing my father give a few of our under-performing stars what-for shaped me as a fan.


I settled in to watch this match with Dad. Watching footy with him is one of those experiences that I would not give up for anything.


In my experience, some clichés about Demons supporters hold true, others not so much. It is true, for example, that we do like those oh-so-discreet red and blue stickers on our cars. It is not true, contrary to what the Coodabeens insist, that these stickers are re-attachable. Believe me, I know supporters whove tried. These days the club sends a few stickers to members at the start of the season, not just the one. Its important to cover contingencies.


Similarly, it is not true that we all head off to the snow, nor is it true that were all Melbourne Cricket Club toffs (although there are a few who tick these boxes). I think the biggest Melbourne truism and this was something that was proved again during the course of this game against West Coast is that we have a large capacity to eat our own. Not a Richmondesque capacity, mind you, nor a St Kildadian ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, but a propensity to get stuck right in to the club. My Dad is one of those guys. I am one of those guys.


We love our Dees, but we hate supporting them in seasons like this one. Clubs like West Coast, on the other hand, are not burdened by bathos-laden decades of disappointment. And it shows. The Eagles exploded out of the blocks.


Thirteen shots at goal to one in the first 30 minutes; 17 inside-fifties to three; 10 clearances to one. Just as well the Eagles were inaccurate when shooting for goal. On the couch, things were quiet.


Its hard to get stuck in on the couch. Every yell is strangled as you notice the dog looking at you. Every cuss catches in your throat as the better half frowns. Instead of giving full voice to our frustrations, we were reduced to moans and moping. Adem Yze should have kicked this, Brad Green should have passed that. The Eagles purred along.


For the Demons, Travis Johnstone chased, Cameron Bruce did the best of the four who tried to shadow the golden Chris Judd, and James McDonald was his usual in-and-under self. But it was to no avail. Judd is from a different planet. Quentin Lynch was excellent up front with five goals, and could have had more had he kicked straight. Brent Staker was elusive and prolific. Tyson Stengleins handpassing hurt the Demons and Chad Fletcher was excellent by hand and foot.


For every hard-won handpass or mark the Demons could manage, the Eagles would have three or four clean possessions at pace. They ran the ball the length of the ground at will. Aside from Daniel Kerrs crashing bump on Bruce, which has cost him a couple of weeks and another chance at the Brownlow Medal, everything went right for the Eagles. It was not a matter of luck, or the bounce
of the ball, though. The Eagles are an excellent unit, a real football team. In comparison, the Demons are shambolic at times.


Five goals to one in the first quarter became eight to three at half-time. This told only half the tale. Twenty-two scoring shots to six was a better reflection of the Eaglessuperiority. At one point in the third quarter, the Eagles’ lead was whittled back to 25 points, but the third quarter ended with the Eagles leading by 13 goals to eight. In the end, it was 19 goals to nine, but 42 scoring shots to 15 was a more reasonable measure of the Coasters’ superiority.


The crowd at Subiaco saw a very good team trample a very ordinary team. Back in North Melbourne, Dad and I turned off the television and went outside. It was cold out there.

West Coast 5.8 8.14 13.18 19.23 (137)  
1.0 3.3 7.4 9.6 (60)

West Coast
: Lynch 5; Wirrpanda, Morton, Judd 3; Hansen, Kerr, Staker, Stenglein, Hurn.
Melbourne: Sylvia 3; Johnstone 2; Neitz, McDonald, Petterd, White.

West Coast: Judd, Kerr, Hansen, Staker, Lynch, Stenglein, Braun, Cox.
Melbourne: Johnstone, McDonald, Green, Sylvia, Yze.

 (WC) 3, Kerr (WC) 2, Lynch (WC) 1.

 (WC) 3, Lynch (WC) 2, Johnstone (M).

McBurney, Head, Hendrie.  



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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