Geelong Cats: Australian Rules team, in the Australian Football League.


Joined competition: 1897
Colours: Navy Blue and White
Home Ground: Baytec Stadium, formerly Shell Stadium, formerly Kardnia Park.

History: Geelong are based, naturally enough, in the city of Geelong, 70km to the south of Melbourne, on Port Phillip Bay. Theye the second oldest club in the game, after Melbourne. They date back to 1855, when the Corio Bay Club was created. In 1959 they became the Geelong Football Club. First known as the Seagulls, they became as the Pivotians in the late 1970s (Soemthing to do with their central location for railroads).

The game was disorganised in its early days, and it wasn't until 1877 that Australian Football got its first governing body. Eight of the strongest clubs, Geelong, Melbourne, Carlton, St Kilda, Albert Park, Hotham (North Melbourne), Essendon and East Melbourne, formed the Victorian Football Association (VFA). In the first nine years of the Association, Geelong won seven premierships.

By the late 1890s, the stronger clubs of the Association found themselves having to financially prop up the weaker sides. Geelong and Essendon set about creating the VFL, which started in 1897. The eight foundation clubs were Geelong, Melbourne, Essendon, South Melbourne, Collingwood, Fitzroy, Carlton, and St Kilda.

In 1923, the Cats adopted their present nickname. They'd had a bad start to the season, and a cartoonist suggested Geelong needed a black cat to bring it good luck. Ah, the simple times. In 1924, Edward 'Carji' Greeves won the inagural Brownlow Medal. Then, in 1925, the Cats broke through and won their first VFL premiership. In 1931 they won their second by defeating Richmond, and won their third in 1937 over Collingwood. The 1937 grand final drew 88 500, then record crowd.

The Cats were forced to withdraw from the league 1942 and 43. Travel restrictions and lack of palyers during WW2 made fielding a side very difficult for Geelong.

The remainder of the '40s was quiet for the Cats, but in 1951 they returned to the top with a grand final win over the bombers. They stayed there in 52, winning their second consecutive flag by beating Collingwood. the Cats team of this era included legends of the game such as Bob Davis and Bernie Smith.

Another flag came in 1963. This side included greats such as Graham 'Polly' Farmer and Doug Wade.

The rest of the 60s and 70s were relatively lean times for Geelong. They were usually competitive and produced some excellent players, but couldn't quite translate that into premiership success.

In the mid 1980s, the Cats recruited goalkicking freak Gary Ablett. Ablett helped the side into multiple grand finals, including the 1989 Grand Final, considered to be one of the greatest grand finals ever. Unfortuanately for the Cats, these grand final appearences were always losses. 1989, 1992, 1994 and 1995 all bought Grand Final heartbreak for Cats fans.

In the latter half of the 90s, the Cats slipped back a little. They were still mostly competitive, but never stood out from the pack. With the game spreading nationally, the Cats have lost their once formidable home ground advantage.

Their current side under Mark 'Bomber' Thompson looks quite decent, and could go places, but then again, you can say that for most sides at the moment. Time will tell.

A very badly designed city at the westernmost end of Port Phillip Bay. In order to access the Bellarine Peninsula, the Surf Coast or the Great Ocean Road and its many charms, or even the harsh loveliness of the flatness of the Western Lava Plains with its many pimple-like scoria cones. In order to access these from Melbourne, you have to go through Geelong.

Not that it is a bad place in itself. Local councilors find that if you wish to be either elected or stay in office, you own a Ford. The reason: Big Ford Factory in North Geelong. Geelong, per se, is not the problem. It's North Geelong. Ugly, and it's just one big gridlock.

You start to notice the symptoms around Lara and Avalon Airport. The cars seem a little close together than they were previously. Relax. It's not your eyes. Just bad infrastructure. Of course, if it was the Friday of a long weekend, then you would notice this about Werribee or Laverton, Kororoit Creek Road or even the interchange of the Princes Freeway and the Western Ring Road

Relax. this is a bit tongue in cheek. Traffic is not that bad. Geelong is not that bad. Unless you have to drive through it.

Geelong as a city dates back to 1838, when it was declared to be a 'town', with a population of 545. Since then it has grown.

Geelong is a port city. It spreads around the western end of Port Phillip Bay. As a port, this is an ideal set-up. However, this leads to some town planning problems as the town is largely forced into a linear north south strip between Corio Bay and the Barwon and Moorabool Rivers. This makes travelling through the city to go elsewhere frustrating for drivers, as there are no alternative routes around the city.

Geographically, Geelong is close to Melbourne. If we assume that Port Phillip Bay is a duck's head (which is what it looks like on a map), and that duck is facing west. In this case, Geelong sits at the tip of the duck's beak. Melbourne starts at the duck's eye and spreads all the way along the back of its neck.

Geelong is georgraphically designated as being within the megacity limits of Melbourne, although the Melbourne 2030 plan has fortunately curtailed any possibility for rampant suburban sprawl between the two cities.

Older parts of Geelong are quite pleasant, although modernity has not been kind to the city. Tourism has become a double edged sword for the place. It is the gateway to a lot of really nice places, but this makes for many traffic problems

The Geelong region allegedly has a population of approximately 250,000. I'm not sure if this is just Geelong, or Geelong and all the people living within a set range of Geelong.

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