Pies back in September

I had to wait until we were absolutely certain of a finals berth before I wrote about the 2018 Magpies.


As a fan all you can ask for is a competitive effort and a style of footy that contains a balance of defence, attack, poise, intuition, trust and flair.


The Pies have delivered consistently in 2018 and for the most part they have been a breath of fresh air compared to the disorganised, hesitant and clanger-ridden teams of 2014-2017.


It all started with a change of logo last year. Never underestimate the subconscious power of symbolism. It gets to us in ways that we can’t always easily rationalise. At first I was underwhelmed by the change. Thought it was more about re-branding.



New logo = new team?



I have come to appreciate a less ostentatious emblem that is traditional, subtle and more representative of a football club rather than an entertainment package.


We come to Bucks. He needed help. He realised that he had to let go of some control. The acquisition of Nick Maxwell has been a revelation. He is not ‘Toorak Boys’ Club’ material. Doubt we would have prevailed in 2010 without his leadership skills and ability to organise the backline and inspire with his words and deeds.


Perhaps Taylor Adams has personified the transition more than any other player this year. He was a player who frustrated me because he couldn’t hit targets, gave away silly free kicks and lacked awareness in his decision making.


Maybe he hadn’t learned to trust his teammates or himself, yet. That has changed and he is like a new recruit. Bit like his coach.


Tom Phillips, Brayden Maynard, Tom Langdon and Jordan De Goey have become young leaders. Brodie Grundy could win a Brownlow – as a midfielder.


Injuries will probably deny us the chance of winning the 2018 flag, but Collingwood isn’t about winning premierships. Collingwood is about threatening to win and that’s what sows the hate and mistrust in opposition fans.


We loom, ready to swoop.


Sometimes I wonder why we are disliked so much when we have provided such wonderful service to other clubs over the years.


If it wasn’t for Collingwood:

Melbourne would only have six flags instead of twelve.

St Kilda would still be waiting for their first!

Four of Geelong’s nine premierships have been at our expense, yet we still can’t get a Magpie cover on Footy Almanac books, which is an outrage ! Will that change if we pinch it this year, Messrs Harms and O’Donnell? And who was it that hardened you in the epic Prelim so you could finally break your 44 year drought in 2007?


Remember when Carlton were a powerhouse? Who was more responsible for that besides Collingwood? One consolation is that the once mighty Blues are tracking to have 16 premierships and 16 wooden spoons by 2050. Would like to live to see that along with us rightfully regaining our place at the top of the premiership ladder.


Richmond hung on to 1980 for 37 years. We also gave you your first in 1920.


We made North fashionable and heroic in 1977. First televised Grand Final and we draw. We bring the drama and thrust others into the spotlight. 1980 Night Grand Final another generous gift, courtesy of a hearing impaired Ian Robinson!


Hawthorn? Those sad sacs looked and played like dysentery until Collingwood fan John Kennedy modeled his teams to play like the Magpies of old. We were the inspiration and don’t you forget it.


Essendon? In 1897 you had to beat us first in the qualification matches to claim your first and the first VFL pennant. In 1901, your first Grand Final victory came at our expense. We also gave you a decent training run before you beat the Hawks in 1984.


Brisbane? What bloody history would Brisbane have had it not been for back to back wins in 2002 and 2003?


Footscray? If it wasn’t for grandad Jack Beveridge, there would be no Luke Beveridge and you still may be dreaming of 1954.


West Coast? In 1992 a ridiculous finals system denied us the double chance despite finishing third and thus handed you your first premiership. In 1994 it was 1st versus 8th and had Mick McGuane not dropped a mark 30 meters out just before the siren, your history would have been quite different.


Port? We had to train you in 2002 and 2003 before you finally loosened the choke to prevail in 2004!


Adelaide? 2003 Pre-Season premiership in front of 50,000 fans at Docklands.


Freo? Would Ross Lyon have got you to your first Grand Final if it wasn’t for Collingwood destroying his tenure at St Kilda in 2010? These things count.


South Melbourne/ Sydney? We gave you 1918 and paved the way for you in 2012. In 2005 you beat us by a point after time was called 30 seconds early. Had you lost that game you would not have finished as high as you did that year, and thus ended your 72 year premiership drought.


It’s great to have the Pies back in September. We might not win it this year, but as history shows we will play an integral part in deciding whoever prevails.


Go Pies!


About Phillip Dimitriadis

Carer/Teacher/Writer. Author of Fandemic: Travels in Footy Mythology. World view influenced by Johnny Cash, Krishnamurti, Larry David, Toni Morrison and Billy Picken.


  1. Very funny article, Phil. Not too sure about “…Collingwood isn’t about winning premierships. Collingwood is about threatening to win and that’s what sows the hate and mistrust in opposition fans”. The so-called hate is just what it is. Always has been. Always will be. You should be proud of the fact. Enjoy it!

    As for this year, you might recall my short article in April this year, titled “Is this the year of the Pies?” :
    Well, it may still come true!

    And, if only we could reverse the if-only’s!!

  2. Brilliant Phil. At least the Pies get home finals Phil!! Lucky bastards.

    We old clubs, like Melbourne and Geelong, regard the Pies as just another Johnny-come-lately. Young upstarts without class or respect for their elders. But they are flying this year. Plenty to like. If they have an ounce of luck they’re right in this one.

  3. Trucker Slim says

    From the Mount, Mr Lord Bogan speaketh. And we listen and lap it up. So (almost) true.

    And thank you Hawthorn for giving the Pies a coach that could actually win a flag after decades of, what are they called again? Colliwobbles.

    Cheers and see youse in September!

  4. DBalassone says

    On the ball Phil. I’ve always said that we are the Washington Generals of the AFL – people rock up just to see us lose. We provide a great service for the supporters of other teams.

    By the way, I notice Richmond with their much-hyped 100,000 members are only averaging 54,185 people per game this season, which is sixth on the all-time AFL crowds list behind – you guessed it – Collingwood, Collingwood, Collingwood, Collingwood, Collingwood.

  5. Great to hear Magpie hubris is back. What did the Magpies ever do for us? A Life of Lord Bogan opus.
    Was starting to worry that I hadn’t read any funny teams or magpie gloating from you in recent weeks. Glad to see you are firmly on the wagon and ere just waiting for the train to leave the station.
    C u at the Magpies Eagles prelim in a month. We can have a lemonade and a Tatts ticket on it.

  6. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    I hope your early prediction comes true, Jan !. Great result for us with your Swans beating GWS. Hope you can do the same to Hawthorn this weekend. Last thing we need is another Hawthorn premiership !

    Haha, Dips. We are JCL’s when you consider that Geelong and Melbourne were formed in the 1850s compared to 1892. You can have your home finals if we can have 7 games at Vic Park next year.

    Slim, Eternally grateful to Lethal for 1990. I have written a number of times that the Pies ought to go back to the future and be like Hawthorn as the Mayblooms looked to the Machine for inspiration way back when. Could we finally see a Pies v Hawks GF ? That would be something.

    Damo, Washington Generals indeed. Tell Richmond they’re dreamin’. Exciting few weeks ahead. Let’s hope we can have some luck on the injury front.

  7. Enjoyable read, but dismayed at the lack of Collingwood spoiling the Suns party in 2014 by breaking Ablett into smithereens or poaching Treloar from GWS – I suppose there hasn’t been a silver lining for those two sides yet!

  8. Phil
    I’m pleased to see that the new logo has ditched the Australian flag. I always thought it was a bit rich (not to mention unlawful) for one club to commandeer the national emblem as its own. But there remains the ongoing mismatch between the creature on the logo and the one in your motto! As I believe I’ve pointed out on this site previously, the “pica” refers to a European Magpie, not an Australian one. It’s little details like this that can cost you dearly in September!
    FWIW – Richmond did a similar re-branding about 5 years ago. Clearly it works.

  9. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Cheers PB. Python was channeled for inspiration on this one. Might bring the teams back during the finals. Have been pretty flat out with work over the last month. If our teams do right it looks like we may meet out your way in a Qualifier. Hard to see us winning with Kennedy and Darling back on a hard track. Shame that some of our champions; Nic Nat, Gaff, Treloar , Elliott won’t be featuring this September. Happy to take you up on that bet and happy to share the winnings.

    Jarrod, give it time with Gold Coast. Tom Lynch a straight swap for Darcy ‘Dicey’ Moore? Maybe Moore’s hammy will function better in the Queensland sun?

    Stainless. The logo is an interesting one. Never felt right about the flag. Not surprising that it was an Allan MacAlister led initiative back in 1992. Australian/European Magpie? Doesn’t everything originate from Greece anyway? Imagine the crowd should we meet in the big one ? Hope we can at least get to play each other during September. Still reckon your Tigers have been the premier team, but I don’t trust Hawthorn. They find a way.

  10. Phil, we have given a lot of premierships away and should have registered charity status. A stable backline goes a long way to winning big games and the Pies don’t have it at this end of the season, so I suspect we will struggle against the more formidable forward lines come finals. That said, if the doggies can pinch one from eighth and then disappear anything is possible.

  11. Luke Reynolds says

    Phil, as much as we have done for other clubs over the years, I feel we could do more. We could help Hawthorn with their push into Northern Tasmania by playing them at Launceston. Help promote Melbourne by playing them in Darwin. Play North in Hobart. Surely these clubs would be more than happy to host us in their developing markets instead of getting their big pay day by hosting us at the MCG/Etihad??

    Loved the new logo from when it was launched. Simple and strong.

    Have thoroughly enjoyed this season. Apart from the injuries. Can’t wait to buy my first finals tickets since 2013. Go Pies.

  12. Very hard to argue with anything that you have said here, LB.

    Not sure who I would support if it was a Tigers v Pies gf.

  13. Brilliant Phil I admit my 2 biggest bugbears in footy are the ridiculous lack of respect for,Nick Maxwell by a lot of footy followers and The Selwood duck garbage
    A v intelligent tongue in cheek read thank you

  14. Joe De Petro says

    Welcome back to the finals, Phil. Its almost like the old days. What is wrong with those silly Blues? They are letting the gang down.

    BTW, I hope you guys climb to second, and the Hawks and Demons finish 5 and 6. That should cause a bit of a stir. Four MCG tenants, 4 finals at the MCG.

  15. Dave Brown says

    Most entertaining – can I suggest that the best thing Collingwood did for Adelaide was capitulating in the last minor round game of 1993?

    Seeing James Aish with a premiership medallion around his neck would be worth the price of admission alone. Go Pies… or whatever people that like magpies say!

  16. george smith says

    It is worth noting that Mick Malthouse is the last person to coach the Blues to a finals win, over Richmond, on the same weekend as his Collingwood rival Nathan Buckley lost his last finals appearance against Port. Just shows you how fickle the footy gods can be, when those humiliated on that awful weekend in 2013 are now sitting pretty, while the winners are left lamenting.

  17. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    BOD – If we can get Howe back it will ease the pressure. I reckon Oxley could be ok, too. Better option than Dicey Moore. At least Oxley stays on the ground for most of the game.

    Luke – China next year? Or Geelong at Geelong ? Hopefully, a few of our injured players will make it back. Would have Fasolo in for Aish. Fasolo has a few things to prove over the next few weeks. Roll on September !

    Smokie – After the toweling you gave Richmond in your piece last year I’m surprised you even have to think about it. Just think of ’74 mate and will help you decide.

    Rulebook – Maxwell has made a huge difference. Super leader and communicator. Will coach one day.

    Joe – Leave the Blues where they are. I’m not going to feel sorry for them after they ruined my childhood. Would love to see a us in the big one. Imagine the atmosphere?

    Dave – I have vivid memories of the 1993 clash. We blitzed in the first quarter and then Tregenza,Liptak and Modra took over from there. Not a fan of Aish as a footballer. Doesn’t do enough. Hope that changes during September.

    George – Fickle footy gods have been par for the course for our Pies. 2 wins , 2 draws and 11 losses in GF’s since 1958. We bring the drama, at least !

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