Floreat Pica Report- Rd 18 Collingwood V Carlton

irresistible a too strong, convincing, delightful etc. to be resisted

One of my favourite match reports in the 2009 Footy Almanac came from a North supporter called Andrew Starkie.  Andrew’s report started :

“I hate Carlton; despise them.

My loathing is limitless, my contempt physical.  It causes my forehead to burn and a deep pain to press into my chest.

I hate Carlton so much I’ve written down the reasons.  My top seven are …..”

I have a strong respect for and empathy with Andrew.  What was deeply impressive about his report was that apparently there were over twenty reasons listed before the book was scanned by lawyers prior to publication.  The bloke knows his footy, social history and ethics.

One of the things I learnt later than I probably should have in life is that footy hate is different from real hate.  A very wise woman, my yoga instructor, sagely commented a couple of years ago that hate is a very strong word.  I reflected upon this and that hate most accurately refers to the sort of historical tensions between India and Pakistan, Israel and Palestine and Mick Malthouse and the media, rather than that between footy clubs whose supporters can sit intermingled without civil uprising.  After this reflection I started to use the term footy hate, as both a noun and a verb, to distinguish real hate from footy hate.  I will succinctly précis this philosophical musing by simply noting that I footy hate Carlton and that my reasons are many and varied.

I tend to think that Carlton and Collingwood have a hell of a lot in common, in addition to some critical differences.  The commonalities are that both clubs have a tendency to arrogance, have historically plenty of money and supporters in powerful places and are despised by most of the rest of the competition for the former two reasons.  The critical differences are Carlton’s propensity to cheat, their unstinting belief that money can buy success, even if spent outside the rules and the amount of time that various Carlton presidents have spent being investigated and prosecuted by various authorities (Andrew Starkie put it more obtusely by writing that “Their club presidents flaunt their notoriety.”).   Yes, and that they have had a lot more premiership success than we have had during my lifetime, three times at our expense.  I’ve said it.

The Round 18 clash was important for many reasons.  All matches against Carlton are important, even that meaningless game we lost by one point in   Round 22, 2004 when neither side could make the finals.  Furthermore, it was a chance to consolidate top spot and push Carlton closer to either of two inglorious fates, an exit from the eight or an away final at Freo.  It was Leon’s 200th game, both an important milestone for him and a social landmark for a footy club which has done much in recent years to build its previously threadbare credentials in developing indigenous talent and connecting with those communities.  Finally, it was Haiku Bob’s last game before moving to Sweden, and it would be likely to be irreversibly destroying to one’s soul for their last live footy memory to be a defeat by Carlton.

The early minutes of the game were a tight contest in which space was a rare commodity.  Carlton led 2.0 to 1.1 on the back of a free and some class from the Environmental Ambassador, while Leon opened the scoring for the Pies after dragging in a one-hander.  The Pies controlled the rest of the first quarter, winning lots of contested ball and putting Carlton under huge pressure when they had the ball.  While the signs were ominous, Travis’ predictably errant left boot kept the Blues within a couple of goals at the first break.  Swan had been his seemingly unstoppable prolific self, and Ball had been tough and creative in tight.

The second quarter saw the Pies play ultimate team footy.  Before the Blues finally scored their only score, a point, in the dying stages, the Pies had added 6.4 to add to the last 2.4 of the first quarter, an incredible 16 scoring shots on the trot.  The key was defensive pressure in our forward half, where nearly all the quarter was played.  Indeed the Blues went 14 minutes without getting the ball inside 50 at one stage. The tackling, chasing, harassing and commitment to get to the contest was outstanding and the Blues were under the pump nearly every time they got the ball.  When they did go forward Reid, Benny J and O’Brien quickly sent the ball back.  We moved the ball quickly, and with precision.  Wellingham had an outstanding quarter on Judd, while Pendles joined him in racking up double-figure possessions for the quarter. With Swan and Ball continuing to have an impact, we kicked five goals from stoppages in the first half  The Sack’s hanger was a highlight, as was Benny J using his right foot for one of the rare times in his 201 games.

The half-time stats revealed a lot.  The inside 50s were 30-16, with the errors nearly the opposite at 17-30.  Carlton had an unbelievably low 62 kicks for the half, as our pressure and their lack of a forward structure as they pushed numbers back contributed to them repeatedly handballing to blokes under the pump.

At half-time there were no doubt a few older Carlton supporters who were desperately reminding themselves of 1970.  The opening minutes of the third quarter in which a comically inept kick-in cost them a goal to Beams would have left no-one in the ground believing that a miracle was about to occur.  This contest was dead and buried, but there were great individual highlights, hangers by Jolly, Thomas, The Sack and the Blues’ Fisher, and a great team goal which included a creative tap from Dawes to Macaffer who passed to Leon for a goal.

At three quarter time the Pies had won the last 14 quarters we had played, starting from the second quarter of the Port Power match, apparently a club record.  The Blues’ five scoring shots looked pathetic, and were matched by Travis, who unfortunately had managed 0.5 despite marking just about everything that came his way.

The Blues restored a shred of credibility on the scoreboard in the extended junk time that was the last quarter.  Travis finally found the space between the big sticks twice, as usual from longer range, to hopefully take some kicking confidence into next week’s blockbuster against the Cats.  Didak put the icing on both a great individual and team performance by kicking a freakish 60 metre torp goal from the boundary.

Fisher’s shot after the siren being cleared from the goal line, meant that for the second time in three weeks we had won by 48 points, which, as Suzy reminded us after the Saints game, just happened to be our winning margin in the 1990 Grand Final.

As a spectator, this was the most stress-free Collingwood – Carlton game for many years, probably since we flogged them by 108 points in 2002, in a game memorable for Presti kicking a goal after being moved forward.  The one-sidedness of the contest meant that there were few opportunities for the footy hate that exists between these teams and their supporters to ignite.  That will live on until another day, but this day we had been irresistible.

All that was left for many Floreat Picans was to head to the Bobby Rose room at the Carringbush Hotel to farewell an ebullient Haiku Bob, whose long flight later today will no doubt include sweet dreams of his final afternoon at the G.  We were joined by a lone Cat, Almanacker Peter Flynn.

A great night was had, with Haiku Bob being awarded Floreat Pica’s first life membership for his services.  A Rudd-esque Haiku Bob declared that “I am proud of the fact” that Floreat Pica (or more accurately himself) has put haiku on the footy map.  Haiku Bob then announced that he was putting his haiku cue in the rack for the time being as he establishes a new life in Stockholm and investigates AFL Internet streaming options.

A most excellent weekend continued Sunday morning, reading the big paper with the glorious headline “Magpies destroy inept Blues” before sitting down with Holly to watch the 8.30 am Fox 1 replay of the Pies’ win.  Yes, it was irresistible.

Votes are suspended until the Horsburgh Medal dinner on Saturday 2 October.  The winner of the Mick McGuane Medal was the bloke who got the three votes.

Floreat Pica
Steve

Comments

  1. What about that meaningless game in September 1979 Steve? Should that also be included as a reason to ‘dislike immensely”

    I was watching it from an independent perspective and had a clear view from an elevated spot on a great angle along the boundary.

    I noted to the Pie person beside me “that ball was out of bounds” When the goal was scored their response would trouble even today’s censors.

    Also in 1970 the Blues ‘Time Lords’ brought Ted Hopkins in on the Tardis for a brief period and them whisked him away into footy eternity.

  2. John Butler says:

    Steve

    Well done to the Magpies, who were a class above a Blues outfit that never looked like it believed it could win.

    In regards to the “footy hate”, I’m always amused at the selective vision both sides use to stoke the rivalry.

    I would have thought the real basis of Collingwood enmity lies in the one Grand Final won and the five lost between the two. That, plus the original class difference between the suburbs, which is long since irrelevant.

    As for the rest, it requires a view of history which accepts no shady characters or doings from a Magpie perspective. Which, of course, is a nonsense.

    I look forward to the day when we can again battle out a major final. It’s been far too long. Sadly, it won’t be this year.

    Cheers

  3. Steve Fahey says:

    Hi John and Phantom

    Isn’t selective vision one of the beauties of following a footy team and club ? I am aware that if my father had have been born to richer parents a couple of kms north-west of the family home in Langridge Street, I may well now barrack for Carl….. it’s unthinkable, I can’t complete the thought or the sentence!!!!

    One of the joys of footy is the suspension of much of the reason and logic that we are supposed to apply during our working lives. Indeed, one could construct a very nice graph showing that declining church attendances in Australia and especially Melbourne have coincided with increasing football attendances. People need to belong and to congregate with other like-minded souls and to have faith in things which are beyond reason, and footy and its tribalism speaks to many.

    I was aware that I had mellowed in the late 1990s when I found that there were multiple Carlton players that I actually admired both for their skill and the way they played the game – Bradley, Silvagni, Kouta, Ratten. Despite this mellowing I still footy hate Carlton. For me it is a combination of what was passed down to me and partly my own experience. I was there as an eight year-old in 1970 and can remember the day, but I was too young to be too shattered. It was however 1979 that consolidated my footy hatred of the Blues. My footy hatred had not much to do with the actual game, which was a cracking contest in heavy conditions between two teams that gave all (even Derek Shaw who recorded a bagel !). It was George Harris’ comments after the game that solidified a deep enmity and distaste for the Navy Blues that holds to this day. It was one of the worst examples of arrogance and appalling sportsmanship in the history of sport.

    You are right in stating that all teams have had their rogues, but Carlton’s presidents seem to have featured more than most.

    A great debate – ultimately one of the best things about our game and our country is that we can sit together and love our team and footy hate the other team without having to be separated by barbed wire or other barriers.

    Finally, one of the Floreat Pica guys has sent the following link containing footage of Presti’s goal in 2002 – his third career goal which he hasn’t added to.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=semHLMtgDRc

    Viva le footy !!!

    Steve

  4. John Butler says:

    Here here to those sentiments Steve.

  5. Peter Flynn says:

    Ripper night Steve. Cheers.

    Hammond scored 227 in the same series that he scored 336 (v NZ). In fact these were his only innings of the series.

    H Gibbs recently made 228 against the Windies. Lowest individual test score not made is now 229.

    Flynny

  6. Andrew Fithall says:

    Steve,

    Read your comment on Flynny’s report. Would love to be part of it. You now have my email.

    Andrew

  7. Mr.Fahey, i hope im not confused but you are a psychologist right?
    If you are not, im sorry thats what i got from the your bio at the back of last years Almanac lol
    If you are, please email me at
    danni_pretty16@live.com

    i have some psychology related questions to ask you, if you dont mind.

    Thanks
    Go Pies.

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