Reporter Gav McGrath gets the Blues at the footy

NEWS reporters are supposed to be strictly unbiased at the footy.

We do our best, but honestly it is hard.

At the age of about seven, my younger brother decided he wanted to barrack for Carlton instead of Dad's team Melbourne. He chose Carlton because it was the team his older brother loathed the most.

That was 34 years ago. Not much has changed. I am a Tiger tragic after all.

See who was in the crowd for the NAB Challenge match

Click here for all the action and quarter-by-quarter recap

Because The Courier had done so much on North Melbourne ahead of its clash with Carlton in the NAB Challenge this weekend, the person in charge said someone had to talk to some Carlton supporters for balance.

With an evil smile, our news director Andrew Ramadge said that someone would be me.

Why does Carlton fill me with such a sense of dread? Well, Richmond supporters have never really liked the old dark navies a huge amount anyway.

We hold they are smug, cocky, arrogant, fickle, and appallingly bad winners.

On that last point, they have had way too much practice against the Tigers.

To say Carlton has the wood on Richmond in recent years is a bit like suggesting leopards have a pretty fair record against gazelles.

Still, in their daily work, journalists have to do some pretty unpleasant things, so we found some Navy Blue fans and asked them what makes them special.

In their daily work, journalists have to do some unpleasant things, so we found some Navy Blue fans...

"Because we're the best," declared Dean McDonald from Ross Creek, immediately dispelling any suggestion Carlton supporters are smug or cocky.

"I think it's loyalty," said Tony Smith, who had travelled with daughter Caitlin from Bendigo. "We're fiercely loyal."

What did they think of North?

"I don't mind 'em," said Dean. "I like them more than Collingwood or Essendon."

And worse was to come.

"Richmond? Poor old Richmond," said Dean.

"Sadly, they've got a long way to go," Tim Winter said.

Patronising, jovial, and worse still, PLEASANT. I would much rather they were obnoxious.

The victory at Eureka Stadium did little to help matters.

"I haven't changed my expectations after today's win," said Bevan Morton. "I already expected them to finish first, and I'm serious. We'll win it this year.

"Today just enhanced it."

Then there's that miserable funeral dirge of a song – da dada da da, da dada da da. It's like claws  scratching a blackboard.

I need to be careful with what I write here. Our editor Andrew Eales is a keen Carlton supporter.

And journalists must always be unbiased – even though I was not-so-secretly going for North.

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