First published on 11 May 2012. Updated on 1 May 2013.
Melbourne is full of mixed marriages and crazy, tension-filled footy households. I barrack for Collingwood. That’s fine (for me). But my wife, Helen, barracks for Geelong. She is as fanatical as I am. We have four kids. Only one, Ursula, barracks for Geelong.
So we Pies have the numbers.
Excuse me for stating the obvious, but it’s great when your team wins the premiership. The sense of joy lifts you for weeks. However, the grief of a Grand Final lasts longer. After a loss, the primary objective is to avoid supporters of the winning team. If Collingwood doesn’t take the cup, my preference is that a team from far away, interstate, with few supporters in Victoria wins it. They can have their celebrations, but I don’t have to watch.
At the moment, I am living in the worst-case scenario. Collingwood lost to Geelong in last year’s Grand Final. Our household is hell, a den of misery, made all the worse by the smiley Geelong faces at the breakfast table.
I was happy for Helen and Ursula when Geelong won in 2007 – a premiership after so many years without. I was disappointed for them in ’08, and pleased for them again in ’09 – not as much, but still pleased. Then Helen was able to share the joy of the Collingwood supporters when we prevailed in 2010.
But now Collingwood has lost to Geelong in 2011, that’s it: the end of the shared joy.
If it is not to be Collingwood in 2012, it is not allowed to be Geelong. They have had enough. They have become just another in the growing list of opposition teams to be despised. If it is not to be Collingwood, I think I want Fremantle to win it. They are far enough away – but only just.