Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Dogalogue - Ranking our games against the Bulldogs since 2005

You might have heard that there's a big game against Footscray (never Western Bulldogs) coming up on the 25th. It continues a series that began in Round 4, 1925, went through a World War, a famous-for-the-wrong-reasons Grand Final, and survived multiple attempts to kill one or both clubs off.

I can't specifically remember my first game against them, but it was probably Round 8, 1991, the day our cheersquad risked it all with a banner reading 'Our objective - Beat Footscray, then worry about the good sides'. They did, but the good sides proved too much for us.

If only I'd started long, rambling, weekly posts at age 10 I'd know exactly which game it was, where I sat, what the chips tasted like, and which of Ricky Jackson, Steve O'Dwyer or Rod Owen's three goal hauls were better. Fortunately, that all changed in 2005 when our very good friends at BigFooty invited me to start writing Demonblog. Now we can use almost 17 full seasons of match reviews (except a 2006 pre-season match I didn't bother to cover, possibly due to forgetting it was on) to rank them from worst to best.

If we win the flag that's obviously going straight into #1 with a bullet. If we lose I won't be updating this list to acknowledge it.  

32. Round 15, 2011 (or 'Dog Day Aftermath')
Footscray 19.13.127 d. Melbourne 8.15.63
Goals - Petterd 2, Howe 2, Trengove 2, Watts 2, Sylvia 1

  • Turned up for a big Friday night game sitting eighth, lost to an inferior team by 10 goals
  • Pre-match arguments with a workplace executive who kept going on about somebody called 'Cementhead'.
  • Actual Bulldog paraded around the ground before a school marching band came on as entertainment hadn't been invented yet.
  • Woman in front of me ate a sandwich that smelt like it had been pulled from Docklands harbour
  • Started the rot that led to a 186 point loss four weeks later
  • All but entirely reusued an earlier post title

31. Round 2, 2008 (or 'I Hate You So Much Right Now')
Footscray 24.17.161 d. Melbourne 9.12.66
Goals - Neitz 2, Robertson 2, White 2, Davey 1, Green 1, Jones 1

  • Disappointing 2007 officially declared 'not a fluke'
  • Poor old Isaac Weetra unfairly seals his spot as a punchline for years to come
  • Forgot where my seat was after going for comfort food
  • Ended the day with a percentage of 36
Footscray 24.9.153 d. Melbourne 8.7.55
Goals - Hogan 3, Garlett 2, Dawes 1, Gawn 1, Watts 1
  • Margin on 186 pace during an eight goal to nil first quarter
  • Won the third quarter 33-2 and still lost by 98 points
  • Bulldogs record highest ever score by a side kept goalless in one quarter 
  • Docklands referred to as 'House of Horror'. Now I quite like it.

29. Round 2, 2006 (or 'Death of a Salesman')
Footscray 20.17.137 d. Melbourne 12.18.90
Goals - Robertson 3, Bruce 1, Carroll 1, Davey 1, Green 1, Jamar 1, Moloney 1, Neitz 1, Sylvia 1, White 1

  • Docklands smelt like spew
  • Unkind references to Byron Pickett carrying a few kilos
  • Much nervousness as we dropped to 0-2
  • Walked out in premature disgust during the last quarter. Imagine if I knew what was coming in a couple of years.
  • Got home seven minutes later due to living next door.
Footscray 15.14.104 d. Melbourne 15.7.97
Goals - Bate 4, Robertson 3, Maric 2, Davey 1, Jones 1, McLean 1, Petterd 1, Sylvia 1, Valenti 1
  • Surprised it took five seasons to do this obvious post title
  • Looked a lot closer than it actually was
  • Emo Maric did some crumb
  • Suggestion of pre-ordering 2013 premiership t-shirts didn't hold up
27. Round 13, 2020 (or 'Putting the cart before the horse')
Footscray 12.8.80 d. Melbourne 7.10.52
Goals - Weideman 2, Fritsch 1, T. McDonald 1, Melksham 1, Oliver 1, Spargo 1
  • Played at Carrara due to the first wave of COVID shenanigans.
  • Run of mid-season demolition jobs on strugglers ended by a proper side
  • Fox Footy director thought he was doing arthouse cinema
  • Backline got us out of jail for as long as they possibly could.
  • Finals hopes left in serious jeopardy 

26. Round 7, 2007 (or 'Watching the Defectives')
Footscray 16.16.112 d. Melbourne 16.10.106
Goals - Davey 3, Sylvia 3, Green 2, Yze 2, Bate 1, Bell 1, Dunn 1, Johnstone 1, Neitz 1, White 1
  • Chucked a newspaper in despair when Rivers was a late withdrawal
  • At 0-7, a margin like this was taking the piss
  • Dogs fans embraced stereotypes by rioting when the bars were shut early
  • Genuine concern for Neale Daniher's legacy 
25. Round 4, 2012 (or 'Rock Bottom Redux')
Footscray 13.10.88 d. Melbourne 9.13.67
Goals - Bate 2, Davey 2, Bail 1, Clark 1, Moloney 1, Morton 1, Watts 1
  • Turns out there were about seven more layers of rock to get through.
  • Emotional tribute game for Jim Stynes held in the 4.40pm Sunday graveyard slot
  • Jeff Kennett showed his respects for Jim by suggesting we merge with North
  • Daryl Braithwaite sang 'Horses'. Had we not suffered enough?
  • Mitch Clark fell on his head
24. Round 15, 2014 (or 'Life Education') 
Footscray 14.7.91 d. Melbourne 13.7.85
Goals - Jamar 3, Dawes 2, Grimes 2, Gawn 1, Jetta 1, Pedersen 1, Vince 1, Viney 1, Watts 1
  • Went six goals down before launching a blockbuster comeback
  • Young Bont kicks ludicrous sealer
  • Stirrings of pride despite defeat
  • Architectural metaphors to describe emerging side
  • Suggestion of 'reasonable rivalry' with Dogs finally comes true seven years later.
23. Round 19, 2021 (or 'The plot sickens')
Footscray 13.7.85 d. Melbourne 9.11.65
Goals - Brown 2, Fritsch 2, Pickett 2, McDonald 1, Petracca 1, Viney 1
  • Second straight top of the table clash against them in front of an empty stadium
  • Hitouts once again proven to be useless
  • Forward line continued its late season dip, scaring the shit out of me about our finals chances
  • Six goals conceded from defensive stoppages didn't help
  • No repeat of this on the 25th thanks
Footscray 17.12.114 d. Melbourne 12.10.82
Goals - Watts 3, Garland 2, Kennedy 2, Hogan 1, Oliver 1, T. McDonald 1, Petracca 1, Viney 1
  • Misguided excitement when results elsewhere technically put us in the eight pre-match
  • Had a kicking efficiency of 17% during the first quarter
  • Heroic defensive efforts by Neville Jetta against larger men
  • Felt like we should have lost by 10 goals
  • Lightly punched in the arm by crusty old man asked to move out of the train door
21. Round 7, 2010 (or 'Not A Dry Seat In The House')
Footscray 10.10.70 d. Melbourne 9.12.66
Goals - Bate 3, Davey 1, Green 1, Hughes 1, Bennell 1, Jones 1, Scully 1
  • Jumper clash fiasco between us and the umpires. Conveniently blamed for errant handball leading to defeat.
  • Goal overturned by a boundary umpire referred to as 'Slapnuts'
  • Scully has 39 touches in the wet and we're so excited that nobody admits only about five of them hit a target 
  • Man on train says "Morton, Jarrah and that other guy Oonamiri" do "that crazy shit spastic leg in the air thing". The views of this man do not represent demonblog.com
20. Round 17, 2019 (or 'Same old story')
Footscray 10.14.74 d. Melbourne 9.12.66
Goals - Petty 3, Fritsch 2, Dunkley 1, Hunt 1, Lewis 1, Petracca 1
  • Already shot season goes into wind down mode with close loss. Ended in us getting Jackson and Pickett so all's well that ends well.
  • For want of any other tall forwards, Petty goes forward and has a bloody good crack at it.
  • May and Salem described as "a combination for dedidcating your life to with an almost religious fervour", while Lever and Frost do their impression of the Tenerife mid-air collision
19. Round 15, 2008 (or 'Stormy Weather')
Footscray 14.11.96 d. Melbourne 9.10.64
Goals - Miller 3, Green 2, Buckley 1, Dunn 1, C. Johnson 1, Newton 1
  • The roof was closed, but in my heart it was pissing down
  • Top side failed to get out of first gear against wooden spooners elect
  • Convinced me not to draft Nic Nat, which ultimately led to Gawn kicking five in a Prelim so I was right.
18. Round 8, 2014 (or 'Temporary respectability adjustment')
Footscray 15.9.99 d. Melbourne 12.11.83
Goals - Frawley 2, Kennedy Harris 2, Tyson 2, Cross 1
  • Rubbish side stuck with their superiors for most of the day, never going close enough to win but not being disgraced either.
  • Did Field of Women with my mum
  • Injured Bulldogs player went forward to stay out of the way and kicked vital goals
  • Didn't think it affected me badly, then woke up grinding my teeth like an ice addict.
17. Community Series 2021 (or 'FFC vs FFS')
Footscray 15.16.106 d. Melbourne 10.7.67
Goals - Fritsch 3, Neal-Bullen 2, Chandler 1, Gawn 1, Jones 1, Petracca 1, Sparrow 1
  • The only game of three against them in Victoria this year with a crowd
  • Left me convinced, hopefully wrongly, the Dogs were going to win the flag
  • A bit too much worry based on a pre-season game
16. Round 23, 2013 (or 'The call of the void')
Footscray 16.11.107 d. Melbourne 13.9.87
Goals - Watts 4, Kent 2, Dunn 1, Garland 1, Howe 1, M. Jones 1, N. Jones 1, Sellar 1, Viney 1
  • Nobody really cared because it was the last round and we were about to get Paul Roos
  • Celebrations for Aaron Davey the only serious reason to show up
  • Late inclusion James Sellar nearly kicked Goal of the Century and never played again
  • Half-hearted attempt at a half-time brawl, showing more fight than most of the previous 21 games combined
  • Dom Barry randomly thanked me for coming while walking the concourse
15. Practice match 2009 (or 'How 'bout that drought?')
Footscray 14.17.101 d. Melbourne 10.3.63
Goals - Green 3, Miller 1, Jetta 1, Newton 1, Davey 1, McLean 1, McDonald 1, Jones 1
  • The only time I ever had multiple guest reporters. Jane, Andy and Gabrielle, I hope you're still out there somewhere going bloody mad for Melbourne now
  • Played in pissing rain at Casey Fields
  • No suggestion that we were going to be any good in 2009, and we weren't.
14. Practice match 2008 (or 'The Night the Lights Went Out In Bendigo')
Footscray 14.9.93 d. Melbourne 9.9.63
Goals - Bate 2, Davey 2, Neitz 2, Robertson 2, Jones 1

  • Snuck out of work early to drive to a ground located between a sleazy motel and a waterslide
  • Crowd full of unaccompanied, unruly minors
  • Our sexy football lit up regional Victoria, by not for very long
  • Lights shut down midway through the last quarter. Man with a microphone connected to an alternative power source told us to go home.
13. 2017 Community Series (or 'The kings of summer are back')
Melbourne d. Footscray
Goals - Hogan 4, Weideman 2, Brayshaw 1, Bugg 1, Garlett 1, Gawn 1, N. Jones 1, Neal-Bullen 1, Petracca 1, Viney 1
  • First (and so far last) time I ever went to the Western Oval
  • Jesse Hogan chucked hapless defenders out of the way with ease
  • Suggestion of playing ANB forward, which might be the first thing I've ever gotten right
  • Dees again refuse to kick a Jesus Christ Supergoal
  • Josh Wagner dislocated his fibula, which sounds painful
12. 2015 Challenge (or 'A succulent Chinese meal')
Melbourne d. Footscray
Goals - Garlett 2, Kennedy Harris 2, Cross 1, Hogan 1, Dawes 1, N. Jones 1, Frost 1, Watts 1
  • Rounded off a lovely weekend visit to Ballarat
  • Regional spectators had some trouble coming to terms with Lin Jong
  • Sam Frost chased somebody from one end of the ground to the other
  • First win in my kid's life, 257 days in. Has no interest six years later.
Melbourne - d. Footscray
Goals - Watts 3, Frost 1, Garlett 1, Harmes 1, N. Jones 1, Pedersen 1, Tyson 1, vandenBerg 1
  • 10 years earlier I lived next door to Docklands, now a game in Craigieburn was considered close to home.
  • The week Eddie McGuire hilariously suggested the best team of the pre-season should get a bye into finals
  • Young Clayton Oliver instantly looks like a star, while Goldenballs Boyd warmed up for his memorable September campaign by kicking 0.3
  • Colin Garland hurled into the fence by a player nobody ever heard of again

10. Round 2, 2005 (or 'Getting away with it')
Melbourne 20.17.137 d. Footscray 15.21.111
Goals - Bruce 5, Davey 4, Robertson 4, Yze 4, Ferguson 1, Green 1, Neitz 1

  • First review from Docklands. Banner suggested 'setting the Dome on fire' - a popular idea amongst our fans in years to come
  • Pre-match entertainment provided by Bob The Builder
  • Margin out to nine goals before Bulldogs comeback, marking the first of mention of a team "falling apart like Michael Jackson's face"
  • High fived a child in celebration when Cameron Bruce kicked the sealer..
9. Round 19, 2007 (or 'Saturday Night Fever')
Melbourne 19.15.129 d. Footscray 12.15.87
Goals - Holland 4, Davey 3, Robertson 3, Dunn 2, Pickett 2, Green 1, Jones 1, Newton 1, Sylvia 1, Wheatley 1
  • Random win late in a putrid season
  • Ben Holland kicks goals for fun
  • Juice Newton incorrectly described as better than Brad Miller
8. Round 17, 2006 (or 'Search and Destroy')
Melbourne 18.11.119 d. Footscray 9.14.68
Goals - Yze 5, Neitz 3, Davey 2, McLean 2, Robertson 2, Bartram 1, Bate 1, Godfrey 1, Holland 1
  • Nathan Jones debuts, launching the most tragicomic career of all time
  • Man in crowd proudly yells "Hey Bruce... you're loose!"
  • Simon Godfrey torments Scott West
  • Poor investment advice to put every last cent on McLean for the '07 Brownlow
  • Temporarily carried us into the top four. Didn't last.
Melbourne 15.13.103 d. Footscray 9.10.64
Goals - Hogan 3, Pedersen 3, Toumpas 2, Vince 2, Garlett 1, Howe 1, M. Jones 1, N. Jones 1, Newton 1
  • Glorious recovery from a 100 point rooting at the hands of Hawthorn a week earlier
  • Possibly inspired by anti-Bulldog spite from Brendan McCartney
  • Spencil romps out of the centre and hits a textbook pass to a leading forward
  • Toumpas' best game
  • Hogan sledging Tom Boyd didn't seem quite as funny after the 2016 Grand Final
6. Round 11, 2021 or ('Bouncing Back')
Melbourne 13.9.87 d. Footscray 8.11.59
Goals - Fritsch 3, T. McDonald 3, Weideman 2, Gawn 1, Harmes 1, Jordon 1, Petracca 1, Pickett 1
  • Immediate recovery from being rorted in Adelaide
  • Charlie Spargo has five minutes of racking up possessions like Gary Ablett Jr.
  • Question of Sir Doug or Uncle Doug as we kicked away
  • Tom Sparrow the most token medical substitute yet, coming on with about 70 seconds left 
  • First suggestion of the Grand Final probably being played somewhere else
5. Round 11, 2018 (or 'Six won and tons for fun')
Melbourne 18.11.119 d. Footscray 10.9.69
Goals - Hogan 5, T. McDonald 4, Brayshaw 1, Fritsch 1, Hannan 1, Jones 1, Petracca 1
  • First and only Sugarhill Gang reference in a post title
  • Goodwin does lines (so to speak) from Wolf of Wall Street 
  • Five weeks of free-scoring carnage looked in danger at three goals down, then we waffled them anyway
  • Jake Lever does his knee on the thinly veiled concrete surface
  • Nathan Jones chaired off after his 250th. Eyes not dry.
4. Round 14, 2013 (or 'Neil Craig: Our Mastermind')
Melbourne 15.13.100 d. Footscray 15.10.100
Goals - Watts 4, Dawes 3, Howe 2, Fitzpatrick 2, Blease 1, Rodan 1, Jones 1, Gawn 1
  • MFC Women debuted, demonstrating winning form for men who hadn't done anything for months
  • Caretaker coach builds huge lead in last quarter, before players revert to type and go close to blowing it
  • Jack Watts celebrates recent demise of hated coach by kicking goals at one end, then saving the game in defence. I still miss that guy.
  • Wins more exciting because you weren't sure there'd ever be another one
  • Dead mouse found under my seat. Its memory live on with regular blog mentions
3. Round 13, 2017 (or 'This machine kills finalists')
Melbourne 17.11.113 d. Footscray 8.8.56
Goals - Watts 3, Bugg 2, Garlett 2, Hannan 2, T. McDonald 2, Harmes 1, Melksham 1, Neal-Bullen 1, Petracca 1, Salem 1, Tyson 1
  • Defending premier wiped off the park, causing people who had seen their side win a flag 14 games earlier to sook up.
  • Tom Bugg briefly hitting celebrity status after pre-match Instagram post ask if Jason Johannisen was ready. He then stuffed up his career two weeks later by briefly hitting a Sydney player in the head.
  • First time we'd held a team to a point in the opening quarter since 1994.
  • Dogs threw ball around like British and Irish Lions
  • Half time video game challenge affected by neither contestant knowing how to play the game
  • Offered surgical extraction of one bollock in exchange for a premiership, and will still do it now 
Melbourne 18.11.119 d. Footscray 10.9.69
Goals - Hogan 4, T. McDonald 3, Garlett 2, Neal-Bullen 2, Spargo 2, Hannan 1, Lewis 1, Melksham 1, Oliver 1, Petracca 1
  • Vital win with finals hopes still in the balance
  • Wayne Carey suggests trading Frost, Bugg and Tyson for Carlton's pick 1. Sam Walsh a decent consolation prize. 
  • Game blown to the shizen with eight goals in 12 minutes after half time. Sounds familiar.
  • Gawn treats opposition ruckman with contempt
  • Kids serenade Jolimont Station with the Grand Old Flag in a moment of lid lifting joy
1. Round 21, 2005 (or 'Son, I'm afraid we're going to have to put your puppy down')
Melbourne 16.13.109 d. Footscray 16.9.105
Goals - Robertson 6, White 2, Yze 2, Armstrong 1, Davey 1, Green 1, Holland 1, Neitz 1, Rigoni 1
  • The only home and away game on this list I didn't see live. Says it all about my luck.
  • Tremendously unwieldy post title not selected by guest reporter Peter M
  • Only heard the last quarter on the radio because I'd been at work
  • Curled on my bathroom floor in a foetal position as White lined up
  • Greeted the great escape by screaming so loudly my flatmate had to enquire if I was ok, then almost caused the fire alarm to go off with excitement when Farmer hit the post not long after. 

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