Round 20, 2017


Dear Footy fans,

We’re playing catch up here – we missed posting last week but didn’t want to let the previous round go by without a mention, and we’ll get back on track this weekend.

In case people have forgotten – round 19 saw yet another game this season end without a song when the Pies and Crows drew at the MCG. The Pies had a 50-point lead at the start of the premiership quarter, which was progressively attacked by the Crows in the rest of the match. The Pies were ahead by 6 points, when Adelaide’s Mitch McGovern took an impressive mark just before the final siren sounded. He kicked a goal to level the scores (non-Collingwood supporters can watch the last 2 minutes here).

This got us thinking of great comebacks, and we thought we’d turn to one when the Pies were in charge of turning the game around. This led us to 1978 when in round 20 at the MCG, the second quarter saw the Pies trailing the Tigers by 55 points. Collingwood overcame the deficit and ended up winning by 14. We haven’t looked at the 1970s footy record before and we were keen to see what was going on in the Record from round 20 of 1978, when the cover price was a mere 30 cents.

The main footballing focus that weekend was Hawthorn’s ‘crack rover’ ‘Lethal’ Leigh Matthews playing his 200th game on the Saturday. He was described there as ‘one of the most devastating small men in League history’ (p.19), and pictured on the end of what we might call a high tackle. The caption reads ‘This is typical of Leigh Matthews’ play – he’d charge through a brick wall to get the ball’ (p.18).

But amidst advertisements for cigarettes (pp. 10, 20, 39 & 40); a full page photograph of ‘Crackers’ Keenan dressed as a fairy at North Melbourne’s fancy dress night (p4); and a large photograph of the ‘Ampol-VFL: girl of the week’ who was asked to identify herself at VFL House by Tuesday lunchtime to claim some prizes and be eligible for the major prize at the end of the year (p.11), the 1970s Records don’t have much to recommend them! So it might be some time before we head back there again.

Now onto to present day matters. What will happen this week? Most of Round 21 looks deceptively straight forward – but given the twists and turns of this season, will it be? Only time will tell.

Mary & Jordy

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