Era, era on the wall; 2011 –

Part 9 – Whatever it takes “Right now everyone’s angry and they’re angry for 100 different reasons.” Collingwood President Eddie McGuire, August 2015 Since Jock McHale was a boy players played because they enjoyed it and watchers watched because they loved it.  Footy was a diversion, an emotional outlet, a way of feeling connected to a tribe and like-minded people. …

Era, era on the wall; 2000 – 2010

Part 8 – Lost in Transmission Docklands. Colonial Stadium. Telstra Dome. Etihad Stadium. By any name, the League’s new whiz-bang indoor venue (and headquarters) which ushered in the new millennium left punters feeling colder than its predecessor Waverley. It could be argued the stadium, more suited to inner city singletons and corporates, was a major tipping point for many…

Era, era on the wall; 1987 – 1999

Part 7 – Growing pains and gains Ablett, Daicos, Lockett, Carey, Brereton, Buckley, Hird, Matera, Jarman, Winmar, Harvey, McLeod, Dunstall, Williams, Kernahan… As the 20th Century drew to a close there was no shortage of bona fide champions doing the rounds and blitzing the finals.  A more professional game bore relentless, attacking football.  Although tagging emerged as an artform,…

Era, era on the wall: 1977 – 1986

Part 6 – Castles made of sand Many a footballer of the late ’70’s to mid ’80’s vintage count themselves lucky to have played in the big league when they did.  Whilst few earned enough to set themselves up for life, they at least lived comfortably and without a sensationalist media tracking their every word and movement.  As a spectator there…

Era, era on the wall; 1967 – 1976

Part 5 – Rocking the suburbs Robbie McGhee was only doing what came naturally to many a footballer after the 1973 Grand Final when he sucked on a tinnie and lit up a smoke, resplendent in his lace-up guernsey and old school tatts.  The Tiger hard man wouldn’t have dreamed he’d be immortalised by the late,…

Era, era on the wall; 1960 – 1966

Part 4 – A popular routine The first Grand Final of the 1960’s proved to be a portent of things to come when Collingwood limped to an embarrassing total of 2.2.14 against its nemesis Melbourne.  Team score averages now hovered around the low to mid-70 range during a period where Ted Fordham’s 76 goals in 1966 was the high…

Era, era on the wall; 1949 – 1959

Part 3 – Safe at home, and away Just when the spectacle needed a lift, along came the high flying John Coleman, aided and abetted by the Bombers’ game changing mosquito fleet.  Awe-struck spectators would move up and down the ground to the end Essendon was kicking.  Even my father, a one-eyed ‘Pie, marked in his school diary how many…

Era, era on the wall; 1939 – 1948

Part 2 – A war of attrition Just as football scaled new heights the onset of World War 2 stopped the game in its tracks. Footballers were lost to the war effort and crowds plummeted.  By the depths of 1942 the average attendance dropped below 10,000 for the first and only time on record.  There…

Era, era on the wall, which was the greatest of them all?

As published by Australian Football, 2 July 2015 Era: (n) A long and distinct period of history marked by character, events and changes In the midst of what history will surely judge as one of football’s darkest periods – consumed by issues of tanking and doping, media saturation, broke clubs, broken players, wealth divides, conflicts of interest, League manipulation,…