AFL Round 15 – Collingwood v Carlton: Frozen

Let it go, let it go
I am one with the wind and sky
Let it go, let it go
You’ll never see me cry
Here I stand and here I stay
Let the storm rage on

‘Let it Go’ by Idina Menzel (no relation to Troy)

So there I was at Regent Station at 6.30pm in the depths of winter wondering what the hell I was thinking. The cold platform was doing its work in tandem with an icy zephyr, preparing me for what lay ahead at the People’s Ground in the inhumane Sunday night timeslot.

Really, what next? Good Friday at Mawson’s Base? After all, we must expand the game, no matter if friendships are stretched to breaking point.

The train pulled in to provide relief; my plan being to time my run so as to breeze into the ground for the opening bounce. Alas, the station wait had already dialed down my core temperature.

A barrage of Peter Mac tin rattlers descended upon and outnumbered the grim faced punters shuffling off to see Bucks v Mick IV. I’m ashamed to admit I gave generously with part of me hoping good karma would be the only thing to rain down on the black and whites.

The Carlton cheer squad did their bit to add some heat with a banner boasting of six bonus steak knife premierships promised by their former captain cum amateur historian and AFL Chairman Mike Fitzpatrick. Flags won in a different competition blighted by scandals and a shambolic fixture played in a style more akin to rugby. Fancy that?

After the obligatory Blues charity goal to Juddy, Pendlebury’s class set the Pies back on track and the game was played on Collingwood’s terms. Mitch Robinson also showed his class, connecting with Taylor Adams’ jaw with an old time roundhouse right. It wasn’t Banksy on Rhys-Jones but it served to raise the stakes of the contest.

Noticing the tragic number of empty seats at ground level in the Ponsford Stand, I thought I’d do my bit for the AFL and their broadcasters by sneaking in and providing a presence. Bwahahahaha, take that variable pricing!

After the first break Mick called upon his old one-on-one trick to good effect. As a coach his job is to win games, even if he himself admitted he wouldn’t bother watching if it weren’t for the pesky matter of seeking revenge and fulfilling a lucrative contract.

The sparse collection of Blues fans, #UNITED in apathy at the Punt Road end, found their voice through chattering teeth as they worked their way into the contest. The ‘Pies muffed several opportunities to maintain a clear ascendency, though the other blue team armed with broken whistles curiously ignored blatant marking infringements perpetrated by defenders with their backs to the ball whilst holding their opponents at bay.

By the third term the game descended into an ugly rolling maul exacerbated by the umpires’ unwillingness to initiate quick ball ups or pay the bleeding obvious. Daisy appeared discombobulated once again; one minute pinpointing Lumumba like old times, the next collecting Swan’s head with an unsociable high bump.

By three quarter time the concrete chill once again permeated my bones and only the bilious prospect of losing kept the blood pumping sufficiently to avert hypothermia. Although attempts to communicate with several absent Magpie friends by digital means were challenged by frostbitten fingers.

Both the dark navy and powder blue teams kept pressing in the final term, thus ensuring steady TV ratings and Collingwood rage was maintained. Sub Ben Kennedy had made a noticeable impact on the game since replacing Elliott in the third term and a tremendous intercept enabled BOG Steele Sidebum to ice the match with a low skidder from outside 50m. I leapt to my feet and Sunday bloody Sunday night was momentarily forgotten, if not forgiven.

The attendance was the lowest at the MCG for the old rivals in 93 years. Using the most committed fans as guinea pigs in a quest to extract a few dollars more to bankroll a competition living beyond its means ain’t cool Gill, just for future reference.

Consequently, in terms of attending football, too many have chosen to just let it go.

COLLINGWOOD 6.3 8.8 10.12 13.13 (91)
CARLTON 2.2 6.3 7.7 11.10 (76)

Collingwood: Pendlebury 2, Young 2, Ball 2, Sidebottom 2, Keeffe, Goldsack, Cloke, Witts, Beams
Carlton: Everitt 2, Henderson 2, Judd, Casboult, McLean, Gibbs, Thomas, Menzel, Murphy

Collingwood: Sidebottom, Macaffer, Swan, Pendlebury, Dwyer, Beams
Carlton: Judd, Gibbs, Curnow, Robinson, Simpson, Jamison

Malarkey Medal: Sidebottom (3), Kennedy (2), Jack Frost (1, just ‘coz)

Umpires: Nicholls, Ryan, Jeffery

Official crowd: 40,936 at the MCG

About Jeff Dowsing

Washed up former Inside Sport and Sunday Age Sport freelancer. Now just giving my stuff away to good homes. Not to worry, still have my health and day job. Published & unpublished works fester on my blog Write Line Fever.


  1. Hi Jeff, loved the piece and the vote for Jack Frost. I am with your President. Can the Saints sue the AFL for the loss of revenue from the beginning of time when we were stuck with the Dome. I’ll be on that train anytime.

    Yvette Wroby

  2. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    “Steak knife premierships” is quite profound when describing the current state of affairs, JD. We won and that’s about it.

  3. Thanks Yvette. Poor Saints got screwed didn’t they, by old Collo. Imagine if St Kilda had a redeveloped Junction Oval (a smaller scale Adelaide Oval if you will) to go to back when they left Waverley. It’d be a whole different ball game for them now.

    With the benefit of hindsight and the result panning out the way it did, I actually enjoyed the game Phil, despite the umpires giving us the karma sutra of rogerings.

  4. E.regnans says

    Couldn’t believe that proclamation on the Blues’ banner, JD.
    Had numbness in both feet half way into the last. Made a trip to the gents a (more than usually) hazardous excursion.
    A couple of lads behind me were first time visitors;
    “Wow, what a place!”
    “Imagine watching the cricket here!”
    Could have been a better occasion for their first time.

  5. I think the challenge facing the competition is illustrated by the fact that this comparatively shocking crowd would be classed as a great result for several of the battling clubs.

    My 3/4 time trip to the gents cost me about 5 degrees. They say to remain still when caught in a blizzard.

  6. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Good stuff Jeff as a umpire the instruction not to ball it up and letting it go and go ride players in the back , around the neck is incompetent . Mark Evans and Wayne
    Campbell has been a dismal failure . The end of this stupid time slot but Eddie complaining about the draw the pies get is as dumb as the time slot . Thanks Jeff

  7. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Jack Frost, surely the first ex-Victorian rep netballer to receive Malarkey votes.

  8. Really, I didn’t know that Swish. I can see it now, he’d make a great GD or GK with those go-go Gadget arms.

  9. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says
  10. Lol I was there too! Freezing cold, I used my collingwood scarf as a wrap to cover my mouth and nose I looked fab :p
    We started well although when we lost elliott I was ready to cry. More injuries! Im surprised we’ve done this well. Best feeling when Sidey kicked that goal :)))

  11. DBalassone says

    JD, you’ve captured the zeitgeist with this. “Let it go” is sang continuously in the Balassone household by a couple of little snow queens, who dress as Elsa.

    Everyone at the ground on Sunday night, knew it was a joke, an absolute joke. Adding to the comedy was our half time therapy for trying to warm up: 6 stale donuts for $10 from the food stall at the top deck of the Ponsford.

    A win’s a win though – and you take them against Carlton however & whenever you can get them.

  12. “6 stale donuts for $10 from the food stall at the top deck of the Ponsford”

    LOL, I reckon with a bit of your poetic finesse you could turn that sad line into something like a Morrissey song Damian!

  13. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish ?

    Rubber Ring?

  14. Nice Swish. How’s about ‘Still ill’ or ‘Suffer little children’?

  15. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Straight to the “Cemetry Gates”

    “That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore”
    “Every Day is Like Sunday”

    I’d better stop…

  16. DBalassone says

    Mozzer would have been appalled, but he would have complimented me on my non-poultry purchase.

    Is it true the great man prefers toast to vegetables?

  17. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    His toast is black on the outside …

  18. As black as it is on the inside.

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