The Geelong Way

Scarlo’s gone for three. No surprises there! My niece, a friend and I all had a clear view of his brain fade induced left hook to the jaw of a Fremantle player and shook our collective heads. What was he thinking? Instantly my mind projected to the scene of “The G” next Monday week. Geelong versus Hawthorn. The great rivals. Hawks at the top of their game.

Now no Scarlett. Minus our great defender, will we be able to uphold Chappy’s famous pledge(made post the ignominious ’08 Grandfinal defeat) that we will never be beaten by Hawthorn? Who comes in? Gillies? Or will Hunt be available? The mind races with these oh-so-troubling thoughts. My bet’s on our No. 30 thinking along similar lines–his customary stony expression gives off the slightest hint of anguish as I line him up in the trusty binoculars.

Not a man to let his team down.

Played in excess of 250 games,involved in 3 premierships, named as an All-Australian 6 times, winner of a Carji Greeves medal, honoured in the Geelong Hall of Fame and has represented his country in International Rules Football.

That’s a man worthy of some respect. A Cat’s man to the core of his being.

But now he’ll be missing from our best 22 next week. And all because he allowed his emotions to defy his logic when confronted with a small pesky man called Hayden Ballantyne whose “priors” tell the story–charged for “pinching” Gary Ablett’s bottom and “pulling Harry O’Brien’s hair. A regular faker, a little man who gets under normally unflappable footballers’ skin and takes pride in doing so.

What was not well known to the viewers at that stage was that Ballantyne had decked our Chappy earlier, causing the bullock-like No. 35 to go down on all fours and spew his guts up. This happened to be way off the ball away from prying cameras’ eyes.

Small man, little man.

But it was in fact witnessed and he’s copped 2 weeks.

AFL fans, commentators, even players across the continent have been all of a twitter over Ballantyne, the would-be jockey who grew too tall for that calling. The slant of the content has been mixed with some calling for Scarlett to be given a medal whilst others including the AFL CEO saying the pesky-type player has and always will be part of our great game. A player from GCS said Scarlett just did what most of the competition’s players would have liked to do. Talkback radio was full of it.

But for mine, the off-ball incident puts the purple army’s No1 guernsey wearer into a different category-a nasty category, a less than courageous category and for that he loses my respect.

I gather the great Steve Johnson( who last year stepped into the Legendary category after against all odds in just 7 days overcoming an excruciatingly painful knee injury to help his teamates take home the Premiership Cup) views Ballantyne with disdain if his post-siren response on Saturday was anything to go by. Stevie appeared to lull Hayden into a false sense of security on approach before giving a verbal serve that obviously didn’t please the little pest. It caught him off guard and he looked boy-like as he had to stretch out to deliver StevieJ a feeble push in the back as the star walked away

Small man , little man.

I can’t agree with our coach Chris Scott on this one. Up to now he’s nailed “The Geelong Way”. To say he’d like  Ballantyne in our side,in my eyes, missed the mark.

Ballantyne’s way is not our way. Give us a Matthew Pavlich any day-a humble great who knows and respects fellow greats when he meets them.

For now we need to put that sour loss behind us, to move forward and take up the challenge of Alistair Clarkson and his Hawks.

That’s  “The Geelong Way”



  1. Hear, hear Jen. Well said. As another Cats fan I couldn’t agree more.

    Interesting too that last year Joel Selwood got 4 weeks for whacking a well-known antagonist a fair way off the ball (captured on grainy footage). This year a well-known antagonist (Ballantyne) gets 2 weeks for whacking Paul Chapman a fair way off the ball (captured on grainy footage). What message can we take out of this other than……Chooklotto rules!?

  2. Jen Costello says

    Yep agree Burkie–not much consistency and I reckon it should have been Ballantyne 3 and Scarlett 2–that would have made a statement …..

  3. Wow, you are fired up Jen. Such wonderful Cat passion.

    However, you could look at it this way.

    At about 10 mins into the first quarter much of the footy world would have been deleriously joyous with Geelong’s position.

    At the end of the game Geelong had lost no friends at all. Freo may have lost a few.

    Freo had played their trump card and just got over the line thanks to some dodgey Cat conversions.

    If the Cats had won they would have thought they were invincible. (Would you blame them) That would be dangerous.

    They lost and they didn’t look all that happy after the game. They look fairly pissed of actually. Good sign.

    Scarlett is out, enabling some one else to step up. They will have to sooner or later.

    It will probably be Scarlett’s last season so he will have some thinking time to work out how he finishes up. Not rubbed out again.

    If Hawthorn can’t beat us on Monday they might as well give up.

    If they win the monkey (gorilla) is off their back and I would argue off the Cats back.

    This will be a long hard season. We have many quality players to come back in. We will definately be up around the front of the pack loitering with intent come the business end of the season.

  4. Phantom – you’ve obviously been doing much thinking in the jungle cave. Sound logic all of it.

  5. Jen Costello says

    Love your comments Phantom —–and yes I’ve quietly thought the loss isn’t such a bad thing and certainly believe our prospects continue to remain very strong for the year ahead. Hope Christensen is in for 4 quarters next week.

  6. Gotta say I agree Jen.

    I heard Chris Scott today say that
    “I’m quite close to Hayden and I have a lot of respect for him.”

    Maybe Scott empathises with him a little, as he played a role for the Lions that was sometimes frowned upon, but I don’t have an inch of respect for Ballantyne. Yes he is a good player, yes his tactics are effective and he is entitled to play whatever game he likes (within the rules) but equally, I reserve my right to say that he is a shit.

    I’m thinking of making a purple and white banner for the return leg (which by the way the AFL have been scheduling Cats Freo games will be in 2019) that says something like “Crowley, Soloman, Ballantyne: Cream of Freo”

  7. Richard Naco says

    I love your passion, Jen – now that is truly The Geelong Way.

    And full marks as well, O Ghost Who Walks. Both sage scribes of The Pivot.

    If we’re going to surrender the premiership points, we’ve done it to a side who played out of their skin. And in the best possible round in which to play like that.

    We’ve done it early enough in the season for a very proud and committed group to actually be embarrassed by the way they played. A game like that is spinach for the soul of a champion team, and that burning need to prove that this game was an aberration is precisely the blowtorch to the belly that only a Grand Final loss can otherwise deliver.

    We were made to look thin skinned & basically thick, and a team which is anything but will have that need for redemption burning inside their hearts for the remainder of 2012. Grand Final feelgoodiness was well and truly purged from the steely soul of the Cats last Saturday evening.

    Freo did no other team any favours.

    Except Geelong.

    GO CATS!

  8. Richard Naco says

    Edward: it’s only time till he’s the creamed of Freo.

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: regardless of his undoubted talent or the fact that he’s supposedly a really decent bloke away from the playing field, I wouldn’t want me son to grow up to be like him.

    (Well, he can’t. My son is 12yo and is already 10cms taller for starters.)


  9. Hayden Ballantyne (in the style of The Choirboys)

    They said that you were dirty scum
    That you were no model for a son
    Takin’ orders from Ross Lyon

    He was running down the corridor
    Looking for the ball so he could score
    You ran in with elbow high

    You just wanted to be his friend
    When he slapped you went arse-over-end
    Umpy said he crossed the line

    They think they’ve got you all worked out
    And they’d never let you take their youngest daughter out
    But they just got you misunderstood
    and Chappy’s throwin’ his guts up (throwin’ his guts up)
    Throwin’ his guts up……

    He’s Freo’s number one
    He’ll bait you just for fun
    His name is…Hayden Ballantyne
    (Throwin’ his guts up)

    He’ll be nice to your mum
    Works at a soup kitchen
    His name is…Hayden Ballantyne

  10. Phil Dimitriadis says

    Small man, little man took some big scalps and helped get his team over the line.

    Wonder if this will become the way to rankle you Geelong types with your idealistic view of how the game should be played. Looking forward to Cats players and fans getting niggled more often in 2012. It’s quite entertaining.


  12. Mark Doyle says

    Interesting comments from the one-eyed fanatical hero worshipping supporters! The Fremantle/Geelong game was a great game of footy and the Cats lost because of poor discipline; a couple of 50 metre penalties and Matty Scarlett getting ‘sucked in’ for a free kick goal from the goal square. Don’t blame Ballantyne, Cats supporters! I suggest that all footy supporters try and boycott the media commentary of AFL footy – you will enjoy the TV telecast more by muting the sound on Fox Footy so that you avoid the inane and meaningless commentary. Do not listen to the radio coverage because radio broadcasters/commentators can only appreciate footy by reference to meaningless statistics. Do not read the Melbourne Herald Sun, which is nothing more than trivial nonsense. Do not read the Melbourne Age because most of their AFL footy writing is ill-informed and meaningless speculative opinion.

  13. pamela sherpa says

    One week into the season and it’s on for young and old! Yay footy! I wouldn’t be worried too much Geelong people. There’s a long season ahead and old blokes like Scarlo can benefit with a rest now and again.

  14. Mark, I agree.

    What I believe we should all be doing is not only muting the sound, but actually turn the television off altogether. Then, tune the radio to 774.

    This raises another problem: the ABC commentary team. As you once put it, these are a bunch of supercilious nitwits the likes of which are unprecedented in AFL/VFL history. What I encourage, is to mute the radio altogether, or at the very least turn of all the high-mid frequencies so all you are left with is a sub 10Hz hum. This closely simulates intrauterine acoustics and, if you suck your thumb, it’s just like being back in the womb!

    As far as print media goes, I buy Inside Football, and this is so I can take it home, douse it in kerosene and ceremonially burn the f**ker. I’ll be damned before I read any opinion of any so called “Journalist.” I don’t care if they work for a boutique publication or otherwise.

    Finally, the matter of web based or user created content. The only website I frequent is (naturally). Don’t be fooled though, I don’t actually read any of it. I just post my own supremely informed content (garnered of course from not reading or listening to ANYTHING other than myself) and politely point out instances where all other users demonstrate a (not inconsiderable) lack of knowledge, education, wit or intellect – all without reading any of it.

  15. Burkie,
    The Joel Selwood suspension remains a
    blight on the tribunal system.

  16. Phil Dimitriadis says

    LOL Edward :)

  17. John Harms says

    As a devotee of the Parkinson genre I’ve always thought the show demonstrated that people seek fame because it gives them the freedom to talk about themselves. Ed, we are happy to provide that service here at the Almanac. Very funny commnet, Ed, among some discussion which leaves me smiling.

  18. Edward, I think you are a shoo-in (or is that a shoe-in? I don’t know; I’m too ill-informed) for this week’s FAB (Footy Almanac Banter) Rising Comment award. But what do I know? I thought Clay Smith was a shoo-in for this week’s NAB Rising Star nomination.

  19. I used to rely on Almanac opinions. Whatever Phantom said, I believed and did the opposite. Now he’s writing calm, reasoned, objective logic. I just don’t know who to turn to.

  20. Hawthorn’s fourth best biggish forward will be happy this week… no Scarlett.

  21. Les – nice dig. I could say that Geelong’s smallest player might be nervous because Buddy could throw a punch at him this week – but I won’t.

    Edward – double lol.

  22. Edward, nice poem.

    Regarding your banner; Is Soloman the bloke who likes kayaks, rapids and unleashing sweet lemon soft drink all over his face or are you speaking of former Essendon premiership player Dean Solomon, who likes unleashing his elbow all over Cameron Ling’s face?

    I don’t condone Ballantyne but I think we need to tone down the hyperbole. 15 year olds that have drunk a skinful of cheap grog spew their guts up. Chapman vomited, sure but he looked pretty unaffected for the rest of the game. You’d think he was in ICU based on some of the responses here. Imagine if he’d hit someone in the head so it affected his hearing?

    I was at the game, Geelong were excellent for the most part. Notwithstanding the possible loss to Hawthorn this weekend you’ll be top 4 for sure,

  23. “I don’t condone Ballantyne but I think we need to tone down the hyperbole.”

    I resent that Jonathan. I have never seen or heard any hyperbole used rhetorically on this website whatsoever. Never ever. That is the worst comment I have ever heard.

    Also I appreciate your concern over me getting my “o’s” and “a’s” mixed up. It’s frightfully easy to do, as you would know. I will never happen again Jonathon. Ever.

  24. No problems Ed Wood happy to assist. If we don’t watch our spelling then we face anarchy; people could confuse Solomon with Neil Diamond’s Soolaimon, and on behalf of Freo that is a charge I’m not prepared to wear.

  25. Rick Kane says


    re, “I will never happen again Jonathon. Ever.” Was that a Freudian, Jungian, Dylanian or Almanacian slip of the typewriter?

    One of the things I love about The Geelong Way is how pure of conscience and clean the play. Can you be that tough and determined and be that clean? Apparently the Cats are. At least the mighty Hawks of the 80s wore their toughness and dirt on their sleeve.


  26. Robbo-inian

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