Hitting you from behind
In 1842, Englishman David Monre wrote,
The Collingwood Magpies show that just as foundations of dung make for good gardening and colonising, they also make for good football clubs. The Magpies were established in 1892 to represent the Melbourne municipality of Collingwood; an area that had been described as "pre-ordained to be a slum". As a low lying, poorly drained region, it was frequently flooded with sewage and the dregs of society. This geography initially led to the club being referred to as the Flatties' or 'Flatites,' which sounded a bit like a cross between a bizarre religious cult and group of people who get squashed.
How the club stopped being referred to as Flatties and came to be known as the Magpies is subject to debate. One story proposes that the club was inspired by the noble South Australian colonial team that had been called the Magpies. When South Australia being the only state not founded with Convicts, perhaps Collingwood residents had dreams that associating themselves with South Australia could improve their image. A second story proposes that the name came from the large numbers of Magpies that nested in the area. Collingwood residents were endeared to the feisty little birds that hit you from behind because they could see much of themselves in such actions. A third possibility is that the name came from 'Magpie' suites, the name given to the Convict uniforms in the colonial era. Given that Collingwood fans and players alike had a close association with Pentridge Prison, it is quite possible that they wanted to pay some respect to their heritage.
With its Magpie name and toilet of a suburb, Collingwood fans were very much the type of people that respectable members of society would not want to associate with, let alone introduce to their parents. According to one commentator:
Understanding their low social standing, it was said that the fan's desire for success had been driven by a "strong sense of social inferiority". Indeed their sense of inferiority must have been strong for successes were numerous. Prior to World War II, the club won premierships in 1902, 1903, 1910, 1917, 1919, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1935 and 1936.
The club's culture was built around the ethic that a "champion team will always beat a team of champions." Show ponies or excuse making were never tolerated.
Post-war, the culture began to change. Known as "Greg Norman syndrome" or "Colliwobbles", if Collingwood made the grand final, they showed an uncanny ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. So predictable was this phenomenon that a word evolved to describe it. As regular as blossoming jasmine, Melbourne's spring would bring on the 'Collywobbles'; you could rely on the 'Magpies' to flounder when it matters. In total, they have appeared in 42 grand finals, and have only won 15 of them. Since World War 2, they have lost 14 grand finals.
Perhaps being so close, yet remaining so far, has made Collingwood fans more hungry for they are almost as numerous in the bad times as they are in the good. In 2012, they had a membership of 72,000 and turned over $75 million in revenue. Indeed the dung has led to a striking amount of production.
Over-Reactor - When Collingwood Choke
Roy Morgan research
Collingwood Magpies supporters are:
2001 when compared to other Australians
2004 when compared to other AFL supporters
2006 - When compared to other AFL supporters
Club song collingwood theme song
Out of all the 16 clubs, only Collingwood specifically mentions the barrackers in its theme song. On the down side, the line: "the premiership is a cakewalk" seems reminiscent of a choking Greg Norman missing easy putts and spraying his drives as he tries to convince himself that golf is an easy game.
Carlton - Collingwood has met Carlton in six grand finals. It has lost five of them. Collingwood's only win was in 1910 was known as the 'Bloodbath' after an all-in brawl developed in the final term.
Since that victory, Collingwood has suffered a string of grand final humilations at the hands of Carlton.
The worst of these was in the 1970 grand final. Leading by 44 points at half-time, Collingwood fell to pieces and lost by 10 points.
Richmond - Traditionally, Richmond has been a working class club who like Collingwood, have extremely passionate supporters. As one Magpie fan explained his hatred for the Tigers:
Essendon - The rivalry with Essendon hit the big time in 1993 when a low key build up to an ANZAC day clash drew 98,000 fans and resulted in a drawn match.
Essendon also lost the 1990 grand final to Collingwood, thereby becoming one of the few teams not to have benefitted from Colliwobbles. Such is the Collingwood tendency to live on past glories, it is a defeat that Essendon supporters are never allowed to forget.
Collingwood Magpie jokes
1) Three friends all die at the same time and end up at the pearly gates where Albert Einstein is waiting for them. The first chap approached and Alby asks him,
"250" the chap replies. www.convictcreations.com
"Ah excellent. We can participate in meaningful and articulate discussions with my mates Plato and Newton about the Theory of Relativity, Chaos Theory, Astrophysics and the Theory of Everything. We will have much to discuss. You may enter."
The second fellow approached the gate and Albert asks him the same question.
"150" was the reply.
"Ah good. We can discuss the fascinating subjects of History, Philosophy, Economics and Sociology. We will have much to discuss. You may enter."
The third chap approaches the gate nervously.
"Now my good man, what is your IQ?"
"50" the third man replies sheepishly. To which Alby's response was ....
"How about those Pies, hey?"
2) Q. What do you do for a drowning Collingwood player?
|Was this more interesting than a news update of players in a recovery session standing around in the ocean looking cold or of a team 'training without incident'?|