Crio’s Q: Classic Collapses

The radio waves were humming last night with Saints eulogies…”lowest point ever” seemed a pretty big call. But it does look like they are in line for one of the more spectacular collapses from their lofty position – boy, has that “window” slammed!

But sport has a habit of dragging participants very quickly back to earth.

Nominees please?


  1. John Butler says:

    Collingwood 1991.

    Carlton 2002

  2. John Butler says:

    St Kilda- pick your year…


    Khalid Hasan of Pakistan made his test debut in 1954 aged just 16 years and 352 days. Four days later his test career was over and is the youngest ever one-cap wonder and played is last day of test cricket at just 16 years and 356 days – a record.

    Dennis Smith of New Zealand dismissed Eddie Paynter of England with his first ball in test cricket (1932-33). Unfortunately it was a bit of a false dawn. Smith never took another wicket in test cricket!

  4. Ian Syson says:

    Wimbledon, Hereford United and a number of other clubs all made the trek up and quickly down the English leagues.

    The Morwell Falcons are Australia’s example. From nowhere to NSL to extinction in 15 or so years. It’s a great story that needs to be told.

  5. Dave Nadel says:

    Melbourne Football Club won six Premierships between 1955 and 1964. Then Ron Barassi went to Carlton and the committee sacked Norm Smith. Their next Grand Final, which they lost, was in 1988. They have lost one more Grand Final since then. Every surviving Victorian club apart from the Bulldogs have won one or Premiership since the Demons’ glory days.

  6. Paul Daffey says:

    Richmond fell to eighth in 1981.

    A few years later eighth would have been a good result.

  7. Peter Flynn says:

    Ian Baker-Finch

    George Best (alternative sporting pursuits)

    Australia 3/305 all out 310 chasing 382(?) vs Pakistan in 1979.

  8. Alovesupreme says:

    Adelaide 1999
    Hawthorn 1962

    I haven’t checked, so I’ve little doubt that my memory will be found wanting, but I think Swansea and Northampton dropped from 1st – 4th division in successive seasons (or very nearly so). Right now, Swansea are on the brink of promotion to the Prem fighting it out in the play-offs

    From the NSL, my original home suburb, Mooroolbark (with a large population of British immigrants) qualified for foundation membership of the NSL (1977?). I attended the game where they won the Victorian title (winter 1976). They had no significant financial backing, and so very quickly dropped to the bottom, and since they have maintained a team but never above the 2nd or 3rd tier.

  9. Phil Dimitriadis says:

    Marcelo Rios came and went pretty quickly. Loved his reply when asked why he doesn’t play Wimbledon: “Grass is for cows”.

  10. Phantom says:

    Alovesupreme, a bit off track but QPR are up and spending.

  11. Phantom says:

    Casino City (Hobart basket ball team) went all the way then went away in the late 70’s

  12. Basketball in Australia

  13. Crio, while not quite in the same league, I took a wicket with my first ball for the Bali Geckos Cricket Club. That remains my single contribution to that stats column. My next over was amongst the worst ever presented .

    In my defence, I spent my childhood cricket as a wicket keeper, Richie Robinson style. Tall and too keen to minimise running around in the heat pf the Qld summer

  14. Rick Kane says:

    Daff, have the Tiges moved from the 8/9 possie on the ladder since 81? :)

    How about The West Coast Evils? 2006 Premiers, 2010 Wooden Spooners.

  15. Great offerings but, whilst I was keen to push IBF of even Eddo for his demise and singular blot on sport history, St Kilda appear to be a different tragic tale.
    One-hit-wonders had their moment, however fleeting. IBF won an Open. Eddo has his Australian Open trophy.
    What is hurting true Sainters is that their demise has not come after triumph;there’s nothing “in the bank”.
    Swannies know what it is like. I meet some who say they don’t mind anymore – they’ve had their moment.
    St Kilda’s fall may be long-scarring.

  16. Alovesupreme says:

    My example of your singular accomplishment is an extremely improbable hole-in-one during a round of 120. I don’t need to add that my name is the dictionary definition of hacker, if that’s not exaggerating my proficiency.

  17. What is hurting true Sainters is that their demise has not come after triumph; there’s nothing “in the bank”.

  18. Mick Jeffrey says:

    Saying the Melbourne Storm would be way too easy……but in Rugby League you could say the Newtown Jets who although strapped for cash went from within 9 points of the 1981 premiership, to out of the NSWRL comp just 2 years later. They have since reformed after a period of hiatus in 2nd tier competitions in New South Wales. Similarly South Sydney won a minor premiership in 1989, and finished wooden spooners the next year before being punted from the league by the end of the 90’s. Even though they returned, not even Russell’s dollars have given them great success (10 years back from the cold, made the finals ONCE and they were eliminated in week 1 in that year).

    From the World Game, my team in England Southampton went from an FA Cup Final in 2004 against Arsenal (and qualfying for the UEFA Cup as it was then), to being slugged 10 points for being in Administration and starting a season in the 3rd tier of English football with a negative points balance 2 seasons ago (we got promoted this season, 2nd in League 1). Teams like Sampdoria in Italy also went from a European Cup final (forerunner to the Champions League) in 1992, to twice being relegated from Serie A in the next 19 years.

    A bitter sweet one for NBA fans too. The Seattle Supersonics may have been cannon fodder for the Chicago Bulls in the 1996 finals (lost 4-2), but won the Western Conference title in 7 games and actually did the unexpected by taking the “Unstoppabulls” (who won 70 games in the regular season) to 6 games. Not more than 10 years later, the Supersonics were not even in Seattle and not even called the Sonics. As a post script, they moved to Oklahoma City who this year are in the Western Conference Finals.

    In terms of cricket, you can look at a number of Associate nations. We’ve seen in the last World Cup just how far backwards Kenyan Cricket has progressed. They’ve gone from an unlikely semi-final appearance in 2003 (legitimately beating Sri Lanka on home soil, benefiting from a New Zealand forfeit and knocking over Zimbabwe, another story altogether, in the 2nd stage to make it that far) to laughing stock on and off the field. Bermuda went from a World Cup appearance in 2007 (featuring Dwayne Leverock, the rotund bloke who took a blinder in the slips one match and started doing laps of honour) to not even getting ODI status a year later. Then of course amongst the elite, we all know about West Indies (from unofficial world test champion in 1995, to being whitewashed 5-0 in 2000/2001 in Australia AND being humiliated in a couple of those matches), and Zimbabwe (politics and sport don’t mix), and Australia I fear is about to hit that stage.

  19. Mic Rees says:


    Northampton Town yo-yo’d during the 1960’s

    1960/61 – Promoted to the third division after finishing 3rd

    1965/66 – Played in Division 1, relegated, finished second last

    1968/69 – Relegated from 3rd Div back to bottom tier

    As for Swansea returning to the Premier League – Just say NO – go the Bluebirds !


  20. I guess I was thinking of people like Jelena Dokic….comfortably anticipating fame and fortune and ending up, very quickly, a train wreck withoput having seen the view from the top.

  21. Stainless says:

    What about Leeds United? They were vying for fame and fortune at the top of the EPL and a European Champions League semi-finallist (remember the days when Kewell and Viduka were among their star performers), but never quite got to the top and were floundering down in League One a few years later. It’s the classic cautionary tale of the perils of trying to “buy a Premiership”. Once Leeds missed qualification for the Champions League and the aniticipated revenue stream on which their very expensive player purchases were predicated, the whole financial model collapsed – quickly and spectacularly. The Guardian archive has a lengthy analysis of the gory details if anyone wants to learn the whole sorry story.

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