Time to ruffle some feathers!

After my family moved to Melbourne in 1967 it provided me with the opportunity to attend spasmodic  VFL matches and watch my beloved Bombers play. 


The Grand Final loss to Carlton in 1968 was disappointing, with the Bombers following up with  a number of lean seasons after that.


In the early to mid 70s, the experiment with Tuddy as coach failed to fire Essendon to the lofty heights as many supporters hoped it would, and we were back in limbo once again as a powerhouse. 


Becoming a member around Tuddy’s time, I then attended games on a weekly basis with a group of friends but they were times of little success or joy. But we maintained our support, watching the the developing players coming through the reserves, and ruminated about how our fortunes could change.


The occasional unexpected victory against a top side gave some hope but usually it was short-lived.


Many times during these years we were given a flogging by Collingwood. I don’t remember ever being in attendance if we did have a win against them. Hated going to Victoria Park. I was there on Tuddy’s return as Bomber coach, a packed house,  the floggers were burnt, McKenna kicking a dozen or so goals of the Pies thirty odd total to our, I think, miserable single digit total, a complete shellacking for Essendon. Those defeats are hard to forget!


So this weekend, Collingwood in second position on the ladder, and the Bombers having won five of their past six games face off once again against one another at the MCG.


After a fairly dismal start to the season the Bombers have recently given their supporters something to cheer about. They are winning!


This game presents Essendon with the opportunity to prove they are the genuine article and could be a serious contender if they make the finals. We only have to look at Richmond and Western Bulldogs in recent years to see how quickly and easily fortunes can turn around. 


We have defeated four of the six teams we have played in the eight, and defeating Collingwood on Sunday will make it five from seven with only the Swans to play.


Playing against the better teams has the tendency to bring the best out of the Bombers and, hopefully, Sunday will be no exception.


The confidence is there to enable the team to continue with its successful turn-around of their season.


With my grandson, I’ll be at the MCG on Sunday, cheering, the Bombers hopefully on to a fabulous victory. One can only live in hope.


See the Bombers fly up!


Do you love the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over please consider making your own contribution.

One off financial contribution – CLICK HERE
Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE
Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE





About Colin Ritchie

Retired teacher who enjoys following the Bombers, listening to music especially Bob Dylan, reading, and swimming.


  1. Time makes painful defeats seem even worse than what they actually were, Colin.
    The day you refer to – Tuddy’s return to Victoria Park in Bombers colours – the Pies won 23.10 (148) to the Dons’ 13.15 (93) after trailing by 16 points at half-time.
    McKenna kicked 13.2, so he was easily the difference between the two sides.
    https://afltables.com/afl/stats/games/1972/040519720612.html went bac

  2. Colin Ritchie says

    Thanks for the comment FP. I should have checked my facts then I would have realised it wasn’t quite the flogging I assumed it was but significant still. I was with my mate Phil at this match, the ground was choc-a-block, and both of us being vertically challenged had to drink a few cans quickly in order to stand on for an elevated view. It was what footy was all about at the surburban VFL grounds in those days. An atmosphere of community as well as tribes, a chance to yell and scream, laugh and cry, not like some of the sterile arenas of today. McKenna could do no wrong that day. However, a memorable match, and, luckily I survived Victoria Park to live another day! Cheers.

  3. Thanks, Col, sorry if I was a pedant – was just trying to cheer you up by reducing the margin (though any loss to Collingwood is painful). (-:]
    Being a WA boy, I didn’t get to attend many games during the halcyon days of the VFL (though the WAFL pre-Eagles had that tribal feel).
    I’m also a vertical “challengee”, but I reckon those old 750ml CUB metal beer cans would’ve been great to stand on … while one still had their balance about them.

  4. Luke Reynolds says

    Nervous about the big game Col, especially given our injuries and the fact the Bombers are playing far better than they were ANZAC Day. Looking forward to celebrating Steele Sidebottom’s 200th, he’s been a real favourite. Probably the biggest game between the club’s in terms of ladder positions in quite some time. Go Pies!

Leave a Comment