Pies blanket Hawks in Blankety Blankless game


by Damon Robb


verb (used with object)

1. to obscure or obstruct; interfere with; overpower

In the immortal words of 70s commentator Peter Landy, the Collingwood v Hawthorn game was a game of two halves for me.   The first half I was at the game in standing room behind the Pies cheersquad; the second half I was at home watching Channel 7s broadcast “live” on delay.

Let me explain…. I nearly didn’t make it for today’s game.  It was my eldest baby’s birthday and before I could say “MCG” (and get a visit to the holy G into the family social diary), other plans were being made without my knowledge.  Eventually I got wind of them and was initially enthusiastic.  A birthday treat featuring a family trip to Tootin Carman!!  Fabulous Phil was my teenage hero and, with the Car Show on at President Jeff’s Shed, I figured he must have been promoting some sort of new vehicle warning system.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered it was some ancient pharaoh exhibition.  So, with all the evasive skills of Fabulous Phil in his prime, I was able extricate myself from that engagement  and free myself up for a 1st half of footy at the G.  But, due to other fatherly birthday duties, I needed to be home late in the arvo, so I did the bolt at half time so I could be back home for my tasks and to take in the 2nd half on TV.

It was billed as the “Bring a Blanket” game and all the pre-game talk was about how we could blanket our nemesis, Buddy.  At Sunday lunch, I had noticed that Steve’s pleas for writers were still met with a Blankety Blank response from the FPS faithful and to throw in a bad Dad joke/pun it was a Blankety Blankless game with no “Cyril” and no “Did Dick, Dick Dids“.

The game started with the atmosphere of a wet blanket with the quietest 83,000 crowd response I’ve witnessed.  The first ten minutes or so were quite  underwhelming with very few highlights.  The Pies’ famous press, defensive structures and forward pressure – what would poor old Peter Landy think of these modern day terms? – were working a treat and had the Hawthorn backline see-sawing from side to side and backwards with no way through to their forward line.  At one stage I feared they’d pass the ball into their cheersquad when they saw a brown and gold jumper in the first row.  They were going backwards more than Tiger Airway’s public profile this week.

When they did kick forward our backline stood tall with Tazz side by side with Reid and Maxy snuffing out Buddy.  And then there was Harry, Heater and Toovs, unlike David Helfgott’s trampoline, rebounding everything out of sight.  The much publicised Hawthorn precision kicking was nowhere to be seen with our relentless pressure all too much.  Their promising youngsters of Savage, Suckling, Shiels and Gilham were all struggling under the Pies heat. It seemed like all their blokes with a 7 on their back were burning it – with numerous instances of numbers 7, 37 and 47 turnovers from dreadful kicks. If it wasn’t for Hodge racking up plenty and their last line defensive efforts, they’d have been in big trouble.


With our backs dominating, our mids were also getting great service from Jolly who was a welcome sight back in the middle winning hit outs to advantage and giving us dominance in the clearances.  Daisy had plenty of it, Ball was great in the clinches as usual, and Swan and Pendles were also busy around the ground.

Whilst we were all over them like a bad Delmonti brown and gold suit, our forwards were not capitalising on the amount of ball we had.  Cloke was presenting strongly again and snagged a great goal in the first quarter from 50 out on the “wrong side” boundary.  But our crumbers were probably too busy zoning as they were not “front & centre” very often.  So Leroy Brown decided to reinvent himself yet again, this time as a crumber, with a great 2nd quarter snap to show the way.  Fasolo showed some good signs of skill, strength and poise for a second gamer and kicked a confident goal.  Weller’s goal on the siren, after a great pass from Maxy, was a great finish to put a good break of 39 points on the scoreboard to finally reward our dominance.

As I watched the boys run off with their spirits up, I took off with a sense of satisfaction that the game was ours, as I headed home for the second half on TV.

I arrived home midway through the second quarter on the TV – making sure I had the “not listening, not listening, not listening” approach to the radio on the drive home.  With a few chores taken care of, the second half started with the backline continuing where they left off and Reid continuing his great game with a juggling mark that was worthy of being a finalist on Australia’s Got Talent.  Clokey continued with more contested marks and kicked a Bad Trav point and then a Good Trav goal.  We were able to string a few goals together with Reid rewarded by a great Neon pass finding him free on 50 and drilling one straight through the “hi diddle diddle”.  He celebrated in fine style (a very different result to some of Reid’s stuttering early attempts as a forward a few years ago – underlying his amazing development over the past 12 months).  The clearances and forward pressure kept the ball locked in our forward half again and caused another errant kick out of defence by the Hawks for a Jolly intercept and long goal.

While the atmosphere at the game seemed somewhat stifled, the noise coming through the Channel 7 mikes was booming early in the third as we piled on the goals – had the Pies faithful fired up or is this some sort of TV trickery I pondered?  Sadly the rest of the game turned into a long junk time fest.

The Hawks were going down faster than a Purple Wiggle, with Gibson, Osborne and Lisle all biting the dust in the third.  A few Pies mistakes saw the Hawks finally rebound out for a goal against play and some mistakes from Harry and Buckley on the same back flank gave the Hawks some long overdue time in their forward 50.  Buddy, inspired by our crumber Leigh Brown no doubt, swung onto the ball and got a few stats which also got them moving for some junk time goals late in the third.

The last quarter was so uninspiring that peeling spuds and pumpkin was almost enjoyable.  Luke Rounds found himself subbed on and showed some grit and determination for a few possessions – his first setting up an amazing Cloke chest mark whilst facing the wrong way.  Heater flew high in a Capperesque sort of way that ended up being a great goal assist for Blairy and Maxy wrapped up Buddy with a great blanketing tackle which saw him hobble off with a bung ankle.

The siren sounded and before you could say “Good old Collingwood forever”, Channel 7 had swapped over to the lovely Rebecca Maddern reading the news with no opportunity to revel in the afterglow of interviews and singing the song.

After last year’s games where we flogged a Buddyless Hawks early in the season and then played bruise-less footy and put the cue in the rack in our R22 loss, this game with the Hawks missing Cyril, Lewis, Sewell and Roughy, I pondered on what the result meant.  Given the somewhat 70s theme of my ramblings, my mind wandered back to what the Hawthorn supporting Peter Landy would have thought about this game of two halves.  I reckon his co-commentator, Magpie Legend Louie the Lip, in his twangy tones would have offered something like “The Magpies pressure was exceptional today Pete and they clearly outplayed the undermanned Hawks before easing down in the last” and I’m sure Peter Landy would have responded as he always did,  “Very much so, Lou.”.

The Dermott Brereton Medal goes to Benny Reid.

3 – Ben Reid – mopped up everything better than Pro Hart’s cleaning lady, great drive out of the backline and topped off with a great goal.

2 – Daisy – 9 first quarter possies, a running machine, manic as ever – interesting big Ant nominated him as our most important player on the pre-game 3AW interview ahead of Cloke, Jolly or Swanny,

1 – Harry – great judgement, great pressure and great rebound.

Unlucky  – Swanny (a victim of his own high standards), Heater, Jolly (great first half, quieter second), Pendles (another victim of his high standards).

Go Pies and Floreat Pica.



  1. Dear Eds; “Random Bob” I love it, finally a new one!!

    I’ve had the Damon Robb version many a time and have kept a file of a hundred or so other amusing attempts. My two faves are;
    1- “Ramon Oit”
    2- “Raymond Dobb Dobbs”, followed by the intro of “Dear Russell”.

  2. Have to admit, Ramon, I nearly did type Damon Robb!

  3. Damo Balassone says

    If Ben Reid and Chris Tarrant wore Carlton jumpers, they’d be certainties for All-Australian selection. Why is it that half the Carlton side are touted as definite All-Australians?

    Yes, the Blues are having a great season, but I would have thought that key defenders from a team that has only lost one game, and have only conceded 894 points in 13 games, might be worthy of consideration as well.

    And while we’re at it, Leon Davis has been doing more body-on-body work down back than Heath Scotland, surely?

  4. Damo, we all know the reason why!! We don’t agree with it, we despise it, but “it is what it is” and makes our victories all the sweeter. Go Pies and Floreat Pica.

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