19 things you won’t believe actually happened on Bizarro Cloke Day

As published by The Footy Almanac, 9 June 2015

Fanning’s 18 goals, Featherby’s 40 kicks, Essendon’s 69 point comeback and their goalless first half in perfect conditions on Saturday night…

Over the decades there’s been many a football feat that elicits a sense of disbelief that grows with the passage of time.   You wonder, what must it have been like to witness that?

Other happenings don’t seem so remarkable until well after the fact e.g. Michael Christian kicking 8 goals as a three quarters pissed Collingwood somehow defeat a fully pissed off Essendon in the London exhibition match 7 days after the 1990 Grand Final.

Something just as incredible happened yesterday at the MCG.  In fact many incredible things happened. So many I felt compelled to write them down for posterity.  And just to be sure you’re paying attention, one of the following did not happen.  Can you guess which one it was?

1. I purchased general admission tickets and obtained good seats on level 1.

2. As part of the #FreezeMND campaign Sam Newman slid into an ice pool wearing a Borat mankini. Mick Molloy followed in teeny Tiger budgie smugglers. Neither was charged with public indecency or impersonating a woman.

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3. Afflicted by a horrendous terminal disease, a smiling and inspirational Neale Daniher’s positive life force remained undiminished.

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4. Perhaps expecting celebrated jazz artist Vince Jones to appear, Melbourne supporters outnumbered the Collingwood contingent. Nonetheless, Dees fans enjoyed a Queen’s Birthday command performance by Bernie Vince and Nathan Jones who racked up 34 disposals apiece.

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5. With Heretier Lumumba’s 199 mostly quality games and premiership having slipped their minds, Magpie fans repeatedly booed the player formerly known affectionately as Harry O.

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6. Cloke finished the first quarter with 4 goals straight including one from 25m out directly in front.

7. With fast, direct movement and skill Melbourne quickly stormed to the lead having trailed by 5 goals late in the first quarter.

8. Ten minutes into the second term the game tally was 18 goals 3 behinds.

9. Pushed forward onto the ball by a Melbourne opponent, Brodie Grundy was subsequently free kicked under the sliding rule. Melbourne goal.

10. Despite the comfort of being surrounded by several teammates, Melbourne’s Jack Fitzpatrick decided to scoop the ball through the goals as if passing the ball to the quarterback (in this case it might have been Joffa in the Pies cheer squad), thus giving up a momentum sapping major.

11. Wrapped in a suffocating Jack Watts tackle 4 nanoseconds (give or take) after taking possession, Varcoe was penalised in front of Melbourne’s goal for holding the ball.

12. Subsequently lining up for a crucial one 30m out directly in front, Jack Watts kicked truly to put the Demons back within two goals.

13. Cloke marked strongly and slotted a goal from the boundary, 50m out from the wrong pocket for a left footer.

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14. A $4 hot dog was initially too hot and ultimately too big for my son Luke to eat in its entirety.

15. Manhandled in a marking contest, Cloke received a free and nailed a difficult, pivotal set shot with less than 10 minutes remaining.

16. Adam Oxley was allowed by Paul Roos (or dopey forwards, depending on who you believe) to rack up 14 marks as a loose man in defence.

17. Travis Cloke received the Neale Daniher Cup for best on ground having kicked a match winning 7.0.  I’ll say it again, Travis Cloke kicked seven goals straight.

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18. More than 66,000 Melbourne and Collingwood fans coexisted at a football match without a single flare, broken chair or hint of violence. A couple ‘by crikey, by jingoes’ may have been uttered within the MCC in the last quarter.

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19. A South Morang line ‘football special’ arrived within half an hour of the final siren.

COLLINGWOOD   7.1   11.3   15.4   17.8.110
MELBOURNE         3.1      9.1   13.4     13.7.85

GOALS
Collingwood:
T Cloke 7, J Blair 3, J Elliott 3, A Fasolo, D Swan, P Seedsman, T Broomhead.
Melbourne: J Howe 3, B Vince 2, J Garlett 2, N Jones 2, A Brayshaw, J Fitzpatrick, J Hogan, J Watts.

BEST
Collingwood:
Cloke, Oxley, Pendlebury, Swan, Elliott, Blair, Williams. Melbourne:Jones, Brayshaw, Vince, Viney, Howe.

Umpires:
Matt Stevic, Troy Pannell, Chris Kamolins.

Official Crowd:
66,120 at MCG.

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