The Great Black and White Schadenfreude

They’ve been worming out of the woodwork for weeks; Disenchanted Dees, Beaten Dogs and, more recently, Hard-done-by Hawks. Everyone’s lining up to have a crack. Like spectators watching a stranger withdrawing the fateful skewer in a game of Kerplunk, or misplacing a block in Jenga. They know the price of failure. It’s written all over their faces. The preemptive glee at the suffering that awaits ripples across their face like the first light of day.

In this day and age, it mostly happens in cyberspace. The abuse is retweeted, or blogged and left dangling as a comment on a comment on a Facebook post. It’s aggression at its most passive. Similar words in the days where their only forum would have been ‘the local’ would have seen you on your arse and potentially ironically, counting your teeth. This year, more than any year in recent history, once again it’s Collingwood versus the Rest of Australia.

Last year was a get out of jail card. The Pies were playing the Saints. And while the team may have had sympathy in a pre-Schoolgirl world, few real fans wanted to see the Tip-Rat’s celebratory moves as they draped a premiership medla around his grip-able neck. Why do we feel like this? What has he ever done to us (or the teams we support) apart from his job?

The answer is as simplistic as it is simple. We just do.

2010 was the perfect storm for Collingwood. The neutrals had no choice but to remain neutral. This year the kettle smells different. And while it’s still the Collingwood supporters praying for a Magpie victory and the Geelong fans steeling themselves for a Sleepy Hollow public holiday Monday, everyone else is barracking as loudly as possible for a Collingwood loss.

There are a lot of feel-good stories for this year’s Premiership. And while Collingwood doesn’t have the exclusive rights to them, we’ve got the lion’s share. The return of the Prodigal Son, the fast track to redemption of A Krakouer and the long road to redemption of D Swan. Notwithstanding, the last hurrah for the old master. The Earth may be patient, but the Ox is going to need to lift it’s work rate if double happiness is to be achieved.

Despite all these great AFL stories, the haters hate. Why? Because they can. Because they do. And because they will. A lot of people say to me “Why are Collingwood supporters such…Collingwood supporters?” History tells a tale here. But that’s history. There has been significant generational change since the days when the Pies were hated for their success. Nowadays, it’s part nature, part nurture but mostly the result of people constantly having a crack. And the haters really only have themselves to blame.


  1. John Butler says

    Chris, I reckon the Pies generally like it that way.

    ‘The whole world’s against us’ is the Magpie default mindset.

    You thrive on it.

  2. I don’t personally. In fact, it’s really bloody tiring.

  3. As I said in my Saturday morning comments on Mr Wrap’s inestimable insights – I was starting to warm to the grandfatherly Mick; sagely Buttifant, Harry O and Andy K. That was until Eddie (with help from the megalomaniacal Jeffrey) started channeling his inner John Wren.
    The President of the Richest Club demanding his unfettered right to exploit the poor and vulnerable to feed his aggrandisement was sickening. Like John Wren giving fivers to widows after he had helped send the family to the poor house in the first place.
    Only Colin Carter from Geelong (among the Victorian clubs – the Eagles and Dockers are not dependent on this pestilence) had the decency to put principle before profit. His reward was a premiership.

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