Don’t Believe The Hype!*

It’s Black and White Groundhog Day once again.

The Magpies are on a roll and the hype surrounding them is on an even bigger one. Both media and Magpie faithful seem joined in a common belief that if they say the word Collingwood a million times between now and Saturday they will create their own reality. If we say it, it will be so.

You wonder why they do it to themselves. Why do they go through this madness every time?

You might think the loss of 25 Grand Finals may have moderated behaviour by now. That a lid might have been found somewhere. But no, like other forces of nature, this seems unstoppable.

Now before you get upset, I’m not arguing that you can’t or won’t win the flag. Even a jaundiced eye would have to concede the Pies’ form is impressive. There seems more steak to this sizzle than is usually the case.

But the fact is that you could still lose. It’s possible. The Saints are no mugs, and they’re stung by defeat last year. It was good enough to get the Cats over the line in ’09, so you shouldn’t disregard it.

We have good Magpie people here at the Almanac. Even though they are Collingwood supporters, it would be a shame to see them come to more harm than necessary. Besides, as a Bluebagger, the Magpies have provided almost a third of my club’s premierships. It’s time to return  the favour.

So consider this a heartfelt, sincere message. I mean to help.

Don’t trust those evil media folk. Once again, they’re toying with your emotions. It’s all sport to them. As usual when the Pies get on a roll, they’re laying the hype on so thick that normally sensible people – and we know most Collingwood folk are eminently sensible – are confusing opinion with fact, hope with reality.

They’re setting you up for a fall, and they’re shameless in the way they go about it. From a 16 page paean to Pie in the Age, to 22 daily pages of updates on the latest thoughts of Maxie and Harry in the Hun, the editors are almost cackling with glee. Supposedly credible journos have been cavorting around in Magpie jumpers for weeks now, just laying the groundwork.

The electronic media are no better. Hourly live crosses to Gosch’s paddock, remote vans camped at Lexus Centre (is it still called that?). They’re as guilty as the rest. That’s right, I’m talking to you Mr Stokes. And you too, you Canadian fellas who own Channel 10. Even Nine are in on the act, and Kerry doesn’t even like AFL! Oh, that’s right…

They already got you with the Brownlow didn’t they? Swannie was a shoo-in they said. Couldn’t miss. All those media awards proved it. As if.

Since when was anyone a shoo-in for Charlie? Just ask “Hungry” Bartlett back in ’73. Hell, Chicken Smallhorn was probably complaining about Haydn Bunton being an umpires’ apple polisher back in the ‘30’s. I shoulda won three!

History and common sense tell you no one is a certainty to win the Brownlow, but Swan was backed in to almost evens anyway. That took a lot of impressionable money, and most of it was Collingwood money. The bookies loved it.

Now it’s on again. Look at the Grand Final odds. There’s no way the disparity is justified by reality. So the Pies beat up on a Geelong side that arrogantly refused to sense the ground moving under their feet. Don’t expect the Saints to go down without striking a blow or two. And they have a Plan B. And C if it comes to that.

You may win. It’s possible you could jump the Saints and make them play catch up footy. But for the sake of your senses, please prepare yourselves for the alternative.

If Golden Rooey and Nasty Milne should rain on the parade, don’t have left yourselves hung out to dry. The media, the bookies, they win either way. You’ll be the ones left with the wreckage.

And there’s the slightest chance someone will remind you about it.

*Apologies to Public Enemy

About John Butler

John Butler has fled the World's Most Liveable Car Park and now breathes the rarefied air of the Ballarat Plateau. For his sins, he has passed his 40th year as a Carlton member.


  1. JB I personally will not utter a word to the pies fans should the Pies lose. I find silence a far more effective form of punishment

  2. Wonderful article JB, this makes me so glad that i’m not a Collingwood supporter. I’d be frightened to my wits end if I was supporting the Maggies.

    A Carlton fan reaching a helping hand out to the Pies though? That confuses me..

    Well done, though.

  3. Like I said Josh, they’ve been kind to us in the past. :)

  4. On a more serious note I believe team selection will be vital to the outcome. Some risks on both side with Presti, Leon and Baker plus the shadow over Montangna and Ball fitness. Should either side lose a player in the early stages thty cant win because of the high rotations needed to play their respective games style whcih are effectively the same.TR

  5. Collingwood need to play Presti, you can just see Riewoldt dominating Nathan Brown on a big stage. As for Leon Davis, i’d much rather have him playing by my side on Grand Final day than seeing him sitting in the stands.

  6. TR

    Surely the experience of these finals is to not risk injured players. It’s backfired every time.

  7. Even with Leon’s less that steller finals record?

  8. David Downer says

    Very thorough JB!

    Must say, with my foot obviously in the other camp, the Collingwood hype doesn’t worry me – the Saints have been low-key all year and we’ve made it to the last day. Why change now.

    Personally I’d like to see Leon left out – ‘cos I think he’s “due!”

  9. Obscure omen #12867:

    The last incumbent Victorian Premier to have a premiership to celebrate was Dick Hamer, whose Hawthorn saluted in 1976 and 1978.

    While Jeff Kennett was Opposition Leader Hawthorn won five flags. then the Jefmeister gets the head honcho gig in 1992, and suddenly the Hawk juggernaut can’t win a finals match.

    Even Geelong’s 2007 campaign would have ended in tears if Steve Bracks hasn’t made the Supreme Sacrifice some time around Round 16, or if Rob Hulls had taken over as some pundits thought possible.

    John Brumby supports Collingwood.

  10. one team will be sad on Saturday afternoon. Sadder than all the other teams that didn’t even make it!

  11. Life will go on Sunday if we lose tomorrow guys, whatever will be will be …

    Brumby’s father however has fallen quite ill …

  12. PS Yes agree dips, the great irony of winning your way through to a gf …

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