Round 7 – Collingwood v Carlton: Anniversary Blues


The 2.10 Saturday footy starting time. Traditional. Perfect.


The Coodabeen Champions are best listened to in your car, driving to the game. Even if they don’t read out your tweet about the weekly question. Swish does it better anyway. Nothing better than Torch’s Talkback while the traffic is moving slowly towards the Swan St bridge.


We find a good spot in the Olympic Stand. Like to rotate between there and the Ponsford from game to game. The whole family is here, all five of us. We’re early. Catch up on some Almanac reading. I’m on edge about this game. Always am with Carlton. It’s our 125th Anniversary game. Our first ever game was against Carlton in 1892. They won. Since then they’ve made a habit of ruining our big occasions.


May 1992- It’s the Magpies centenary year. 12 year old me is watching the ‘Centenary Game’ at home. Huge crowd. I start recording the game on our VCR. So I can keep it for posterity. To re-live our great win again and again.


Poet and fellow Almanacker Damian Balassone walks into our row to sit with his mate. Always amazes me who you can bump into in a crowd of 70,000. We both seem cautiously optimistic. The sheen from the win over Geelong still lingers.


Like city drivers, footballers are no good in the rain these days. The pre and early game drizzle sees a first quarter of very low standard. Collingwood’s first goal comes right on the cusp of the first break via a dubious free to Fasolo. This game feels far from a celebration.


Back to 1992. Carlton lead by 11 points at half time. But I know the Pies, the good guys, will win this. It’s our 100th Anniversary after all. Daics, Browny, Shawry & co will get the job done. I’m diligent in pausing the VHS recording when the ads come on. This stirring second half comeback will well be worth watching again and again on our AKAI VCR.


The game continued in an all too familiar theme. Collingwood dominating out of the centre, unable to hit/find forward targets. Forwards, who when they got it, unable to convert. Carlton moving the ball better, converting better. I’m as quiet as I ever get at the footy. Head in my hands for much of it. Despite some good patches, we’re 23 points down at the last change.

The Pies are down by 25 points at three quarter time in Round 8, 1992. But I’m a 12 year old whose team won the flag 20 months earlier. I know they’ll come back. There’s no way Carlton will ruin our night of celebration. I’m not old enough to be traumatised by 1970, 1979, 1981. Yet.


Who else but Daisy Thomas to kick the game sealing goal for the Blues? He’s had a nice little superannuation top up without much return for Carlton. He’s been really good today. Loved him in black & white, in my opinion THE player of the 2010 Finals series. Like his former team, there’s only glimpses of former greatness. But it sure did hurt to see him put the game out of reach.


One goal, two behinds to each team in a poor standard last quarter. Collingwood play better in the last quarter, but scoring is a huge issue. It’s so frustrating to watch. The siren goes and I’m numb. No anger, just disappointment. The high hopes that we entered the season with. The coach, a hero to me in my youth, in a perilous position. We wait for the crowd to file out. D. Balassone looks as flat and dejected as me as he leaves.


Craig Bradley and Greg Williams have dominated the 1992 game. Sticks Kernahan has kicked 7. We lose our Centenary game by 33 points, despite the great man Peter Daicos kicking 3 goals amongst his 27 possessions. 12 year old me has tears streaming down my face. Our special night ruined by those navy blue pricks. I’ll need to harden up as I get older…


We meet up with Almanacker Tony Robb and his son Dylan after the game. A couple of very happy Blues. Really nice to see the Canberrans, they’ve clearly had a much better day than us.


Another long trip home. Won’t be watching that game again.


The VHS recording of the 1992 game doesn’t last long. Record The Simpsons over it the very next day….


The final word goes to Lisa, a very entertaining Collingwood fan I follow on Twitter.
She tweeted- “Carlton are like that guest at a party who drink all your grog, double dip the guacamole then vomit on your lawn”.
So true.


COLLINGWOOD 1.3 3.5 7.6 8.8 (56)
CARLTON 3.4 6.5 11.5 12.7 (79)


Collingwood: Elliott 3, De Goey 2, Fasolo, Cox, Moore
Carlton: Petresvki-Seton 2, Wright 2, Casboult 2, Simpson, Weitering, Graham, C.Curnow, Gibbs, Thomas

Collingwood: Reid, Elliott, Pendlebury, Goldsack
Carlton: Murphy, Marchbank, Petresvki-Seton, Kreuzer, Cripps, Simpson, E.Curnow

Umpires: Foot, Findlay, McInerney
Official crowd: 70,279 at the MCG


Malarkey Medal Votes-
3. Murphy (Carl)
2. Reid (Coll)
1. Marchbank (Carl)

About Luke Reynolds

Cricket and Collingwood tragic. Twitter: @crackers134


  1. John Butler says

    Personally, I’ve never much cared for guacamole.

    Time to break out the 1990 GF DVD Luke. 2010 might be too close to home currently. And I’d strongly advise against 1970 in your current state of mind.

    I’m off to inspect your lawn.


  2. Neil Anderson says

    I really enjoyed your report. One of your best . When my wife gets home from work and she brings me that first beer, I’ll tell her again how well her former student, that young fella Reynolds, is goin’.
    It’s always hard to write a report when your team loses. Even harder when it’s interspersed with a flash-back match which is also about a loss. All this and the dreaded long drive home.
    Thank goodness we have the Coodabeens as we drive to matches when we’re full of hope for a great outcome. Such a different atmosphere in the car compared to travelling home.
    That line from Lisa on Twitter was the perfect way to finish your report. I thought of some of the comments posted about the late Lou Richards. ” He made footy fun and reminded us not to take footy too seriously all the time.” Not always easy for us die-hards, but we try.

  3. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Luke, what a terrific piece of writing. Interweaving this disaster with that of 1992? Magnificently done. I remember the ’92 game well. Shawry usually would do a good job tagging Diesel, but he was beginning to slow down and we got cut up in the middle giving Sticks many opportunities to punish us.

    At least in ’92 we were not far off from challenging. And you know Carlton (bastards!) sometimes auger change for the better when they beat us in big games.
    Matthews was told that his position was under threat after the 1988 QF loss. Flag in 1990. Eddie took a stand after a miserable showing in a game in 1998 and we became important again. The loss in 2009 led to the succession plan. Flag in 2010. Wipe away those tears young man. Change is coming.

  4. DBalassone says

    It was nice to run into you on Saturday. It seems I’m running into almanackers all the time at the footy, which either means I go to the footy a helluva lot, or there are a helluva lot of almanackers. I like the comparisons of the two anniversary games – strangely enough I was at the ’92 game as well and recall it being very similar this one – a dysfuncional forward line, despite repeated entries, whereas Carlton punished us when the went forward (with Sticks in ’92 and a variety of options in Buckley’s Paddick in 2017). Is the inside 50 stat they most useless stat in footy or what?
    As I said to Phil, let’s not be too hard on the succession plan, prior to it we had won one flag in 52 years. Where as the Malthouse/Buckley plan has yielded one flag in 7 years – it just came at the start of the plan, which was not expected, rather than during Buckley’s tenure. Is the 2010 premiership the most under-celebrated flag in AFL history?

  5. Rulebook says

    Superb Luke very clever and love the tweet by Lisa

  6. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Bewdy Luke, didn’t think that anyone would notice. Just a matter of TMNBTS each week.

    I’ve tracked that Centenary Game down on YouTube, do you want the link?

  7. Craig Bradley! Don’t you touch him!

    Lawn is surely better than bed/ new lounge/ wife.

    Thanks Luke. Chin up!

  8. Dave Brown says

    Great stuff, Luke. The parallels are definitely there and Carlton seem to relish the opportunity to spoil Collingwood’s party. You should really stop inviting them to the big occasions.

  9. Another great one Luke you write from the heart perhaps you should send some to Maggies he he still love your talent ?????

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