AFL Round 14 – Port Adelaide v Collingwood: A pilgrimmage to Pies versus Port

By Holly Fahey

I love the Collingwood Football Club. I love all the staff, players and supporters. I’m obsessed.  Any player that walks through the doors of the Westpac Centre, I try to like them no matter how good or bad their on-field performances are (I’m still trying very hard to like Jordy Russell). Obviously, I didn’t know John McCarthy personally but from what I saw in videos etc. he was a happy bloke and was willing to take the piss out of himself (even once admitting that probably not even Collingwood supporters would recognise him in public). I am someone who holds the belief of “once a Collingwood player, always a Collingwood player” (I am still Sharrod Wellingham’s #1 fan to my dad’s annoyance), so whenever Port were on TV, I found myself cheering for JMac.

I was in France when I heard the tragic news about Johnny. I remember waking up early one morning to go to school and, checking my Australian phone, I had texts from a few people letting me know. I remember being in a state of disbelief, not entirely sure how something like that could happen. I left for school relatively upset, making sure that in all of my free periods I headed straight to the library, in order to check for updates on the situation. As I was in France, I had no one with whom I could “mourn”, so to speak. Because of this, it was important to me to be able to say goodbye to Johnny in some way.

So, when I heard that the Port vs Collingwood game in Round 14 would be a memorial for JMac, I was eager to head over there to show my support. It was also a good opportunity to get some driving hours up as I’m on my Ls. Up until last week when Port beat Sydney, I expected the game to be quite one sided (Collingwood’s way). Port had been in shaky form and our boys, although inconsistent, managed to scrape some wins together. I was hoping that we could stem together four quarters of good footy and run over them.

Dad and I arrived at the ground and found our seats, only to realise that we were the only two Collingwood supporters within a sea of teal, black and white. I was hoping that we would be the happiest supporters in the bay, but unfortunately, that was not the case. The afternoon started with both teams running out through the same banner for JMac and his three best friends from both clubs (NJ Brown, Jarryd Blair and Caff from Collingwood) tossing the coin. I thought this was a nice memorial for John. It was small but thoughtful and moving.

I will refrain from writing about the game as I think we all know how badly we played and what a shambles our structure is at the moment.

Luckily, I got the relatively easy job of choosing the worst players for the club. I suppose the hardest part about giving Danny Roach votes is trying to decide who should get the 3 votes.

The DR votes are as follows:

3. Heater- one of the worst games Heath’s played for a long time I reckon. He had 5 possessions at half time as well as twice making kicking out errors that resulted in goals and giving away free kicks.

2. Lynch- I’m not sure I can put up with Lynch lumbering around the ground and fumbling every ball he gets, anymore. Maybe a bit harsh but seems like a waste of space on the ground especially because when he is forward, no one seems to have the confidence to kick to him.  As with Jordy, it’s been hard to warm to him, but I’m still trying.

1. Caff- Had 16 possessions but had no impact on the game at all. Ran with Wingard throughout the game but didn’t manage to subdue him.

Dishonourable mentions go to Jamie Elliott (his mark of the year saved him), Kyle Martin, Dane Swan and Nathan Brown.

The game finished with the margin at 35, which was JMac’s jumper number at Port.  It was a tough day to be a Pie, but I’m glad we went.

Side by side!



  1. The Wrap says

    That’s all very interesting coming from a Pies Fan Holly. I always reckon the supporters have a better insight to their club’s performance than the pundits. Which brings me to a question for you. As a Collingwood Faithful, do you think the players are behind Bucks as much as they were behind Mickey?

  2. Thanks Wrap. That’s an interesting question, I reckon that it’s going to take a while for the players to warm to Bucks and at the moment they aren’t at the same level as they were with Mick. Mick was at the club for a long time and nurtured most of the boys at the club today when they first arrived. Comparisons have been made between Mick and a father figure and I think they are correct. And as we all know a father can’t be replaced immediately!
    However only time will tell and I reckon tomorrow night will paint a pretty clear picture!

  3. Nice review! Bit harsh giving Brown a dishonourable mention, but I guess all the defence weren’t that great.
    Also yeah, the way Q-stick just stands there all the time, dumbstruck, when the ball just sits there. Lol.

  4. Luke Reynolds says

    Great work Holly, couldn’t agree more with your votes. Heater has either been absolutely brilliant or absolutely awful this season. At least it sounds like you had a great trip with your Dad. Let’s hope we can beat the Blues for a second time this season!

  5. Well done Holly.

    The Pies year has been up and down so far (more down!) and there has been no continuity at all.

    More disruptions again this week……….so what a great time to pull out one of the famous Collingwood “backs-to-the-wall” victories tonight against the arch enemy who are desperately trying to stay in contact with the peloton. Let’s help push them back towards the “arriere de la course” where they belong!

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