Balneus

Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

The town and the passion

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-09-20


The Cats

Q: Why would a Saints supporter hope for the Cats to win the premiership next weekend?

A: If they are a member of the local constabulary or owner of a local small business.

The Geelong Football club has always been different, more deeply defined by geography: even the blue and white hoops representing the waves of Corio Bay.

It’s the only team that remains true to tradition, still playing at a suburban ground, still maintaining near-universal support in the community so that a partisan comment to a stranger will almost always meet with approval, and still with a good number of players born in the region.

Indeed, on-field performance determines regional economics: there is even a 10% productivity difference on Mondays depending on whether there was a win or loss on the weekend.

Some even say Geelong saved football a few years ago – refusing to compromise a flowing playing style when all other teams turned to ugly flooding and stop-start games that turned away spectators.  This may hark back to the different rules used in the region before accepting the codification of the game used in Melbourne 150 years ago.

That all the other teams have copied the Geelong style over recent years is a vindication of the team – even if we don’t get a premiership this year.  The Western Bulldogs (a.k.a. Footscray) have done an admirable job emulating Geelong – their finals match-up a couple of weekends ago would have pleased football purists of all allegiances: fast and skillful, hard but clean.

This week, you’ll be able to look up and down the main streets, see nothing but blue and white, nothing but smiling faces.

My tip for next weekend: Cats by 7 points.  If there are more than two straight kicks separating the teams at the end of the game I’d be surprised.

But ending Collingwood’s season, a smashing 120 to 47, so that as "The Age" said, "by the end of the game, [Collingwood supporters] were outnumbered by seagulls" – well that’s almost as sweet as a premiership, because most traitors in the region are Pies supporters.  (Somebody ought to do a study of arrest rates in Geelong based on team loyalty.)

Geelong v Melbourne 1880

Geelong v Melbourne 1880 (via wikipedia)


Admission of bias: I worked for the club during my uni days… mainly due to links through friends and family – which is only to be expected for a clan based in South-West Victoria for over 150 years.


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One Response to “The town and the passion”

  1. Lad Litter said

    Saints are vulnerable. The Cats should win. We think very highly of Mark Thompson where I come from and want only good things for him. Funny about the productivity increase – I’d expect victory to bring on low-output Bacchanalia.

    My connection to your neck of the woods is distant – family history investigation revealed great-great grandparents were married at St Mary’s church in 1846.

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