It’s fair to say that Richmond’s record against Geelong is not pretty. Since the Tigers last won a flag in 1980 the Cats have beaten them 45-14 with the likes of Garry Ablett Senior making Richmond his personal bunnies throughout his career including the day he kicked 14 goals against them in 1989.
Or the 1995 preliminary final where the Cats slaughtered Richmond in the wet at Waverley
And what is known to many Geelong fans as the game that started their glorious era of flags and dominance – the 157 point belting the Cats handed out to the Tigers in round 6 2007 at what was known as at the time – Telstra Dome.
Richmond hasn’t beaten Geelong since Round 9, 2006 where they defeated the Cats by 20 points at Kardinia Park of all places.
But while some Geelong fans are worked up about their “home” final being played at the MCG – the Tigers haven’t beaten the Cats at the home of football since Round 12, 1999
We’ve gotten Doc Brown to set the flux capacitor in the Delorian to June 18, 1999 to get an idea of what the world was like when Richmond last beat Geelong at the MCG.
Garry Hocking Changed His Name to Whiskas
In 1999 the Geelong Football Club was $7 million in debt and needed to do whatever it took to get funds coming into the club. In stepped cat food manufacturer Whiskas who as part of a $100,000 deal got Geelong legend, Garry Hocking, to legally change his name by deed-poll to Whiskas for one week. Still regarded as one of the weirdest sponsorship promotions of all time – the Cats gained $80,000 with Hocking getting $20,000 for taking one for the team. The official team sheet for the match listed Hocking as Whiskas but the AFL was having none of it. The AFL listed number 32 as Garry Hocking in the Footy Record and instructed its official broadcasters to not refer to him as “Whiskas” during coverage of the match regarding the name change as potentially bringing the game into disrepute. Whiskas reverted to his original name of Garry Hocking a week later.
The Richmond v Geelong edition of the AFL Record Round 12, 1999 which lists Whiskas as Garry Hocking
Kiss Me by Sixpence None the Richer Was On Top Of The Charts
American Christian-alternative rock band Sixpence None the Richer topped the charts with their superannuation hit – “Kiss Me”. The song which is still reserved for any romantic comedy/chick flick and stadium “Kiss Cam” around the world the band is probably enjoying the royalties from their nice little love song.
Ansett Was Still In The Sky
There was a time where you could only either fly Qantas or Ansett to anywhere in Australia. Ansett was a major sponsor of the AFL – sponsoring the pre-season night series known as the “Ansett Cup” and was the official airline of the AFL and the upcoming Sydney 2000 Olympic games. Ansett ceased operations the first time on September 13 2001 – two days after 9/11 and a day before Richmond’s most recent finals win – the 2001 semi against Carlton.
Colonial Stadium Was Under Construction & Footy Was Still Played At Waverley
There was much hype, anticipation and a somewhat resistance at the time of the opening of Melbourne’s new stadium at the Docklands. Who was going to play home games there? What’s the deal with the roof? What happens if a player kicks a football on the roof? Is it going to cost a lot of money just to get a seat at the ground? Is it going to replace the MCG as the number one venue? What’s wrong with Waverley Park?
1999 was also the last season for footy being played at Waverley and to a lesser extent Victoria Park which only hosted two out of 11 Collingwood home games that year. In fact a day after the Tigers last beat the Cats the then co-tenants of Waverley Hawthorn and St.Kilda played a day later. The Hawks staged what was then the biggest comeback in AFL history trailing by 63 points midway through the second quarter Hawthorn would go on to win the game by 13 points.
Malcolm Turnbull was campaigning to make Australia a Republic
Before the postal plebiscite or becoming, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was the face of the Australian Republican Movement campaigning to make Australia a republic in November of that year. The “NO” vote got up with the general consensus being Australian’s weren’t happy with the model proposed. Turnbull described then prime minister John Howard as “the prime minister who broke Australia’s heart”. He was elected as part of Howard’s government 5 years later.
Tickets Had Just Gone On Sale For The Sydney 2000 Olympics
With the Sydney Olympics just shy of being over a year away from the organizing committee SOCOG released a booklet that was an insert in all News Limited newspapers around the country where the general public could register interest for tickets to all Olympic events by sending their forms back via snail mail. Games organizers had promised that up to 52% of tickets were available for the public ballot but it was later found out that it was more like 10% with one event offering 16 out of a possible 9,400 category A tickets to the general public causing much public anger at the time.
Thank goodness these days getting tickets to major sporting events is so much easier. Now, if you’ll excuse me I just need to check if the Ticketek website hasn’t crashed and improved on my advanced mathematics to prove I’m not a robot.
Blue Heelers Was The Number One Show on TV
Blue Heelers the iconic Aussie-cop drama which followed the fortunes of the Mount Thomas Police Station and one of the most successful cop shows to ever air on Australian television was at its peak. The authority of John Wood’s character Senior Sargent Tom Croydon got the job done while viewers were caught up on the will they or won’t they relationship between detective PJ Hasham and senior constable Maggie Doyle (Lisa McCune). The show would dominate at the Logies every year with McCune winning the Gold Logie three times in a row and John Wood being a regular nominee for the gold eight times in a row to eventually go on to win the Gold Logie in 2006. For what was a supposedly quiet country town Mount Thomas saw a lot of serial killers and murderers on a regular basis.
Dustin Martin Was Only Seven Years Old
Having only just last week committed to being a Tiger for life after knocking back what would have been the biggest contract of all time by North Melbourne and being a red-hot favourite for the Brownlow Dustin Martin was only a Seven-year-old when Richmond last beat the Cats at the G. No doubt Dusty would have already been doing the “don’t argue” at Auskick in his hometown of Castlemaine in regional Victoria at the time.
1999 was an ordinary season for Richmond and very disappointing for Geelong. The Cats won their first five games that season and ended up finishing 11th on the ladder with only 10 wins/12 losses for the year and Richmond had a pretty standard Richmond kind of year with nine wins/13 losses and finished 12th. The Geelong coach Garry Ayres quit the club to take up the senior coaching job at Adelaide vacated by Malcolm Blight. Captain of Geelong Leigh Colbert missed the entire season with a knee injury and was traded to North Melbourne at the end of the year for Cameron Mooney and the Cats appointed Mark “Bomber” Thompson as coach.
Prior to its final game of the 1999 season against Carlton, the Tigers sacked then coach Jeff Gieschen with the club thinking they were going to get Kevin Sheedy to come back to Tigerland as senior coach the next year. Richmond would go on to beat Carlton at the MCG in round 22 of that season however, the game was more famous for the MCG’s scoreboard catching on fire just before the match.
Given it’s been over 18 years since the Tigers were successful over the Cats at the MCG – Geelong fans can have every bit of confidence that record will continue this Friday night.However, for the Tigers, they’ll want to party like it’s 1999.