AFL Round 9 – Collingwood v Sydney: The Egyptian Curse

By Tasman Hughes

If there was one thing I learned at the Sydney vs. Collingwood game it was that ancient Egyptian curses really do work.

You see, the ancient Egyptians believed that the entire universe was completely ordered and rational. The rising and setting of the sun and the predicable path of the stars in the sky convinced them that there was an order in existence that was in everything natural (don’t worry, there is relevance to this).

However, in their belief, forces of chaos were always there, threatening order. Every good ancient Egyptian was expected to do their gods proud by helping to preserve order. Without order the chaos gods would reclaim the universe and chaos would reign supreme.

I think of myself as a bit of an ancient Egyptian authority and so I decided, on my first visit to Melbourne for a football match,  to go and curse Victoria Park before their upcoming clash with my team, the reigning premiers, the mighty Sydney Swans.

The evening before the big game, my dad and I headed from the airport to the Magpies’ spiritual home in our hire car.  My dad is a Carlton supporter so he was very eager to see this curse lain on his sworn enemies.

We walked out into the middle of the oval. We were being closely watched by the Magpie fans ringing their team’s home. They were keeping a very close eye on me because I was wearing my Swans cap onto the park.

I was trampling on their sacred ground, so to speak.

And then, in the very middle of the oval, I said the True Lord of Chaos’s name. (I’ve decided not to print the name in case some angry Collingwood supporter goes and curses the SCG or Lakeside Stadium.)

A moment of silence fell as the Lord listened. I’d summoned him to Collingwood, he’d come a long way, and he wanted to spread some chaos. There was a faint hiss (this may give some clues to what reptilian form this god takes), which I took to mean that the curse was done.

Collingwood’s game was going to be very chaotic.

I do feel a bit of guilt about cursing Collingwood’s round nine game, if not their entire season, to complete failure, but I’d flown all the way from Hobart to see my first match at the ‘G, and I didn’t want to see the mighty Swans lose.

Dad had got us seats in the Great Southern stand, just behind the goals. My first impression of the MCG was how big and impressive it was. It reminded me a lot of the Coliseum, which was built in 70 AD.

(That may be saying that the ancient worlders were actually very smart and even after 1943 years we haven’t advanced a lot from the ancient Romans, but when you think about it, we probably have advanced a lot. The ancient Romans didn’t even play footy, for heaven’s sake.)

The ball was bounced and the game was off. The Swans immediately impressed me. In three minutes they kicked three points, all of which should have been goals.

At the end of the first quarter we were up by nine points, but I was hoping for a bigger lead, as we had so thoroughly outplayed the Magpies.  At half-time the Swans were looking in a solid position to end a 13-year streak of losses to Collingwood at the MCG.

The Swans won nearly every loose ball and marked with ease. Dane Swan was playing as if … cursed? Adam Goodes made a cracking start to the indigenous round by playing magnificently all over the ground.

As the game went on the Swans supporters got louder and louder and the Collingwood supporters just kept on filing out of the gates.

End result: the Swans won by 47 points, 55 to 102, easily dispatching the disappointing Magpies.

Malceski really stepped up, just like he did in the 2012 Grand Final. I hope Longmire keeps playing him as a loose man in defence because having him there really strengthens our back-line. In fact, the whole team played better than I expected them to, and I have very high expectations.

The only downer to the match was when a 13-year-old girl racially insulted Adam Goodes, who I like to think of as the pharaoh of our club.

That was the tragedy of this game. Our pharaoh couldn’t even join in the post-game celebrations he was so upset. Goodsie, you deserve better than that. You are a champ, and the rightful king of upper and lower Swan-land.

People often talk about the gods of footy, and I can’t help but notice similarities between the mascots and the Egyptian gods. There’s a cat god, a hawk god, an eagle god, a lion god; am I the only one seeing something here?

I’ve got a good feeling about this year. I had it at the start of last year as well. This is a bold statement, but the gods are on my side, so I’ll say it. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it was back-to-back for the Bloods.


About Tasman Hughes

I am a mad swans supporter who annoys all the people sitting around me by yelling my head off. Luckily for them I lose my voice by the end of the first quarter.


  1. Earl O'Neill says

    Great review, Tasman. It deserves to go in the book!

  2. Tasman Hughes says


  3. Yo Tas, bloody good review that – it’s the only decent account of the game I’ve seen in an entire week of reporting onit. Although I don’t watch much sport, like you I am a big fan of the Pharaoh Adam Goodes and also like to see the Swans kicking a bit of Melburnian butt. Keep it up. I’m looking forward to your take on this weekend’s fixture and intrigued to see far you Egyptian analogy will go. Uncle Ben.

  4. Tasman,
    Neat article. Very clever. I am a mad Eagles supporter who annoys all the people sitting around me by yelling my head off. Luckily for them I lose my voice by the end of the first quarter.
    Age gives some wisdom and perspective – but never on game day. Welcome to the Almanac.

  5. Tasman Hughes says

    It’s great being in the company of like-minded fanatics.
    I’m glad to be aboard!

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