Simply playing football again was supposed to provide Collingwood some relief after a tumultuous week.
Still, their 49-point AFL romp over the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba on Friday night would have also provided some extra consolation.
After enduring their club president Eddie McGuire’s controversial King Kong comments about Sydney superstar Adam Goodes, Collingwood finally let their football do the talking as they cruised to a 14.16 (100) to 7.9 (51) victory in front of a 26,626-strong crowd.
McGuire’s mid-week on-air slur was always in the back of everyone’s mind at the Gabba – the mere presence of the Magpies president on TV commentary duties at halftime ensured that.
Indeed Collingwood stars Harry O’Brien and Andrew Krakouer were so distraught that coach Nathan Buckley kept the door open for the pair to step down for the Lions clash.
However, both were cleared before Collingwood vented their frustration on an understrength Lions.
Brisbane were reeling from the outset after co-captain Jonathan Brown (ban), vice-captain Tom Rockliff and ruckman Matthew Leuenberger (injury) were added to an unavailable list already boasting Daniel Merrett (suspension), Daniel Rich (shoulder) and Mitch Golby (foot).
Still, the Lions held some hope that they could celebrate Lions veteran Simon Black’s 318th game – equalling club record-holder Marcus Ashcroft – after the Pies limped into the match reeling from last round’s 47-point loss to Sydney.
However, the Gabba faithful had little to cheer about as the visitors jumped to a 5.3 (33) to 1.1 (7) lead by the first break.
By halftime, Ben Reid and Jamie Elliott had banged home two majors each as Collingwood dominated possessions (226-140), marks (53-34) and inside 50s (37-17) to lead 9.7 (61) to 2.4 (16).
It got worse for the hosts as the Magpies cruised to a 12.14 (86) to 5.6 (36) buffer at the final break.
Apart from their off-field woes, Collingwood were also reeling from the last minute loss of forward Travis Cloke to a virus.
The Magpies still welcomed back Heath Shaw from a hamstring injury while fellow returnee Alan Didak was named as Collingwood’s sub.
For Collingwood, Reid kicked three majors while Dane Swan had 36 touches and two goals.
For the Lions, Black had 32 disposals while Ash McGrath kicked three goals.