What’s best served cold?

Warning: The following contains Collingwood stereotypes of the cheap low-hanging fruit variety and may offend/delight some readers.

When flying to Europe on our honeymoon last year, the good wife decreed we organise a two day stopover in Dubai. The shimmering, glittering, juxtaposed jewel of the Middle East. The Vegas of Arabia.

The route would require us to “fly Emirates”. The airline. Not the ass-end corporate logo on Collingwood leisurewear.

To be even loosely associated with the Carringbush “brand” was deeply conflicting. The flight would be a DVT-conducive fourteen hours. I will concede I felt privileged to have such an exotic travel opportunity, so I wasn’t complaining (yes I was).

Emirates napkins. Emirates hot towels. Emirates mini toothbrush. Emirates eye-mask. And of course, Emirates sick-bags.

Upon arrival in the mirage-dripping desert heat of Dubai, the sins of Magpie-sponsored regret were eventually washed away with several cleansing dips in the Arab Gulf.

Fortunately Jumeirah Beach felt a long way from Lulie Street Abbotsford.

Last month I travelled to the latter where Sandringham took on Collingwood. As per most of the old VFL grounds, Moorabbin included, Victoria Park is now a derelict “house of sticks” waiting for a huff and a puff to “blow the thing in” – should the Department of Health and Safety not get there first. The storm that particular day worthy of Noah Ark:The Sequel. And Sandringham was thumped.

Unfortunately Lulie Street Abbotsford felt a long way from Jumeirah Beach.

On Saturday however the weather proved much kinder. A massive game looming, it definitely had that “September” air about it. The trains were “standing room only” by noon.

At Richmond I walked to my gate in a clockwise direction. I suspect this circumnavigational change-up altered the football space-time continuum. The seeds of an ensuing awful day were planted.

It’s first of many piss-takes landed me directly in the Corfe D’Azur at the Ponsford stand end.

He was hard to miss. That patented nanna-white mullet glistened radiantly like the shimmering twinkling lights of Monte Carlo itself – despite the overcast conditions.

Joffa was preaching to his tracksuit-clad “disciples”. Perhaps they were discussing their favourite articles from last week’s edition of The Economist.  Or brushing up on their “intermediate Arabic” for any pending Sheik Al Maktoum cheersquad visits. I doubt they were preaching “love and compassion” for Stephen Milne.

Moving along swiftly I sought the relative sanctity of the MCC members on a guest pass. There I bumped into “prominent Collingwood almanacker” Andrew Fithall. His friends were Sainters.  He was further outnumbered with my gate-crashing addition to their pre-match banter.

On face value Andrew challenges those long-held notions of those partial to the black and white. Reasoned. Logical. Teeth. And if asked “what is your favourite sport?”, I dare say he would answer “football” and not “Collingwood”.

Like I, pre-match at least, he seemed a “half glass empty” kinda guy when it came to our respective team’s fortunes.  Admittedly such a tentative negative attitude wouldn’t attract “French cooking, salsa lessons and pilates” type chicks on RSVP.com or Lavalife, but pessimistic paranoia is my comfortable mode of dealing with the rollicking emotional footy roller coaster.

I took my seat in what thankfully appeared a “nuffer free zone”.

Pete Lazer, former man-about-town circa mid-noughties, bobbed up in Collingwood track-suit for the on-field pre-match schmaltz.  I swear he’s performed similar for St Kilda in the past. But I don’t see Pete gracing many lunch-box openings now, I guess he’s just earning a buck like the rest of us.  I still deemed him a “jezebel”. Milne would cop a little worse than that on the day.

A jungle-beating/crowd chanting mix tape then accompanied flashing images of players past and present on the big screen. While it goes against every imaginable urge in my body, I actually liked it. Maybe it was subliminal. But any mild appreciation for the home club and “how they go about it” would then cease at 2:09pm.

Kosi opened with the first goal which involved our second-up skipper taking a typical lead-up mark at half-forward.  It was like old times.

Luke Ball then kicked one for the Pies from long range (for him). This certainly was not like old times.

I don’t begrudge Ball seeking personal pastures greener where his talents are more appreciated, but sighting him in the prison stripes still shoots a head-to-toe chill. His new coach is obviously fond of the battling “in my own graven image” types. I wondered if Luke’s now also adept at misunderstanding Churchill quotes, but thrashing them out at will anyway.

The Pies were gaining the upper hand early. Leigh Brown was pulling off stuff Leigh Brown’s not supposed to.

Even Leon Davis was rediscovering some groove – his Supercoach price had dropped in value to the tune of a 2 bedroom Edithvale weatherboard on a slow auction day. For god’s sake don’t pull any hi-jinx shit on us today Leon.

Dane “Swanned” about at as he pleased in his bogan tatt-sleeve glory.  Nothing screams “bogan” and “sheep” more than full-arm “ink-work”. But he carved us to shreds.  Dayne Beam’s chest tattoo is a ripper though. It reads “Fortious Quo Fidelius” – the motto of his junior club in Queensland – and St Kilda. Oops.

Leigh Brown slid through another goal, from fifty, on his left foot. C’mon footy gods, you are really taking the piss now.

Riewoldt kicked a long captain’s goal on the click of half-time.  Then came the boos, naturally.  I wonder how Nick felt being chastised by so many “persons of interest”.

Half-time was spent with impending dread in the Sir Richard Cloversdale-Barrington III bar (or something like that).  This then spilled into the entire third quarter. There were plenty of us Saints in there shielding away from the damage being inflicted, we were content with the undersized monitor and easy bar access. A bit weak I’ll concur, but they served pints – in glass. Or some variant plastic form of it, “glasstic?”.

I reluctantly resumed my seat for the final stanza. Most of it spent wondering just how fervent the boos would keep rising for Milne, and the small army of “colourful” new words many young kids would be learning at the football today. I concluded the $40 ticket had been an unwise investment.

Leigh Brown kicks a third late in the piece.

While Captain Nick’s return to football had been a worthy news item last week, today “Leroy” invoked memories of my Year 12 English text, The Return of Martin Guerre – the true story of a 16th century French impostor who casually rocks in to town, assumes the identity of some poor bloke and pinches his missus and everything else with it.

Leigh Brown’s performance as a champion centre-half-forward today was some of the best “imposture” work witnessed since Gerard Depardieu in the cinematic version of said book. The impostor was eventually hanged. I wonder what Leroy Guerre’s fate will hold in the coming weeks.

I trudged out soon thereafter to celebrate the small victory of catching the first train home. I pitied any poor Saints catching the Greensborough line. I hope they gave up earlier than me.

I resigned myself to my own post-game MRP (Media Review Panel) adjudications. The usual suspects banned for at least 72 hours. The mere thought of the after-match commentary was shuddering. Collingwood on top. Finally beaten a real challenger and finals tormenter. “Expert” opinions changing again. Churchill gruffly hosing it all down.

However, I did find eventual solace in the notion that…

“Revenge is a Pie best served cold – in September”.

…and if not, you’ll find me on Jumeirah Beach washing away unimaginable sins for the next 9-12 months.


  1. Andrew Fithall says

    “Prominent”? Hmmm. Will think about that one.

    David, you asked me pre-game what I would yell out when Milne got his first possession and my response was that I didn’t usually make audible comments about opposition players. That might have been a bit of a lie in this instance. Given that his first touch didn’t come until the third quarter, and it came courtesy of him running behind a team mate preparing to kick for goal from 15 metres on a slight angle so that he (Milne) could kick a goal across his body, my (only just barely audible…sort of) comment was something like “YOU GREASY SLIMEBALL MILNE”. He is such a likeable player.

    I don’t think anyone would have forecast that Brown and Macaffer would be the key goalkickers for Collingwood this day. Enjoyed your work.

  2. DD – the Saints were terrible. Bit like the Cats on Friday night. They won’t be that terrible again.

    The Pies cup currently runneth over and over and over and over and over…………….

    That was Leigh brown’s good game for the year and Neon Leon’s good game for the month. We can all relax now.

  3. I think that Pete Lazer may consider himself quite fortunate, under the circumstances, to have only incurred the wrath of the author. I have it on not-too-good authority that Lazer is actually an Essendon supporter. Given the location and the Collingwood track-suit, perhaps a Terry Daniher whack from behind could have been more appropriate.

    That is all

  4. Danielle says

    What’s best served cold?
    d- ice-cream
    c-all of the above

    ill lock in c thanks Eddie. :)


  5. Danielle says

    yes i know it should be C before D.

  6. David Downer says

    1. Thanks Andrew. Sitting with your Sainter friends obviously restricted the true vehemance of your feelings. Milne would take “slimy greaseball”. Many other patrons at the ground were more worthy candidates of “washing their mouth out with soap and water” …and saying three Hail Mary’s for good measure.

    2. Dips we are now in Geelong “benchmark tracking” mode and looking to emulate the Cats “flat spot” circa 2009. I think tomorrow night is a little shaky also. Even if StK had beaten Coll, it bears little relevance in the grander scheme of things, we’ll all meet up again in September.

    3. Pete Lazer’s football morality issues run deeper than initially thought.


  7. David Downer says


    Thanks for stopping by, its nice to see I have “Gen-Z cut-through”. I did read your review of the game, begrudgingly given the result obviously, I almost had you up for deactivation points in my Media Review Panel …but you’ll be happy to know each frenzied exclamation point felt like a shrieking black and white dagger to the heart!

    Oh, and I’ll suggest an obvious option “E” – the common beverage served in the aforementioned “glasstic” vessels in the MCC.

    But not until you’re 18 young lady!


  8. Danielle says

    7- lol
    Turned 18 already, in May. :)
    Im more of a Champaign/ chilled white wine type of gal. lol

  9. Starting a campaign for Champaign? A very innovative way of getting around the whole regional naming dilemma. Very clever.

    That is all

  10. I’m curious to know what Arma’s surname is. I’m hoping it’s Geddon.

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