General Footy Writing: The Geelong DNA is strong

By Ramon Fowler

I have a confession to make: I’m in love with a Pies supporter; have been for nearly three years; didn’t plan it. These things just happen, I guess.

It was the off season; I had other things on my mind apart from football. I don’t think I even asked her which team she supports on any of those initial getting to know you dates. In fact, the subject wasn’t even breached until the week before the 2007 NAB cup.

The footy gods have a strange sense of humour, don’t they?

In her more reflective moments, my Magpie will often say something like, “Can you believe we got together? Isn’t it wonderful?”

She didn’t say anything like that in the lead-up to the Preliminary Final, though; it was a little tense.

Dad texted, asking if I got tickets for the Prelim and if my Magpie was coming too. When I told him she was planning to go with her sister and didn’t want to sit next to me and my comrades from the Cattery, the reply was only, ‘typical Woods supporter.’

But there are worse Woods supporters out there than my Magpie. She’s a first generation Pie; mum and dad follow Carlton. I think that makes a big difference. She doesn’t get upset when I tell her Allan Didak looks like a Hyena. She likes Gary Ablett. She’s even come down to Skilled Stadium a few times to watch the footy with me and my dad. This, I think, shows she is an unusually intelligent and open minded Magpie.

Something she doesn’t understand, though, is why Collingwood isn’t, and won’t ever become, my second favourite team; but that, instead, it is, and will remain, my second least favourite team (just behind Hawthorn). She can’t understand why I cannot ever – and will not ever – say ‘Go Pies’.

She takes it personally; says that if I truly loved her, then, by default, I should love her Magpies as well. She doesn’t understand that the fact that I am with her, despite her being a Magpie, is the greatest possible testament to my love for her.

After explaining the situation to my step dad yesterday, he told me about how he had tried to like the Pies once. He was living in Collingwood at the time and thought he should take an interest in the local team. He watched their games on TV but found himself involuntarily rooting for the opposition – whoever they were. He tipped against them – even when they were favourites. He gave up in the end. ‘Just couldn’t do it,’ he said.

I’ve tried too. I went to the Bulldogs-Pies game a few weeks ago with my Magpie (but mainly because I like the Dogs). My Magpie got upset that I wouldn’t support her team. She reminded me that she supports the Cats when we go to their games. She tried everything – carrots and sticks – to get me to support the Pies in their hour of need; said she would even cook my favourite meals every night for a week. But I just couldn’t do it.

As a Geelong supporter of Geelong stock, born in the Geelong Hospital, brought up under the old scoreboard at Kardinia Park, it’s in my DNA to dislike the Pies.  Making them my second favourite team would be like Tony Blair making the Taliban his second favourite army in the War on Terror.

I remember taking my Magpie to meet my Grandparents; sitting on the floral lounge suite with the old wall clock ticking out a sure and steady meter to our polite and meandering conversation. Inevitably, the conversation turns to football and Geelong. Pop innocently asks who my Magpie follows, to which he receives a defiant ‘The Mighty Pies.’

As polite and religiously benign as my Grandparents are, they couldn’t conceal the disturbance in their DNA. Pop pauses and folds his arms; Nana lets out a little cough and shifts in her seat; we all fumble around for something else to talk about.

My Magpie often claims that our children will be Pies supporters; thinks that her and her sisters will be able to indoctrinate them, put it in their baby food. But I’m not worried. She doesn’t understand that this would be a genetic impossibility. The Geelong DNA is too strong in my gene pool.


  1. I hear you brother. Loud and clear. Go Cats.

  2. Ramon, i really enjoyed reading that.
    im also a Collingwood supporter, dont worry im not one of the stereo-types, i have all my teeth ect.
    i find it very cute how you called your wife ‘my magpie’everytime i read it i was like: ‘awwwwww!! :) ”


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