Round 20: Farewell to a true Tiger champion

Today was always going to be a painful day. Collingwood are in fine form while Richmond are putting forward a case for relegation to be introduced to AFL.

If it wasn’t bad enough to put up with an imminent thrashing against my least liked team in the AFL, earlier in the week it was announced that Joel Bowden was retiring.

I have grown up watching Joel and he has always been one of my select few favorites. I have seen few Richmond champions in my short time, but he is definitely one.

Joel has been faithful to a club that has not repaid his service, loyalty and skill with quality players around him. He would’ve been regarded a lot higher if he had played for a team that achieved higher success.

I’ll never forget last year when he was partly responsible for Richmond winning matches, three weeks in a row. A match saving mark against Port, rushing three behinds against Essendon (genius) and a goal with the last kick of the game to put the Tigers in front against Brisbane.

Mum and I arrive extra early today, so we take care, noting who is sitting around us. Despite our best attempts, we’re surrounded by Collingwood supporters. We’ve done pretty well though, they’re as civilized as you can get for Collingwood supporters.

The game starts very much to our liking. Richmond are tackling hard, Riewoldt converts his first chance, always a good sign. Morton catches O’Brien and pings him for holding the ball. We notice Morton’s in the left pocket. We both know what he’s going to do. Sure enough he wheels around onto right and the ball sails in for a goal.

It’s all Collingwood after that.

Collingwood miss heaps of chances to score but it doesn’t matter. Richmond finds it impossible to get the ball past the centre. Collingwood are just too good. The first 5 minutes must have been all in my imagination.

During the second term King does something I would love to do. He hits Didak and a brawl begins. If we’re going down I want to drag them down with us. Rub as many Magpies out as possible for finals. I beg for Swan to get involved but he smartly sees that Charlie and a finals match are far more important than having a go at an angry midget.

Unfortunately Didak kicks a few goals. The only time Mum and I cheer is when Joel gets the ball. Sadly he’s had an ordinary game; you can hardly blame him for Richmond’s performance though.

As the fourth quarter starts, I’m disappointed to see many Richmond people have left. I am a true believer that you should never leave before the end of the game regardless of the result. (I made an exception for the 07 Richmond Geelong game). However today I’m more disappointed with these people because of the circumstances.

Joel Bowden stood by the team for fourteen years and they can’t even stand by him four quarters.

As Collingwood put the ‘cue in the rack’ Richmond kicks a few foals. Unfortunately Joel doesn’t get any of them.

As the siren sounds we stand up to clap off Joel. He’s given the match ball and jogs over to the Richmond cheer squad to a standing ovation. It’s a nice touch.

As Bowden is chaired off he goes to have his photo’s taken with his two children. I notice one is a boy. I wish Richo would learn from him.

Richmond 2.1 3.3 6.5 8.11 (59)
Collingwood 7.8 13.13 20.18 22.20 (152)


Richmond: Deledio, Newman, Bowden for 265 games, King for hitting Didak
Collingwood: Swan, Beams, Pendlebury, Shaw, Didak, Johnson


Richmond: Nahas 2, Hislop 2, Deledio, Morton, Riewoldt
Collingwood: Davis 4, Anthony 3, Didak 2, Dick 2, Swan 2, Cloke 2, Johnson, Beams, O’Brien, Shaw, Medhurst, Pendlebury, Lockyer, Did I forget anyone?


  1. I’m going to get all defensive on you right now.
    How can you approve of Kings actions against Didak?
    If anything I considered him immature and reckless.
    King was the start of the whole melee and what annoyed me was that it happened 50 meters away from the footy!
    Im all for a bit of a fight in our great game but this was just stupid.
    As for the sabotage in trying to rub out players for the finals that’s just sad.
    I fully support the action taken by my team during the melee because if someone had done that to my teammate I would have done the same thing.
    King and Hislop have both lost my respect.

  2. Michael Allan says

    Dani I understand why you’d be upset with Kingy and Hislop but you’ve got to look at it from a Richmond perspective.
    You guys had us beat already and we didn’t look like scoring. The only chance we had of a comeback was a spark. As we couldn’t even get the ball into our forward fifty we were hardly going to get that spark through quick goals. King did his best to provide a spark by keeping Didak out of the play and taking a number of Pies’ focus off the game. It was the only way we could fire up some players.
    As for you losing respect for King and Hislop, I like most people, lost respect for Didak some time ago.

  3. Let’s not all get sentimental now. How anyone can call Bowden a great, let alone a champion, is beyond me (blame the sub-editor?).
    He was a good player in a crap team. Period. And don’t bother quoting the B&Fs. Didn’t Wayne Campbell (another good-not great-player) win 6 or 7 of them – enough said!

  4. Josh Barnstable says

    Bowden was a great player, and i expect him to go elsewhere, perhaps the Gold Coast for a year to teach the younger players how to evolve into great players like he did. What King and Didak did wasn’t good, but at the same time made people watch what was a boring game really.

  5. Josh,
    You’re definition of a great player is obviously less stringent than mine. I would rate Adam Simpson a vastly superior player to Bowden but probably not verging on greatness. Of those retiring this year, certainly the 2 swans (Hall & O’Loughlin) are worthy of the mantle. Not Bowden.

  6. So you are saying.. If all fails start getting into the opposition?
    Im Sorry but i don’t agree.
    As for losing respect for Didak i can understand that, even i was ashamed of the whole car incident but Didak has matured.
    Just by keeping his cool while being harassed by King shows just how far he has come.

  7. pauldaffey says


    Joel Bowden is probably considered a great person rather than a great player. He was also among the best players in a poor team, so the “great” description has probably been applied too liberally regarding his playing abilities.

    Wayne Campbell won four BFs and finished second three times. Such a record is confirmation of the fact that he should have gone to North Melbourne when he was thinking about it in 1998.

    East to say in hindsight I suppose, but I thought at the time that he should have gone. And I’m a Richmond fan. He was clearly correct with his frustration at the way Richmond was being run.

  8. People let me clear this up.
    the True champion is BEN COUSINS!!!
    One reason for me to ditch my team and follow Richmond?

    Ben Cousins in GQ Magazine photoshoot.

  9. Michael Allan says


    Daff is right and I probably should’ve mentioned his off field stuff a bit more. nevertheless I find it hard to beleive that you’d put Hall in your ‘great’ category and not Bowden or Simpson. Hall weas very fortunate to have played in successful teams and was clearly frustrated and never recaptured his form after the 2006 grand final.

    Thanks for sticking up for me Josh, however I don’t think Joel will go to GC. I think he’s said he will take a year off to spend some time with his kids. He was the representative of the players for the AFLPA for a number of years and I’d say he’ll go down a Brendon Gale path.

  10. I was certainly not referring to his personal attributes (I’m sure he’s a great bloke) but surely Hall ranks as a better footballer across his career than Joel irrespective of what label you put on them?

  11. Michael Allan says

    If we are rating them purely on football ability then I concede that Hall is the more decorated and succesful player. I do however rate a players character very highly and I unfortuneately Barry tarnshed his towards the end of his career.

  12. Here’s a challenge for you then Michael.
    Rank the top 10 players in the AFL by character.

  13. Michael Allan says

    Tough question but I’ll do my best.

    1. Matthew Richardson
    2. Chris Judd
    3. Brad Johnson
    4. Johnothan Brown
    5. Luke Hodge
    6. Adam Goodes
    7. Brett Kirk
    8. Cameron Ling
    9. Nick Riewoldt
    10. Joel Bowden (just to annoy you)

  14. Good work! Top 9 all excellent players. I assume it only takes one negative news story and they would no longer qualify for this list. The power of the press!!

  15. Michael Allan says

    Definitely, squeaky clean record to be eligable.

  16. Steve Healy says

    All of them have a clean record apart from Luke Hodge, don’t know why he is on the list.

  17. and RIEWOLDT… argghhh RIEWOLDT!!
    mr Sooky-LA-LA!!

  18. Michael Allan says

    It did cross my mind but since it’s all rumors I felt I couldn’t really hold it against him. His leadership for Hawthorn has been outstanding and I think many Hawk fans would’ve liked him to be captain.

  19. Michael Allan says

    Nothing wrong with showing a bit of emotion Dani. Again, has been a fantastic leader, even if he did cost his team a perfect record.

  20. Lol..dont get me wrong im all for emotion and guys crying and stuff but Riewoldt kinda reminds me of a spoilt little kid who cries over everything.

  21. Michael Allan says

    Your tough to please Dani. First of all you lose respect for King and Hislop because the’re too rough, then you get stuck into Riewoldt for being too soft and crying.

  22. You got that right Michael.
    is funny most people dont pin me as A Collingwood supporter because of my highstandards and my mouth full of teeth.
    Juddy is perfect hes not too rough and not too soft.
    hmmm i should make a list of the best looking players in which Riewoldt would NOT be included and Ben Cousins would be Number ONE. :)

  23. Michael Allan says

    It would make sense since all your match reports feature honourable mentions to the good looiking players. I’ve been told Giansircusa is the best of the lot. Not that I’d know.

  24. Steve Healy says

    A mouth full of teeth? Danielle you respresent 50% of the amount of teeth out of the 46,000 Collingwood members. Hahaha

  25. Giansircusa? yeah hes CUTE!!

    STEVE….im giving you a really bad look rite now LOL :p

    BTW im so going to make that list!!

  26. Josh Barnstable says

    High 5 Steve! That is good :)

  27. Steve Healy says

    Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. The opportunity was open.

  28. i just finished the list!!!
    cant wait till it goes up!!

  29. Josh Barnstable says

    You could just post it as a commment Danielle? But i’d like to see how you made an article out of the top 10 hottest players lol

  30. Michael Allan says

    aaaaA bit over the top to make an article of it if you ask me. I liekt he suspence your giving it though. I predict appearences from Collingwood’s Brown, Deledio, Buddy and LeCras.

  31. Danielle Eid says

    ummm its more than ten..
    its 21!!
    omg that would so be my dream team, how goodlooking would me team be!!
    opp its got a few typos with the numbers. you see i kept changing my mind about the order and then forgeting to add players but you will get the idea!

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