Adelaide vs Collingwood – Sunday 23rd May

They’re the two words that strike fear into even the hardened footy fan – ‘Family Function’. There is nothing worse than the prospect of missing a fixture due to a Family Function (yes, it deserves capitals), particularly when said Function is with Family you wouldn’t normally choose to share company with.

I will refrain from elaborating further lest I incriminate myself, but it’s fair to say that the task ahead of me is no less harrowing than that of Adelaide taking on the reigning premiers at Etihad.

I tell myself that there are some positives, some slim hope that I might be able to catch the game still. The Family Function is being held at a pub – a good chance of strategically placed big screens. The Family Function also finishes at 1:30pm on the dot due to the establishment having a second sitting for lunch – a good chance to get to my brother’s for the second half.

No doubt Craigy and the boys are similarly grasping at rays of hope for their mismatch against the Pies. The game is at Etihad, not the G, and they have a good record against Collingwood there. Jolly is out, giving an advantage to Adelaide in the ruck with young Jacobs in good form.

Maybe, just maybe.

We get to the venue and are one of the first in. I have my first small win – Big screen, check!  I move quickly with a McLeod-esc manoeuvre that sees me with a great view of the action, whilst also managing to avoid being seated with the least desirable guests.

A few speeches are said as is Grace, and the guests break for the ‘all you can eat’ buffet. I sympathise with the kitchen staff as they will no doubt cop a hammering today, The Family like to get their moneys worth. I wait for the first wave to dissipate then scrape together a plate from what’s left and resume my seat in time for the first bounce.

Amongst the chatter I glance up to check out the action. I’m seeing Adelaide hunting in packs, winning the ball at the stoppages, running the ball beautifully through the middle, and delivering to their forwards with precision. They look good. They look real good.

I see Tippett leading, marking, goaling. Again and again. I see the young fellas slotting goals. I see the captain, Van Berlo, take a huge contested mark and drive it home from 50. Unfortunately I also see some filthy footage on my cousin’s phone as he sells the dummy beautifully (“hey Ben look at this”) and scars me for the next week.

The nerves are getting to me and heaven forbid, I can’t face another trip to the buffet (or perhaps it was round 2 of my cousin’s phone footage – no I didn’t learn the first time).

I manage to squeeze in some chockie pud and soft serve for dessert though, and as I look up Adelaide are continuing their merry dance all over the Pies. The concluding speeches begin and another Crows goal elicits a silent fist pump from my brother further up the table. We complete our Family Function duties relatively unscathed and with a quick round of goodbyes we trot to the car.

Half time comes perfectly for the trip to my brother’s house and when we get there it seems a data projector from his work has made it’s way conveniently to his lounge room. For a day that held so many harrowing prospects, it’s opening up in similar fashion to Etihad’s centre corridor.

The cords are in, projector on and the Pies are on the march. They chip away at Adelaide’s 30 point half time lead despite the best efforts of the young Crows. Adelaide keep responding however I can’t help but feel the tide is beginning to turn. Neither can my pessimistic old man who gives the “Malthouse will make some moves at 3 quarter time and the Pies will run over the top of them” speech, much to my disgust (“Aw shut up Dad!”).

The last quarter begins and Adelaide stretches their lead to 23 points with the first two goals, the second from Pies skipper Maxwell getting caught holding the ball. I dare to entertain the thought – “we could actually do this!”

No we can’t.

15 minutes later we’re all left shaking our heads as the siren sounds on a 40 odd point loss.

15 minutes of scintillating football from the Pies in all of its wall to wall big screen glory, complete with Brian ‘Magpie’ Taylor surround sound.

It’s almost as horrible as my cousin’s phone footage.


Shut up Dad.

About Ben Footner

I'm tragic Crows fan, avid lawn bowler, public librarian and father of 2 little kiddies. Sometimes I also find time amongst all that to squeeze out the occasional article for the Almanac.


  1. John Butler says

    Ben, I listened to the 2nd term on the radio, then only heard the result well afterwards. I couldn’t believe the turnaround.

    What is it with the Crows letting the Magpies crawl back from the dead?

  2. Ben Footner says

    I don’t know what it is, but I’m developing and even more intense dislike Collingwood as a result! I think this time around it was just a simple case of the bigger tanks of a more experienced outfit winning out in the end.

    The final margin was very disappointing though given the excellent work that Adelaide put in for 3 quarters. I’m very heartened by their development still – they are showing something at least, unlike our local counterparts across Port Rd.

    Adelaide’s lineup is looking more and more settled and confident each week. They have a good draw in the next month, and I believe they will take some big scalps in the second half of the year. Still very confident they can make finals.

  3. Madam Defarge says

    Dearie me young Ben. When this football thingy started back in 1991 our boys used to struggle to get the job done away from home. But back then we had an excuse, we were league newcomers or so Elsie told me..they had this thing called the Vee Fee something when I was a girl. However now we are supposed to be a seasoned club. Our coach is is almost as old as I am….

    How can we get away with such spectacular fade outs and retain a coach that has nearly as much grey hair at me. Do our club a favour young man and apply to that Steven Trigg boy to see if you’ve got what it takes to be a league coach. You are abilities are clearly wasted writing articles on the Footy Almanac. Go young man, you club needs you!

    Knit one, Pearl one
    Knit one, Pearl one
    Knit one, Pearl one

  4. Ben Footner says

    Keep the faith Madam! I understand that the sands in the hour glass are beginning to trickle for you and many Adelaide fans like you, hence your sense of urgency regarding our next flag. However this football caper, like your favourite hobby, requires patience, concentration, and a cool head.

    Fear not, for Mr Craig is our ‘Master Knitter’. He is working week by week, row by row, and whilst it may not be obvious to us now, soon the Adelaide Football Club will be as strong, complete and beautiful as your best knee rug.

    If the wait is too much for you Madam, remember – the Adelaide Football Club now has a bequest service. Forget the grandkids, that Steven Trigg boy will gratefully accept the proceeds of your last will and testament and put it to good use. I’m sure Mr Craig has some wonderfully scientific experiments that will put us ahead of the pack once more. The club needs you too Madam, the club needs you too!

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