Since the dawn of time there has been good and evil, love and hate, black and white, and the deep loathing of the Collingwood Football Club.
But if you’ve been living under a rock your entire life, you may be asking yourself “what’s so bad about Collingwood?”
To you, sir/madam, I implore you to crawl right back under that rock. If you’ve been living in 2012, you’ll know all about the hate – and the real truth is that you love it.
But why is it that the Magpies draw the ire of the entire football world?
Is it the coach, who has stepped into shoes the size of Aaron Sandilands – those of a man who left behind a winning culture and an era of success?
Is it the headline-magnet chairman who wears his heart on his sleeve to the point that he cries more during a Pies game then my girlfriend does when she’s watching The Notebook?
Is it the list of idiotic things their players have been caught doing over the past few years – a rap sheet that spans wider than the expanses of Patterson’s Stadium?
This certainly doesn’t help them, but alas this isn’t the reason we all dislike the boys in the black-and-white stripes.
The truth is there is just always one of ‘those teams’; as much as we need a team to barrack for it’s equally important to have a team to despise.
Unfortunately for Collingwood, it’s them.
Even before the days of the Colliwobbles (i.e. choking) we’ve always hated the black and white.
Growing up following the NRL my dad taught me that there are two clubs you support – your team, and whoever’s playing Manly.
Similar to the boys from Bondi, Collingwood are the Silvertails of the AFL and the team people love to hate.
You either love them or would never be seen cheering for them, so long as Dustin Fletcher is alive and kicking (i.e. until the end of time).
In fairness to Pies supporters, and at the risk of committing heresy as a Blues supporter, the honest truth is that Collingwood are a good football side.
Five grand-final appearances and a premiership in the past 10 years is more than a lot of teams can say for themselves.
They play a reasonably exciting brand of football and have a host of superstars in Scott Pendlebury, Dane Swan, Dale Thomas and Travis Cloke. That’s not to mention young guns such as Steele Sidebottom and Dayne Beams, who have been shining lights in a side that has won the past two minor premierships.
But despite all of this, in the world of football-fandom, none of it matters.
We still hate Collingwood. And that will never change.