A Magpie Life

So here’s my story.  I heard FootyAlmanac.com.au being plugged on SEN 1116 and thought “this is for me”. I love my footy and with my great mate Chubba I started a parenting resource, a blog with a sporting flavour, called TackleNappy.com.


I’m a tragic Collingwood supporter. I once stood next to Lee Walker at the urinal in Melbourne’s ‘The Imperial’ pub and I actually thought having Ball, Dick, Cox, Goldsack, Wood and Johnson at the club at the same time was hilarious. I played 93 games off the bench for Bundoora Junior Footy Club – the club famous for producing AFL players Shane Clayton, Paul Rizonico, Cameron Doyle and Jason Croall. I remember playing a game of footy at MacLeod’s mud pit oval – every player but one came off the ground covered in mud – that one player was me. My grandfather was a genuine football great, winning numerous league best and fairest awards in Broken Hill. He played three games for Fitzroy in ’31 before injury tragically cut his career short. My wife kicks the footy better than I do – she actually played in a premiership for Darebin Falcons. The best I could achieve was runner-up in under 12’s.


I was one of the first AFL Junior Squadron members (maybe it was VFL back then) back in the day when Gazza “Loinchop” Lyon hosted the kids AFL Squadron footy show. For the first ten years of my life, maybe more, my family had front row seasons tickets at Victoria Park. We used to park at the church on Hoddle St and walk to the ground, rain, hail, shine or nuclear war…we never missed a home game…never. We’d normally watch the U19’s and the Magoos as well – three games in a day. I remember watching Magpie legends like Wes Follows, Neville Shaw, David Cloke, Ronnie McKeown, Ricky Barham, Peter Bradbury, the great Darren Millane, all dash around Vic Park almost within arms length (OK, Wes and Clokey didn’t quite dash). I have vivid memories of the sound of two big adult bodies crashing against each other or crashing into the fence. We were so close you could smell the sweat and here the banter between players.


I have Pants Millane’s autograph numerous times – treasured possessions. I still can’t work out why David Cloke’s autograph reads as ‘Dood”…Clokey, what the hell were you thinking? I’ve had photos taken with Banksy, Kerro, players I couldn’t even name, from attending countless Magpie family days. I watched the 1990 Grand Final as a 14 year old at home. I remember watching it in my room by myself because I couldn’t stand family and friends talking to me whilst the game was on. My favourite memory is the fearless Gavin Brown returning to the field and approaching Terry Daniher after being concussed. Tony Shaw was one of my favourites…partly due to his unparalleled devotion to the club, but mostly due to the fact that I knew I could kick further than him.


One of my greatest life memories is attending the 2010 Grand Final replay. Just thinking about that day sends a shiver down my spine…COLL – ING – WOOD! One of my worst life memories is the 2003 Grand Final loss to the Bears (YES, the “Bears”). Sitting at the ground I had a row of arseholes sitting behind me singing the Brisbane theme song from quarter time until the end of the match. I’m not sure if I have ever felt so dejected and empty.


Being so passionate, I cop shit for being a Collingwood supporter even from people who’ve never kicked a pill. It shits me to tears. I have a picture of a small boy wearing a Collingwood guernsey crying after a Grand Final loss. It sits on my computer monitor so I see it all day to remind me how precious wins are, and to remind me not to take a single win for granted. Footy’s in my blood, and that blood is nothing but black and white.


– Bucky




  1. Andrew Fithall says

    Welcome David. How refreshing to have a Collingwood supporter. I think you may be the first. As one who has witnessed and participated in the recent events on this site, I can give you some advice on who should become friends with and who you should avoid. Phil Dimitriadis is one I recommend. Level headed. Intellectual. Phil never liked Mick Malthouse but didn’t let that influence his opinions. Not sure who Phil barracks for but it doesn’t matter. Peter Flynn is one to avoid. Seems to be good at maths and also to have some extraodinary mind for the retention of what would otherwise be meaningless sporting facts except some people on this site seem to think this is worthwhile. I think he barracks for Geelong, but that is irrelevant in my estimate of him as a person. Dave Nadel is a good bloke to get to know. Very balanced in his views. On the other hand there is Damian O’Donnell whose bias is obvious from the first encounter. Danielle Eid seems to have the right idea about life. We at the Almanac have seen her grow from secondary school through to university and at all times she has had her feet on the ground. Danielle is another who has never really let on who she supports. I imagine she goes to the footy and quietly observes. There is a mystical figure who no-one has ever seen. Appropriately he calls himself Phantom. Pretends to be from rural Tasmania just so no one can actually chase him down in person. I think he may be an alter ego of John Harms – just to give JTH an alternative communication stream without actually destroying his public persona (think Jekyll and Hyde). Phantom has come to epitomise what you will learn to recognise as the natural superior air all Geelong inhabitants of this site seem to adopt. Others I recommend you befriend are Matt O’Connor and James Gilchrist. There are others but too numerous to mention. Again, welcome. Enjoy your stay

  2. Tragic, in every possible sense of the word! :)

  3. Wow, so many friends so quickly, and I’m looking forward to meeting this Phantom fellow! I can’t wait for footy season to start! Thank you for the warm welcome (and I’ll try not to be too tragic next time I contribute!).

  4. Haha IM A MAGPIE!!! thought that was obvious :)
    Nice to have another Collingwood supporter on here, i have grown close to many magpies here, as i hope you will too.
    I laughed so much at Andrew’s comment about me ‘quietly observing’ at a game. I may have seemed shy at the launch but in reality its more like yelling to the point i lose my voice by halftime and have people move away…rows away from me right after my yelling during the warm up :p haha
    welcome to the Almanac’s Magpies nest :)

  5. David – great start to your Almanac life. We love passion here.

    Bundoora Footy Club – don’t they wear the Geelong hoops?

  6. “Sitting at the ground I had a row of arseholes sitting behind me singing the Brisbane theme song from quarter time until the end of the match.”

    Reminds me of the second quarter of the 2011 GF, except they were chanting something. It didn’t last long though… ;-P

    Welcome David… I’m sure you’ll enjoy the passion, the insight, and the niggle and giggle that sometimes goes on…

  7. Welcome David, a finer institution than the Knackey there never was…. and….err…happy New Year AF.

    When you have had the protracted ‘woe is me’ life of a pussy cat with constant jibe from the superior classes of Magpies, Bombers, Tigers, Blues etc (now there is a fine collection of quality evil empires that would make George dubblya go all wobbly at the knees) you have several choices.

    1) Take your bat and ball and run home (If the bullies will give it back to you);

    2) Change your club to one of the self appointed superior classes and live in shame, or;

    3) Stay true to the cause, remember all the crap you have taken and stand up to them, both before and after your ship comes in.

    You will be right this year David. All my Pie supporting cohorts reckon the 2012 flag is in the bag

  8. Andrew Fithall says

    And Happy New Year to you too Phantom… if that is really you. I trust you have had a good holiday and returned in your usual good form.

  9. If it makes you feel better, a Collingwood supporting mate of mine caught a bus down for the 2003 GF from Brisbane (put on by the ‘Bears’). You only had three quarters of their song.

    He had 20+ hours of it!

  10. Will be in Melb for the Roger Waters gig in early Feb Andrew. Are (1) you going and (2) if you are, are you up for a cup of tea pre match?

  11. Andrew Fithall says

    Phantom. No I am not going but be in touch closer to the time and there still might be an opportunity for a cup of tea.

  12. Welcome aboard, Dave. Remember, if they’re not bagging us, it’s coz we’re not a threat. And don’t get distracted by the Ghost Who Squawks. In Penders We Trust.

  13. Ah yes, Bundoora Footy Club used to have a very Geelong-like guernsey. The current jumper still has the bands but not as prominent…thank god.

    Phantom, I can only hope 2012 ends as your Magpie mates say as I only have room for one crying Magpie picture on my monitor, not two.

    Gus, 20 hours of that theme song would be enough for me to jump out the window.

    And MOC, wouldn’t have it any other way really. :)

    Proud to be part of Alamanac’s Magpie Nest. Maybe I can join your Magpie chorus Danielle as I rarely return from the footy with my voice in tact!

  14. Richard Naco says

    MOC: we’re not bagging you.

    BTW, is that kid crying because he’s been told that he has too many teeth to be a member of Floreat Pica?

    And I love Danielle. Everytime she gets a crush on a Collingwood player it kills their career with the monochromed mob stony cold dead. (The last bloke ended up sitting out the last quarter of the GF after basically doing nothing all day.) Love her like a sister (truly), but her’s is the Kiss of Death.


  15. The Ghost Who Purrs

  16. The poor little fella is distraught because he asked Santa for a Cats jumper.

  17. I think he’s crying because Santa actually delivered the Cats jumper.

  18. No second prizes.

  19. The kid crying is a great photo – I think its Mick Malthouse as a child.

  20. Ahhh, only 76 sleeps before the footy is back!!

  21. Could we have a picture of the forty-four years of tears between 1963 and 2007?

    Welcome to the site, Bucky. There are a lot of noisy Cats on this site but you will find there are a lot of Magpies defending the nest as well. We can expect the Cats to return to their more normal state in a couple of years.


  22. A couple of years Dave.

    Can’t wait for 2012 then.

  23. The Cats will be in the top four this year Phantom, but I don’t consider top four to be the Cats’ normal state.

  24. You’re right Dave. Their normal State is Victoria.

  25. Gees Dave, if we were to consider AFL history only, which is a good 20 years now, navy and white is the new black and white. We Cats fans have even found the “confidence” to be “arrogant”, if that’s what stating facts is called.

    With a developer building an $8M facility (including MCG sized ground) in Armstrong Creek and then handing over ownership to the GFC, the assets column of the balance sheet is going to get a nice boost. And with the upgraded Kardinia Park, the income column of the revenue sheet is also going to be fairly healthy.

    And all this without altitude training! Heaven help the rest of the League if we start taking to the mountains each pre-season.

  26. Richard, you know who i really REALLY have a crush on?
    Mick Malt…oh wait :P haha

  27. This Saints fan loves your story and assumes we’d get on quite well (although my memory of the 2010 replay is not as wonderful). With that history, how could you barrack for anyone but the Magpies? Passionate fans of any stripe are the best and drive this site’s success. Welcome.

  28. Thanks Glenn. Sometimes I wonder whether I should wear my heart on my sleeve for everybody to see…on a crowded train after beating Carlton isn’t one of those times.

  29. M Strauss says

    Did you Paul Rizonico ever work in theRegional Office of Big W?

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