Round 9 – Collingwood v Hawthorn: Mind of a Pie



Emotions, thoughts and a cacophony of guttural exclamations were flowing as I watched my beloved Pies intent on marching their coach to the guillotine at quarter time. Symbolically, it was one of Nathan Buckley’s best wins as coach of Collingwood. Never mind that Hawthorn were decimated by injuries. The Hawks have been our bogey men since 2011. It was time to face our fears and confront the demon.


As inner conversations go, here is a taste of mine throughout this intriguing game:


“If we win this we can re-launch our season

Bucks needs this badly

Why is the focus always on Bucks and not the whole club?

What about the other coaches?

Puoplolo decides to play well tonight.

I bet Vickery will kick a bag too!!

Why do they continue to chip backwards? What are they afraid of?

Is anyone on Tom Mitchell?

This has ‘Coach Killer’ written all over it

What would Lou think of this display?

I want a massacre – or nothing will change

I can’t take this shit anymore!!

They’re booing them… about fucking time.

What code of footy are we playing?

I don’t want to watch anymore, yet I can’t look away.


Quarter Time – Smoke and read social media condemnations.


Sword of Damocles about to fall

Pitchforks and torch-lights at the ready

Facebook full of scatological emojis and language

I hope we get thrashed

We are shit

Bucks pointing defiantly. Is anyone listening?



43 points. Comeback of 1970 proportions needed.

They’re having a crack, too little too late.

Starting to straighten up, Treloar getting better, Father Pendles rallying the troops

Howe rebounding. How the fuck does Lynden Dunne get a game

What’s happened to Crisp? Too lackadaisical as Lou might have said.

Darcy looks better in the ruck. Steele having an impact, Adams having a go. Class of Elliott starting to show.

Big Boy goals on the bell. We fucked it up again.

First couple of goals in the 3rd and we’re in this!



Why doesn’t Bucks just resign with some dignity? Why is the camera always on Eddie and Joffa?

They might be the only one’s left if we get hammered in this quarter.

Elliott, a cut above sets up for Howe. Nice.

Fucking Blair

Fasolo, overrated. Nice knock on. Wells, Darcy goal! Hang on a sec! Shit this can’t be happening. C’mon Pies end this unholy hoodoo!

Crisp from the boundary! Scores level. The army no longer booing. We are delirious!


THREE-QUARTER-TIME – Smoke – I want them to win. I want Bucks to succeed. I want to beat these pricks! Cigarette smoked right down to the filter. Why am I shaking?

Social media transformation. Have we experienced our darkest hour and is the dawn arriving now?

Feelings strong. If we can get the first one we’re a big show. Why do I care so much?

It’s the history, childhood, place, raw emotion, belonging, class, Lou. It matters somehow.



They won’t capitulate bloody Hawthorn. Arm wrestle.

Breust goals. Prick.

Moore, Pendles, Elliott and Pendles again. We’re in front!

Class eventually prevails.

Crisp looking better, Tommy Phillips and Smith lifting. Hoskin-Elliott, Steele – Yes! Crowd erupting. Lounge room furniture taking a beating. Remote trembling in formerly jaded hand.

Hawthorn looks rattled. Fuck ‘em! Sick of those bastards! C’mon Pies!


Pies aren’t wilting either. They have a taste for the contest. Blair doing some good things. What’s happening?

Hodge losing the plot – this is brilliant. Onya Adams get into him, let him have it.

Treloar – Smitty!

We’ve got ‘em.

Best win in ages, well since the Geelong game…

We’ll probably lose to Brisbane next week.

Don’t think about that. Enjoy this. Watch the replay after half time and savour the possibility that the season is still very alive.

Deep down I don’t want Bucks to fail.

Deep down I love my club.

Deep down I’m happy.

Go Pies!


Malarkey Votes

3 – Father Pendles

2 – Jamie Elliott

1 – Adam Treloar


COLLINGWOOD        0.1       4.6       9.11    13.12 (90)
HAWTHORN             6.1       10.4    10.5    11.6 (72)


 Elliott 3, Moore 2, Maynard, Greenwood, Treloar, Howe, Crisp, Pendlebury, Sidebottom, Smith
Hawthorn: Sicily 3, Breust 3, Puopolo 2, Shiels, Vickery, McEvoy

 Pendlebury, Howe, Adams, Treloar, Moore, Smith
Hawthorn: Mitchell, Puopolo, Shiels, Smith, Breust, Burton


 James Aish (fractured cheekbone)
Hawthorn: Tim O’Brien (hip) replaced in selected side by James Sicily, Kaiden Brand (illness) replaced in selected side by Kurt Heatherley, Paul Puopolo (knee), Jack Gunston (knee/ankle)

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Donlon, Rosebury, O’Gorman

Official crowd: 54,252









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. Neil Anderson says

    Loved those inner thoughts. Somebody else out there just as crazy about the fortunes of a football-team.
    One of your inner thoughts summed it up as the Pies looked like going down the crapper. ” Why do I care so much? ” That’s the question all of us diehard supporters ask when we see our team struggling. We think not only of the awful Monday coming up when you don’t want to buy the paper to read about ‘the noose tightening on the coach’, but we leap ahead to September and calculate how many more games you need to win to play finals. We can never relax even after a win.
    The Dogs haven’t been booed by their supporters yet but some of the players are being questioned about their spot in the team. The premiership glow is dimming just a little.

  2. Yvette Wroby says

    Well played Phil. Know the feelings exactly.

  3. Punxsu..and-the-rest-of-it Pete says

    Brilliant Phil!

  4. Phil, your short sentences, grabs and snippets of thoughts, are as fleeting as every kick, mark and knock on…..and makes for an excellent round up.

    As for my team, no comment.

    Well done

  5. Jock Eastham says

    For some reason I didn’t feel the euphoria like many of the Magpie army after the amazing win against the Hawks, the team I hate the most, in fact I was felling a bit sad for Bucks. I’m now convinced we need another coach. If it was his intentions to take on the depleted Hawks with that game plan last night in the first quarter than I more convinced then ever that he should go as his negative tactics only give the opposition the opportunity to gain confidence they didn’t deserve. The Magpies should have flogged the Hawks. In the end it sheer desperation that got them over the line. There was no Coaching magic just midfield weight of numbers that got the job done. It’s not a game I’ll not remember with any fond memories.

  6. Great work, Phil.

    Many of us would experience similar thoughts, but yours are more articulate than mine – which would be laden with expletives.

  7. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Thanks folks,
    Neil – I wouldn’t say the glow is dimming just yet for your doggies, but why oh why did you recruit Cloke ?Dogs are right in it this season.

    Thanks Yvette. Following footy is a type of psychological theatre, but the feelings are so real in the heat of the moment. Too real sometimes !!

    Cheers Zitter – It was a ring ding a ding battle, by golly.

    Thanks Kate – A hollow consolation (At least I don’t barrack for Richmond did cross my mind late in the first quarter) The things we go through for our teams.

    Jock – You are right, we probably should have beaten Hawthorn comfortably. However, Bucks has not beaten them and coming back from 43 points down, under the circumstances was a mighty effort. I also reckon it was a crowd induced reaction after the well-deserved booing. Coaching had little to do with it. We play them again in 6 weeks. Wonder if Bucks will still be there for that one?

    Thanks Smokie – I sometimes read your tweets during North games and appreciate that you know exactly how one feels about the inner commentary as the game unfolds. You seemed a bit happier yesterday.

  8. Rulebook says

    Absolutely superb,Phil out selling raffle tickets before the power v eagles game a couple of weeks ago amongst power supporters while the crows were getting thrashed by the roos was challenging to say the least

  9. Phil – there is a theme appearing in the 2017 season. A theme that should be sending shudders through every coach in the system. The theme is this:

    Teams are performing much better when they ignore their coach and go back to playing football instead of a contrived form of keepings off. There are so many examples. Geelong’s season is riddled with them. And so is the Pies.

  10. I think you are onto something Dips.

  11. John Butler says

    Phil, as Richmond reaches a whole new level of Richmondy, is it possible Collingwood could become the new Richmond?

  12. DBalassone says

    Nailed it Phil. It’s never been harder to be a footy supporter – games & momentum can swing so quickly. The ball can be in any part of the ground, and a mistake or a lucky bounce, can mean it goes up the other end for a goal in a matter of seconds. There is no rest for the supporter now.

    Collingwood look like they could beat anyone but could lose to anyone this year. Ah, the modern game!

  13. Cam Hooke says

    Simply outstanding; the reporting, that is.

    If we can give an opponent a six-goal start and still win by three, imagine what we could do with a four-quarter effort.

    Your “Why do I care so much?” hits the nail on the head. Well done.

  14. E.regnans says

    Love it Phil.
    And around we go.

    Withering observation, Dips.
    What is it to coach in 2017? What is it to play?

  15. Dave Nadel says

    I was at the game, I really enjoyed the comeback. I can’t quite understand why it happened.

    Partly it was because most of our players played up to something like their actual ability in the second half (Fasolo being the obvious exception) Partly it may have been due to Buckley’s quarter time serve at the players. It certainly wasn’t due to the team structure. Collingwood went into the match with only one tall forward and when Moore gave Grundy a spell from the ruck we had no tall forwards. There’s not much point in kicking long to the forward line if your options are the brilliant but middle sized Elliott, the vertically challenged Blair and the slightly taller but ( a lot) less reliable Fasolo.

    In the last three quarters we moved the ball really well but we should have replaced the injured Reid in the selected side with Cox. I know Cox is useless below his knees but we have good crumbers. If they really didn’t want to play Cox then they should have tried the underdone Keefe. But you cannot expect Grundy to ruck for 100 minutes and you cannot expect to win with no tall forwards in front of goal.

    We got way with it this week but we won’t in most games.

  16. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Cheers Rulebook,
    Yes Port ferals. Hope you got home unscathed !!

    They should appoint you as Director of Coaching at the Holden Centre ASAP. But, no, you’d be far to rational and prescient. Players are so indoctrinated into pathways, systems, KPI’s, trackers, charts detailing every vestibule of performance or lack’s a simple fucking game, always has been – get it, use it well, tackle hard, numbers at the ball – trust your teammates. You don’t need 43 assistant coaches to teach you this stuff. But, hey how else would so many ex-footballers be engaged in meaningless employment?

    JB – If Collingwood finishes 9th this year they’ll sign Buckley for 5 years. We’re actually worse than Richmond ATM. 2010 may well become our 1980 at this rate.

    Damo – That first quarter ranks with the rankest I’ve ever seen in terms of lack of interest, no ticker, no system. My wife Dina, who doesn’t follow footy said: “They look like they have no system”. Should have put her quote in the piece. Even to the untrained eye they looked in disarray. I really have no confidence going into this week’s game against the Bears. Anything is possible.

    Cam – A three quarter effort would be phenomenal from the Pies at the moment. As Damo says above: We can beat anyone and lose to anyone and the players play accordingly. In my view it comes down to a lack of leadership across the board. We would have been in all sorts if Treloar wasn’t playing. Pendles and Steele can’t do it every week. Adams, Greenwood, Crisp, Blair, Aish – Good ordinary players at most.

    ER – Coaching in 2017? See Dips above. I worry that Buckley has never been a motivator. Time and again it has been proven that half the game is 90% mental…

    Dave – It was similar to the North game in 2015. Elliott inspired Pies finding a way through fairly ordinary opposition. The fact remains that we just got over the line against the 14th team in the comp who is a shadow of its former self and decimated by injuries. Not sure I agree about Cox’s inclusion. We lose too much run when he’s up forward. Dare I say, it may be time to just stick with Jesse White as the second tall and ruck pinch hitter. Giving Moore a run in the ruck did his confidence good. At least he felt part of the game and he does have a sensational leap. Can’t rely on Reid and I doubt that Keefe would be of any value. Too slow.

  17. Luke Reynolds says

    Very well articulated Phil. I had very many of the same thoughts during the game.

    I was in town all weekend, and at quarter time very seriously thought about leaving. But i’ve never left early ever before. Glad I stayed.
    Father Pendles was absolutely superb. I actually think he is underrated by many, as evidenced by, in my opinion, him wrongly not being selected in the past two All-Australian teams.

    Really loved this line, ” It’s the history, childhood, place, raw emotion, belonging, class, Lou. It matters somehow.” Wonderful.

    As well as this one, “Fucking Blair”.

    Was great to be there to finally see us beat Hawthorn. Was there at the 2011 Preliminary Final, seems a long time ago now.

    Go pies.

  18. Phillip – stop complaining. I had your first quarter infantile murderous rage for four quarters on Sunday. With any luck, Rod Oaten will have spent Sunday on his choo choo train and I won’t have to put up with insufferable match report adulation of Woosha as a coaching genius. A drover’s dog could have thumped our spineless and clueless mob.
    I sent your piece to the Chief Psychiatrist for diagnosis and he says you should be involuntarily committed – but they don’t have enough beds for the other half a million people with similar symptoms.
    I’m looking forward to Eagles-Collingwood Round 18 at Etihad Stadium. I wonder if Harms will accept a match report from one of us finger daubed in excrement on a wall?
    Soldier on – love the honesty – keep up the meds. I find the pink ones work best.

  19. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Cheers Luke – Yes, I wouldn’t have blamed you if you decided to pull up stumps at the 43 point deficit mark. I was also at the 2011 PF. Didn’t think we’d wait 6 years to beat them again. This will hopefully be a turning point for Bucks, the players and the club. We really need to follow up with a solid win over Brisbane.

    PB – What happened to your flakey Eagles? Looked to good against the Dogs. Meds working ok, pink ones essential. Just have to remember to take them 2 hours before each game for the sake of the furniture and fittings.

  20. Phil – I reckon that was the 2010 Prelim?? In 2011 Geelong won!!

  21. Actually you are right it probably was 2011. Was that the Luke Ball snap that sealed it? We played you in the GF!

    Memory is shot.

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