Round 10 – Collingwood v Western Bulldogs: He Says, She Says

I’d hoped to be there at the ‘G for the Collingwood v Western Bulldogs game. But a big, late night as MC for RockTriv’s first Warrnambool show on the Saturday night meant a lunchtime siesta after my two boys’ 9am Auskick session, and watching the big game on my couch was more preferable to falling asleep while driving home from Melbourne. I’ve been to all Pies games in Melbourne so far this season bar one. Of course the AFL have made Collingwood have three interstate trips already this season, while rich clubs like the Bulldogs play every week at their home ground.

Mrs R: Alright, kitchen is clean, couches are moved to prime position, fire is roaring, chips are in a bowl for sharing, TV volume is 76. I only have the washing to organise, then I will sit down with the family to watch the game. Gee its nice to have everyone here at home to watch the game. Luke is a bit tired but so would I be if I went to bed at 3am! Right now lets finish this washing……..


Tory Dickson kicks an early goal for the Bulldogs. Are our normal slow starts back? But we reply quickly, Fasolo with our first. A few minutes later it’s Pendles to Sidey to Darcy Moore, who goals. The pies are on. Pendles kicks a clever goal himself. We lead by a point at the first change. Happy with our first quarter effort. We’re quietly calm in our Otways loungeroom.


Mrs R: Gosh, I can’t believe it’s taking me a whole quarter to get this washing organised! At least Emily (only daughter) is happy dancing in her tutu and playing with her toys. Josh (middle child) seems content with Luke watching and yelling at the game. Luke is right to tell Josh not to get too cocky with comments such as “Take that Bulldogs” and “I demand that you lose Bulldogs”. Nobody likes a gloating winner. I hear from Luke “Go Crispy” and “Well done Fasy Boy.” I wonder if “Crispy” is Crisp’s new nickname or just something Luke has made up. The kids and I giggle over this. Of course Fasolo is now known as “Fasy Boy” in this house thanks to The Footy Almanac’s Danni Eid. Great the washing is finally done, I will go and sit down and watch the game. Wow, the atmosphere in the lounge is getting tense, Collingwood mustn’t be playing great. Lots of moaning from Luke. Gavin (oldest child) informs me has “Told Dad to take a deep breath!” and asks me “Does Dad think he is an umpire?”. I can see Gavin is starting to annoy Luke. Even after Auskick this morning, running outside and jumping on the trampoline before the game, Gavin seems restless and not interested in sitting down to watch the footy. Luke is frustrated and asks Gavin to “Hop off me Gav, I just want to watch the game in peace”. Luke throws his phone down in a temper and says “I hate watching the game on TV, you cant see the whole game, it’s so frustrating.” Right now I am wishing he was at the game!!! Family fun time is not going so great. Oh good, the first quarter is over, the Pies are one point in front. At least they are winning…….


We dominate the second quarter, but are unable to convert the dominance to the scoreboard. Former Pomborneit fast bowler Easton Wood is destroying us across half back, intercepting so many Magpie forward forays. Jeremy Howe doing nearly as well for us across our half back line. One goal each for the quarter, Dunkley for the ‘dogs after Moore kicked his second for Collingwood. Love watching D.Moore play. We’re by far the best team so far but keep wasting chances. Pendles and Fasy Boy especially guilty in the 2nd quarter. But still, the pies are 5 points in front at half time. High hopes for this to continue, quietly enjoying the game. Wish I was there.


Mrs R: Nope Gavin isn’t going to watch the game and Luke is getting more intense by the second. Gavin jumps at my suggestion of a bike ride. Josh is happy watching the game with his Dad, while Emily is distracted with her toys. At least I will be bonding with one of my children while getting some exercise!


Goals to Blair and Crocker stretch our lead to 15. Like the look of Crocker, has a dip and is from a Collingwood supporting family. Bontempelli manages to escape Greenwood’s grasp to goal. Then came the injuries. Toovey off with concussion. Adams does his hammy. Fasy Boy a shoulder. We finish three points up at the last change. Haven’t made the most of our control of the game. One left on the bench. This would be a win for the ages if we could pull it off. Some of the usually negative Pies fans I follow on Twitter are positive, upbeat. We can do this. The nerves have hit. I need a drink…


Mrs R: We are back from our ride just in time for the last quarter. The pies are just in front, good, but Luke looks like he is chewing on a swarm of wasps. I notice there is now beer…..


The Bulldogs hit the front. Our young hero Darcy hurts his collarbone and is gone for the game. #@$# it. No bench left. No rotations. Treloar bangs a long goal from 55 out and we hit the lead. We can do this! The Bulldogs reply with two quick goals. My chipper demeanour is slowly fading. Footscray slip away from us to win comfortably. Hopes built up during a spirited performance early in the game are destroyed. Notice my family have all vacated the loungeroom and have found other things to do. Fair enough. I quietly slip out to the shed for a while to think about the game. It can’t all be about quality time with the wife and kids. Sometimes an hour in your shed and four days of total despair is all it takes to get over a crushing loss.


As per normal, Mrs R will get the final word….


Mrs R: I don’t last long watching the last quarter, it’s getting close to five and my time would be better spent organising tea, school lunches and bags for tomorrow. I must admit that fun family bonding over the footy hasn’t gone so well today. It’s better when we actually go to the match, there are no other distractions. I hear the Bulldogs have won and Luke mumble something about going to his shed while slamming the sliding door. Right, I’m glad that’s all over! I am overjoyed when the boys inform me Luke has suggested that they will go to the game next week. I think Luke should just go by himself, at least the two hour drive home from Melbourne allows him to calm down. He often reminds me its good to be passionate about things. This is very true, but I think a line from Gavin’s school project on AFL sums it up perfectly. “People can yell at the game when they are feeling crazy!” Its safe to say I am married to a crazy man!

About Luke Reynolds

Cricket and Collingwood tragic. Twitter: @crackers134


  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Luke this one resonates I v rarely watch the footy at home so as to avoid the domestic,they can’t hear you,for goodness sake it’s only a game etc believe me your married to a footy nut compared to me.
    ( thanks for your help as always to mate )

  2. Neil Anderson says

    Such a familiar story Luke. The crazy father figure/footy fanatic concentrating on the match, totally absorbed, thinking of all the permutations of a win or loss. The wife coming and going doing the important stuff like planning out the week ahead, just occasionally checking the scores on the screen, The only reason to check the scores is to evaluate the mood of said father-figure depending on a win or loss. She hoping for a win because it means a better chance of him mowing the lawns after they play that music that reminds her of that song called ‘Sons of the Sea”.
    I will be making a rare trip to Etihad on Sunday to see the Dogs versus Eagles. I have to re-program myself and remember I can actually mention players names and action on the ground to my Bulldog mate sitting next to me and realize he’ll know what I’m talking about.

  3. Nice one Luke. I am the nutcase when we are at the game, but the Avenging Eagle is totally off her trolley when watching at home on the TV. I’m the one telling her “they can’t hear you”. Go figure. I think Its got something to do with how much we’ve got invested, and how we find an outlet for our stress.
    Mrs R sounds like a very understanding woman. You are lucky to have each other.

  4. Andrew Fithall says

    Excellent work Luke. My children (who are no longer children) don’t like to watch the game on the TV with me. I get many pre-game lecture from my wife even though I have been on my best viewing behaviour all season. I was on the Crownies on Sunday. I trust you were imbibing something more boutique and crafty. But I don’t imagine you do home-brew.


  5. Danielle says

    Ohhh fassyboy :(((((

  6. you 2 are a crack up but love the work you put in

  7. Great piece Luke. People often mention their “better half”. I think Mrs R brings about 65% to this piece so she’s your better 2/3! Hopefully we can get some more insights into your footy behavior in subsequent write ups.

  8. Dave Brown says

    Top stuff Mrs and Mr R. Like others this resonates very strongly. Pretty much don’t watch the Crows live on TV at home anymore (even on the rare occasions when the TV is free for me to watch). For some reason I get so much angrier on the couch than at the ground and the anger dissipates more quickly in the open air. That and often going to 4 matches on a weekend, can get footied out (gasp)

  9. Gillian Coote says

    What a crack up!! The whole afternoon has just been brought to life and I almost came for a visit lucky I didnt!! Well done both of you this is a great piece of writing.

  10. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Excellent work Luke and Mrs R. Tough one to take considering we played so well for 3 and a bit quarters. Looks like you might ‘Nige’ it next week. Mrs R sounds somewhat relieved. Collingwood widows = True stoics.

  11. Luke Reynolds says

    Malcolm, I’m hearing you on that. It’s so much more than a game!

    Neil- that’s exactly how it is! Enjoy the Bulldogs game on the weekend.

    PB- she’s understanding most of the time! I don’t yell or get emotional very often outside watching the footy, nice to have that outlet for a couple of hours a week.

    At least they were free Crownies Andrew! I was having a few quiet Prickly Moses Organic Pilsners.

    Danni- :(

    Thanks Lizzie!

    Damien- Mrs R very happy with the better 2/3 comment! She’s saying the writing is a one off, but she’s enjoying the feedback a lot.

    Dave- I’m exactly the same. Enjoy watching other games on TV but just can’t stand watching the Pies on TV. Nothing beats being there.

    Thanks Gill! Yeah, not a great idea to call around if I’m watching Collingwood on TV at home…

  12. Luke Reynolds says

    Thanks Phil, yes very hard to take when we dominated the first three quarters.
    True stoics indeed!

  13. Fasy Boy?? Sounds like an icy pole.

    Nice work Mr and Mrs R.

  14. “I hate watching the game on TV, you cant see the whole game, it’s so frustrating.”


    I think I mentioned it in a previous piece but at half time of the Swans debacle my son made me a get well card. Watching on TV is agonising – for me and my family as well!

    Great alternate perspectives there Luke.

  15. Luke

    I love your writing and passion, but I think Mrs R may just take the choccies and the 3 votes this round. Love the bit where you looked up to notice they had all left.

    Very very good


  16. Nice write up Luke. I recommend 2 Tvs if the game is close I always sneak upstairs to watch. Injuries cost the Pies for sure on the weekend. Unlucky.

  17. Luke Reynolds says

    Thanks Dips. Sadly, “Fasy Boy” will be on ice for a few weeks with his injury.

    Thanks Jeff. Yep, loved that get well card line in your piece. We probably should go to all interstate games instead of watching on TV. For the good of our families….

    Cheers Raj. Yes, the injuries sure cost us. We’ve had a horrible run.
    Thanks Sean! Well deserved 3 votes to Mrs R. I’m just happy if I can sneak into the best players list occasionally.

  18. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    How did the Warrnambool show go Luke?

    I’ll be in big trouble when Mrs Swish finds out about my Almanac activities. She thinks I’m undertaking an online home maintenance course whenever I disappear to the study or whip out the iPad.

    Have you thought about putting a TV in the shed?

  19. Nice work Luke and Mrs R.

    I especially enjoyed ” Of course the AFL have made Collingwood have three interstate trips already this season, while rich clubs like the Bulldogs play every week at their home ground.” It’s this sort of irony that made Australia great.

    The call and response format works well, although happily this piece ended better than “Fairytale of New York.”

    Good job.

  20. Thanks fellow Footy Almanac writers on your feedback!! You have made me smile & laugh with your responses. Luke often tells me that I knew what he was like with footy before we got married but I’m certain his passion is growing each year!

  21. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    Can I suggest Luke that you save Mrs R from the washing in Q1 and keep it til Q4. I find it a very helpful distraction when things are tight on the tele.

  22. Luke Reynolds says

    Swish- The Warrnambool gig went really well, sold out the venue and they were right into the show.
    If I run into Mrs Swish I’ll mention how well you’re doing with your ‘online home maintenance course’.
    Shed renovations nearly complete, I have put a front wall on our formerly open fronted shed. TV and aerial is the next step….

    Thanks Mickey. The Bulldogs won, so the ending isn’t that much happier than “Fairytale of New York”. Second best Christmas song after “How to Make Gravy”?

    Mathilde- thanks for the tip! I’d be happy if she just watched the game and did the washing at another time. But Mrs R is far better at time management than me…

  23. Rulebook says

    Mrs R, I reckon Luke is batting well above his weight and has picked a number 1 draft choice!

  24. Most amusing, thanks Reynoldses. I’d love to hear how your young ones perceive it all. Could be even more revealing.

  25. Luke Reynolds says

    Cheers JTH.
    Gavin (8) is keen to write. We’ll see how he goes.

  26. DBalassone says

    All too familiar Luke. This is why lunatics like you and me should always go to the game, rather than watch at home (ch 7’s outrageous camera angles don’t help either). Good to see Mrs R have the last word.

    Btw, I saw a ‘Prickly Moses’ black panel van on Clayton Rd, Clayton this morning. Good to see you’re getting the product out into the sunny South-Eastern suburbs. Can’t wait for the ‘Aaron’s Rod’ brand.

  27. Welcome any time.

  28. E.regnans says

    Well played Mr & Mrs R.
    Revealing insight into the workings of your place (every place is so different).

    Can’t imagine this occurring at our place: “I’d be happy if she just watched the game and did the washing at another time.”
    The clothes washing is my domain. We’d all be out of jox & sox in short order if left to Nothofagus cunninghamii.

  29. Barry McAdam says

    Very entertaining read Luke I’m really enjoying the Collingwood writers on this site especially you and E Regnans keep it up!

  30. Luke Reynolds says

    Damian, yes us lunatics are better off at the ground! Well done spotting the van, slowly spreading our brand into the suburbs. ‘Aaron’s Rod’, great name for a brother brand!

    Thanks ER. We all have our specialty domains! I’m more a kitchen and dishes man than a laundry man.

    Thanks Barry. I’m an E.regnans fan too.

  31. John Butler says

    Well played Mrs & Mr.

    This joins a small, but psychologically instructive, sub-genre on this site. Let’s call it the effects of obsession on the familial unit. Anthropologists have barely scratched the surface…

  32. Tony Robb says

    G’day Luke
    As someone who has to watch the game on the tube I totally concur with your frustration. My dog has a serious anxiety issue and may neighbours have checked on the safety of my family on occasions. Well played to you both

  33. Great stuff, Mr and Mrs R!
    That story has such a ring of familiarity about it.
    My three sons (21, 19, 18) refuse to watch North Melbourne games on the tv with me.

  34. Luke Reynolds says

    Cheers John. The anthropologists have plenty to study at my place…

    Thanks Tony, all the best to your dog!!

    Thanks Smokie, my 3 kids could well end up the same way…

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