Tag Archives: grand final celebrations

When The Cats Go Marching In! (2009 AFL Grand Final)

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Wow – Geelong are good at this cup-lifting thing! Looks like they’ve done it before…

Holy crap – what a day! A massive audience, a classic match and even the pre-match entertainment didn’t totally suck…well, until the Jersey Boys got involved! Yep, a limp-as-a-lettuce-leaf rendition of the national anthem – won’t that inspire to football masses to buy tickets to their crappy stage show!

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Chappy deservedly wins Norm…just don’t ask me how he did it!

Anyway, back to the footy and on a wet, cold day at the ‘G, it was Geelong that found their way to the front when it mattered to win a second flag in three seasons. On the verge of two straight grand final catastrophes, the Cats scored three goals to nil in the final term to earn the ultimate reward for their sustained excellence and become a truly great outfit. Look out, Lions!

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How would it feel to lead most of the way in a Grand Final and lose? Lenny Hayes pretty much sums it up…

One of these teams was always going to feel unfortunate to miss out on the great prize. Few could have predicted just how devastating defeat would become for the Saints…particularly when things quite easily could have gone their way had they capitalised on their opportunities early.

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Broken collarbone, busted nose, dream destroyed…hard to imagine anybody feeling worse than Brendon Goddard must have after the siren!

If there is any consolation for the St Kilda faithful, it seems to lie with the hard-line stance of the coach looking to ensure his club strives to improve and bounce back in 2010. The popular Max Hudghton won’t be back but it will be interesting to see if anybody else joins him on the sidelines…like little twerp goal sneaks who wear number 44, for example.

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Max Rooke claims himself some new wheels…might come in handy this week during the celebrations! Wonder if his psychic told him about this as well?

But enough HBF-style hardcore analysis…it’s time to wind down after a long season that again defied all expectations (and defied logic at certain stages) and let our collective hairs down! Then, maybe, we can start worrying about who will be the team to beat in 2010. Until then, may all your Mondays be Mad and your blondes a little better looking than this one!


Hawkmania! (The Lost Weekend)

The Hawks touch down in Tassie…no doubt it was a day full of cheers, beers and jokes about ‘maps’…

Hawthorn’s premiership celebration tour has taken to the air, crossed the Bass Strait and landed in Tasmania! The Apple Isle has a unique sponsorship arrangement with the club and the Hawks delayed the traditional post-season Mad Monday craziness to show off the silverware in Hobart and Launceston. The club president/master spruiker, a number of coaches and players paraded the cup to a host of happy Taswegians; including local product Grant Birchall, who Kennett delighted in revealing to all that he gave his two front teeth for Tassie during the game. At least his friends will know what to get him for Christmas this year…

Full credit to the Hawks for ensuring they included Tasmania in the celebrations – it might have been a little pricey but that would not be a worry for them at this point in time. And to get down there so quickly after the win…considering that many of the players would be feeling a little dusty after a massive Sunday! This included a monster turn-out at Glenferrie with an estimated 20,000 fans in attendance…though we doubt that the terminally-sour Don Scott was there (or within a 100km radius of the place!)

The League, of course, would also have been pleased with the effort Hawthorn have gone to in Tasmania – and secretly wishing this would be enough to appease the locals and make them forget about launching a bid for a Tasmanian team in the AFL…which has zero chance of being approved by the AFL. Um…no! It only seems to be making them more determined – Andy D will be thrilled.

Who would want to watch the newly-crowned premiers belt out the club song in the rooms straight after the game? Answer: Everybody…except Channel Seven!

The champs now head back to the mainland to collect the keys to the city of Hawthorn and, more than likely, belt out the club song another 20 or so times! Which brings us to the telecast of the grand final on Saturday. Overall, it was more than satisfactory – the pre-match entertainment had its traditional array of eye-raising moments but the usual impulse to switch off the TV didn’t kick in this year. That must be a good sign…though not everybody felt the same way!

After a seven year “hiatus”, Channel Seven did a pretty good job with the game telecast and despite having an over-crowded commentary team, managed to integrate them all without flooding the airwaves with useless chatter. But just when you thought that Seven had ticked all the boxes for the day, they stumbled badly with two minutes left in the telecast when it became apparent that they would not show the Hawks singing the club song in the rooms.

NEWSFLASH: We interrupt this broadcast of Hawthorn winning the flag to announce…that Hawthorn have won the flag!

And sure enough, after teasing viewers by showing live footage of the Hawthorn boys gathering in a circle to belt out the song, they cut away to the news. The network have been bagged all year for leaving out the winning team’s song on their Sunday game telecasts and then faced with the decision on the biggest day on the footy calendar, they stuffed it up again! Maybe next year, huh? Or the year after? Um, 2011?

The Cats will be back next year…let’s hope Matthew Scarlett’s hair also returns in 2009!

Meanwhile, probably in a dingy pub at the gateway to the Bellarine Peninsula, the post-mortem for Geelong continues. The place must still be in complete shock at the loss and the players are either totally blaming themselves or sticking up for those teammates who didn’t fire on Saturday. But the Cats are talking redemption in 2009, which they are well entitled to do, and seeing this missed opportunity as a mere blip on the radar as they navigate the path to football greatness.

A good analogy can always come in handy when everything goes to tripe but Frank’s Costa’s attempt to relate Don Bradman’s final innings to Geelong’s plight doesn’t quite workthe greatness of the Don was undisputed when he fell for a duck in his final knock and we don’t feel that Geelong are in that position at all. This is probably the equivalent of the Cats whacking a quick-fire double-century in 2007 before copping a ferocious Harold Larwood-style bouncer from the Hawks that sent them back to the pavilion! Mark Thompson’s boys need to respond in 2009 if they want to be categorised with the Bradman-like greatness of the three-peat Brisbane Lions.

Now that footy is over with for 2008…Half Back Flanker has no idea what to do! There is trade week coming up…and it looks like there could be some real activity this year rather than the usual round of 100-plus rumours that result in less than ten actual trades. So we will keep an eye on the events of trade week and see which big names will reject Collingwood again find greener pastures.

That’s What I’m Talkin’ About! (2008 AFL Grand Final)

If anybody was destined to go totally nuts on the podium today, it was Crawf…and you can’t blame him either!

Hawthorn have just upset the footballing applecart…tipped it on it’s head, in fact! Geelong failed to cash in on a season of rare dominance by falling short at the final hurdle and the Hawks now have a tenth premiership cup in their keeping. After losing just one match on the way to the grand final, the popular theory seemed to be that the match would be tight but Geelong would be the better side in the end…well, that idea went to shit in a series of failed forays forward and sprayed shots at goal from the Cats.

The stumpiest captain-coach combination in VFL/AFL history delivers another cup to Hawthorn…and Sammy Mitchell is so excited that he appears to be at half-mast!

With Norm Smith Medallist Luke Hodge directing traffic superbly from half back, the Hawks broke open a tight match in the third term with six goals and the misfiring Cats could not find a way to get back into the match. The win was a fitting reward for veteran Shane Crawford after 17 years service at Hawthorn. This may well be his final AFL game; as he has a long post-footy career of goofing off on crappy Channel Nine television shows ahead of him; but there could hardly be a better way to bow out of the game.

Bomber Thompson will be pissy at some of his players…but not this guy! Lil’ Ablett was Geelong’s best and nearly matched his father by winning Norm in a losing team. Head up, young fella!

Cats coach Mark Thompson was left to wonder whether the opportunity to win back-to-back was too great for some of his players.  They were more than competitive for a majority of the match but a surprisingly dysfunctional forward line and poor shooting at goal prevented them from gaining any advantage…and the Hawks made them pay big time! And when we say poor conversion in front of goal, we mean ‘record settting…try the third most behinds ever scored in a VFL/AFL grand final and the most by a losing grand final team!

So while Cats fans attempt to drown their sorrows, the Hawk faithful will be going completely feral tonight! As for Half Back Flanker, we will be sleeping off a big day of drinkies, home-made sausage rolls and some post-footy rockin’ out on Guitar Hero and will fully review the events of grand final day very soon. Until then; well done Hawks (have another celebratory Chang beer, DC…whichever country you are in right now!) and commiserations Cats (bad luck LuLi…and a shame Delta didn’t sing today. I love that bitch too!)