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FROZEN by Whispering Jack


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Melbourne supporters are an unusual lot. Their lived experiences over years of witnessing their team’s humiliation at the hands of the competition’s bullies have left them suspended in a Bizarro World beset by a cognitive distortion know as 'mental filtering'. This is a phenomenon that occurs when people focus exclusively and blindly on long held belief systems. They refuse to accept that conditions have changed so when the evidence is present before their very own eyes, their minds are frozen.

At a time when their team sits at the pinnacle of the AFL, when they have beaten almost all before them and when the football world is beginning to believe the Demons are the real deal, they still cling to old mythologies and fears. 

Meanwhile, at the other end of the football supporter scale, there’s Collingwood … 

This is the train wreck that was waiting to happen for years. The seemingly indestructible silver bullet express that was tantalisingly close to a premiership in the dying moments of the 2018 grand final, somehow managed to lurch off the tracks in the moment when Dom Sheed’s kick sailed between the big sticks. 

The derailment that followed could be viewed close up and in slow motion; a vision combined with elements of hubris, arrogance, blind greed and sheer incompetence.

The catalyst was the godfather offer to lure Danye Beams back from Brisbane in the last half hour of the trade period that followed. Then there was the 2019 preliminary final disaster in the wet, the Grundy contract extension, shenanigans in the hub, list mismanagement and the embarrassingly mishandled trade period when they lost valuable players for little return, the desperate bid to make good in the draft and the disastrous failure to come to terms with the  report that found there was systemic racism at the club.

“This is a historic and proud day for the Collingwood Football Club,” was Eddie McGuire’s spin that ultimately spelled the end of his 22-year reign as president. 

The final crash came this week at the very point when the Magpie kids were showing signs that they were starting to flourish under Nathan Buckley’s new road map. The club is now trapped in time. Frozen.

We arrive at a particular moment when one of the AFL’s major blockbuster games, which also celebrates the Big Freeze and a wonderful charity initiative honouring Neale Daniher’s fight for research into healing MND, is taking place in Bizarro World at a distance by road of 878 kilometres from the true home of football.

The pessimists at Melbourne were already quaking in their boots. After all, the team has no problems with disposing of teams in the top 8 but can lose to Adelaide (on the same oval where the Pies beat the Crows) after struggling for a long periods in games against the two bottom teams. How were they going to cope against a resurgent Collingwood with their 6 goal wonder boy back in the side? And now, an emotion-laden game to farewell a club hero? 

The answer is that the game is being played in real time and not in a mythical Bizarro World frozen in time. Even the slipping and sliding of the Big Freeze is happening miles away from the football action. In the reality of the here and now, Melbourne is not only the far better team but it’s playing with unity and purpose and brings pressure and selflessness with it onto the field. There’s a healthy competition among the playing group for places in a team that will play off and go deep into the finals. The opposition won’t be taken lightly now, especially after taking all of the limelight in the lead up to this game. But they’re young and inexperienced and their club is divided off the field by warring factions and staring into a bleak and uncertain future.

Melbourne to win by 61 points.

THE GAME 

Melbourne v Collingwood at the SCG Monday 14 June, 2021 at 3.20pm

HEAD TO HEAD

Overall Melbourne 84 wins, Collingwood 150 wins, 5 drawn

At at the SCG Melbourne 0 wins, Collingwood 0 wins

Last five meetings Melbourne 1 win, Collingwood 4 wins

The Coaches Goodwin 2 wins, Buckley 4 wins

MEDIA

TV live and on demand on Kayo and live on Foxtel. Check your local guides.

Radio - check your local guides.

LAST TIME THEY MET

Melbourne 16.4.100 defeated Collingwood 6.8.44 at the Gabba in Round 11, 2020

The Pies, depleted by injury and coming off a 4 day break were effectively road kill for the in form Demons. The midfield dominated with Brayshaw, Petracca, Oliver and Viney all on top of their game.

THE TEAMS

MELBOURNE 

B: M Hibberd 14 S. May 1 J. Lever 8
HB: J. Hunt 29 H.  Petty 35 C. Salem 3
C: A. Brayshaw 10 C. Petracca 5 J. Jordon 23
HF: J. Harmes 4 T. McDonald 25 A. Neal-Bullen 30 
F: C. Spargo 9 S. Weideman 26 B. Fritsch 31
Foll: M. Gawn 11 C. Oliver 13 K. Pickett 36
I/C: L Jackson 6 E Langdon 15 T Rivers 24 T Sparrow 32
Sub: K Chandler 37 Emerg: I/C: O. Baker 33 M. Brown 38 J Melksham 18

IN: K. Chandler E. Langdon

OUT: O. Baker (omitted) J. Melksham (omitted)

COLLINGWOOD 

B: J. Noble 9 J. Roughead 23 B. Maynard 37
HB: I. Quaynor 3 D. Moore 30 C. Mayne 16
C: W. Hoskin-Elliott 32 S. Sidebottom 22 C. Poulter 27
HF: N. Murphy 28 D. Cameron 14 T. Bianco 8
F: J. De Goey 2 B. Mihocek 41 J. Elliott 5
Foll: M.  Lynch 15 S. Pendlebury 10 J. Crisp 25
IC: J.  Daicos 7  J. Madgen 44 B. McCreery 31 J. Thomas 24
Sub: J. Rantall 1 Emerg: C. Brown 17 M. Cox 46 T. Wilson 12

IN: B. McCreery C. Mayne

OUT: C. Brown (omitted) B. Sier (jaw)

Injury List: Round 13

Ed Langdon (concussion) — Available 
Jack Viney (toe) —  1 to 2 Weeks
Bailey Laurie (eye socket) — 2 Weeks
Deakyn Smith (ankle) — 2 Weeks
Joel Smith (knee) — 2 Weeks
Marty Hore (knee) — 9 to 11 Weeks
Aaron Nietschke (knee) — Season
Adam Tomlinson (knee) — Season

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Loved the preamble to the gas.  But I thin a tad bit optimistic about the margin,

24-30. My guess.  
win go into the bye look to reset for the second half of the year.

a whole new ball game except we are in a very good starting point !

go Dees 

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My problem is that I think I’m a little too comfy in Bizarro World. It’s what I know. 

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a ten goal win would be a very pleasant anomaly in this season - for the most part we grind teams down rather than blow them away, with the final quarter against the hawks being the exception

in fairness to the pies over the last month or so, they've locked in defensively and been able to stop teams scoring; their issue has been scoring themselves, and as we know we are 'locked in' defensively

my expectation is a standard 3-5 goal win 

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