September 17, 2003


This week’s Continuing Crisis column for The Bulletin mentions the Thompson Twins, Alannah Currie, Grace Knight, lesbians, the Melbourne Cricket Club, Anna Lindh, Olof Palme, Bob Hawke, Alexander Downer, Döbeln, and Warren Snowdon.

Also in The Bulletin: a piece by me on the greatness that is Collingwood. And here’s something I wrote around the same time last year, as Collingwood headed towards the 2002 Grand Final.

One important difference between 2002 and 2003 -- it's now thirteen years since Collingwood last won the flag.

Posted by Tim Blair at September 17, 2003 03:01 AM

Can anyone point me to a good web source of info on Aust. Rules Football. I mean, I've watched it on ESPN late night like every other American, but it was a mystery to me. (My favorite part, the two guys in white signalling goals...that is just fabulous). I'm really curious and, you know, you just can't get enough football....

Posted by: KevinV at September 17, 2003 at 03:05 AM

My typo in The Bulletin piece, by the way -- 2001 in the final paragraph should be 2002.

Posted by: tim at September 17, 2003 at 03:11 AM

I second Kevin's request. Come on Aussies. Tell us your Rules. (Extra points for combining humor with accuracy.)

Posted by: LSG at September 17, 2003 at 04:55 AM


Official Aussie Rules site. Might prove helpful...

Posted by: Richard at September 17, 2003 at 05:57 AM

Anyone But Option. I will NOT - I say again NOT - be taking up Braxies generous offer of supporting Collingwood in the remaining finals! Go Port! Go Lions! Go Pinks! In case you missed it - NOT.

Posted by: Tony.T at September 17, 2003 at 09:54 AM

Sorry Tim, hate to rain on your parade, but it isn't Quiet Respect, as you so hopefully phrased it, it was plain and simple pity. Never mind, you will have a chance to enjoy that pity again this year when the Lions hand you your heads at the G... AGAIN!!!

Posted by: Todd at September 17, 2003 at 10:34 AM

KevinV believe it or not, but there is a yank league for footy and they even have a national team called the American Revolution. have a look at US Footy

Posted by: Todd at September 17, 2003 at 10:37 AM

When Malthouse and that player had a good sook in the middle of the field, I laughed, long and hard. I'll wear a Port Adelaide jumper in hell before I support the Cold Pies. As much as I can't stand Brisbane it was a relief that collingwood LOST and it will be a pleasure to see them LOSE again. The Bombers fell short this year but it's no excuse for lunacy as advocated by that bitch-boy Premier Bracks.

Posted by: Jake D at September 17, 2003 at 10:45 AM

Collingwood President Eddie McGuire's suggestion that support for the club during the Finals might turn to full-time magpie love was a thinly-veiled lament for the loss of the foaming, seething hatred for Collingwood of other clubs' supporters in times gone by.

I had never ventured to Victoria Park in my life, but was prompted to do so, along with a bevy of Essendon fans, on the occasion of the first game for the 'Pies of a player who had just transferred from our club.

Ron Andrews was an old-school hard backman who specialised in breaking bones and rearranging faces. He spent more time pig-shooting than training and more time in the pub than the gym.

Such was the respect for the defender that, during that game, no Essendon fan could bring himself to heckle Andrews. In fact, he received as much applause from our quarters as he did from bemused 'Pie fans. (Andrews finished his career as a boxer fighting such luminaries as
Mark 'Jacko' Jackson.)

A similar blurring of allegiances occured when Collingwood traded the Hairdressing Hulk, Rene Kink, to Essendon.

Gone are the days when Collingwood allegiance ended at Johnson Street. Player trading did the damage.

Posted by: ilibcc at September 17, 2003 at 11:42 AM

You wrote the column while naked?

Posted by: Andjam at September 17, 2003 at 12:20 PM

the number one most censored story of 2002-03 was "the Neoconservative Plan for Global Dominance"

Tim, don't you know neoconservatives control the media?

Posted by: Andjam at September 17, 2003 at 12:23 PM

Just when you get to liking a bloke, you find out he's a dirty Pies fan. Doesnt matter....a fit Brisbane will beat anyone.

Posted by: unit at September 17, 2003 at 01:03 PM

Unless its my browser gone haywire, the site’s sudden new look is quite striking, but it makes the masthead line, red on black, “Welcome to the Australia of Tim Blair, journalist, commentator, and oppressor” quite difficult to read. The black-on-red comment dates/times are also hard to read. A red background is suited for white or yellow letters. Red letters are suited for a white or yellow background.

Posted by: ForNow at September 17, 2003 at 01:08 PM

Regarding queries about AFL rules- there is no web-site, as there are no rules (except for no actual fights on the paddock, bitch-slaps are perfectly OK).

Posted by: Habib Bickford at September 17, 2003 at 01:09 PM

This new color scheme is definitely headache-inducing.

Posted by: Jim C. at September 17, 2003 at 01:35 PM


I watched an interview with one of the players wives and she was concerned that they had no padding and mite get hurt. Imagine if they were playing a real game like RUGBY UNION.

Posted by: Gary at September 17, 2003 at 01:48 PM

You'll swap the flags over on the Pies crest right Tim? When they prise it from your cold, dead hands.

Posted by: Fidens at September 17, 2003 at 01:49 PM


There are no rules, only interpretations.

Australian Football has no fewer than three on-field referees ("umpires") who judge the validity of on-field actions.

When a dispute arises, a majority decision is then able to be reached - as in Supreme Court rulings - proving that in sport as in life, interpretation is far more important than rules.

Following contentious decisions, video replays are shown as if to challenge the validity of the umpires' ruling.

Fans in the bleachers perform the role of the public gallery, with similar lack of restraint. They often use crudely-worded banners in order to lobby the umpiring judiciary and media.

View the next game and see this theory in practice.

Posted by: pooh at September 17, 2003 at 01:59 PM

This new look site is making me hate Tim as much as I hate collingwood, volvo drivers and mid-life-crisis harley owners. Please change back Tim, you were so much more likeable when you gloated quitetly.

Posted by: Jake D at September 17, 2003 at 02:00 PM

Is that Emirates Red you're using on the links?

Posted by: Troy Wilson of West Coast Eagles fame at September 17, 2003 at 02:07 PM


Besides, real men play Bocce

Posted by: Tex at September 17, 2003 at 02:13 PM

I believe the new look is meant to reflect an allegiance to a sports team. The enlarged font for the masthead welcome helps. Who knows, maybe the “Op Art” will sweep the blogosphere.

Posted by: ForNow at September 17, 2003 at 02:22 PM

It’s changing at every refresh! Right now it’s good.

Posted by: ForNow at September 17, 2003 at 02:24 PM

Great to see you've changed your background colours to include Red & Black; the colours of the finest team ever!

Posted by: Bushy at September 17, 2003 at 02:24 PM

Gary mate, I have to agree with you, but considering there aren't any super 12 games left this year and it will still be a month away until the Wobbaly's win the World Cup again, I have to get my sport fix from something.

So I find myself watching AFL rather than the bastardised 'sport'like League. Besides, bagging Tim as a Collywobble supporter is a national sport in itself. ;-)

But have no fear, I'll be back on the Ballymore Hill next Winter to see the Reds get beaten again and loving every moment of it.

Posted by: Todd at September 17, 2003 at 02:27 PM

KevinV... how about visiting the one place on the web aimed at American fans of footy?

Australian Football Association of North America

We have a footy FAQ to help explain the rules and a BBS to ask questions. Oh yea, we also have TV schedules and a blog...

Posted by: Rob de Santos at September 17, 2003 at 02:30 PM

Sorry for the eyestrain, guys! I suppose I should set up a test blog to play around with the look, but I'm too lazy. The site design will probably be tweaked a little more; I'm trying to keep the Collingwood theme from overwhelming peoples' ability to actually read the site.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at September 17, 2003 at 02:44 PM

I'm still wishing for this design. Mostly for the link on the sidebar to LooLoo McNuts.

Posted by: Dylan at September 17, 2003 at 02:52 PM

Andrea Harris

Some people say it takes very little to overwhelm Collingwood fans.

Posted by: Gary at September 17, 2003 at 02:54 PM

Tim - Some disturbed looking budgie has taken up residence on your masthead. And Billy Bragg has obviously hacked your blog and turned some of your script red......

Posted by: Geoff Honnor at September 17, 2003 at 02:59 PM

Brisbane are lookin' good. Pies are looking good, for desert.

Posted by: Random_Prose at September 17, 2003 at 03:04 PM

I think you might be taking the "oppressor" thing a bit too far ...

Posted by: Evil Pundit at September 17, 2003 at 03:05 PM

Jeez. Guys are so delicate.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at September 17, 2003 at 03:09 PM

Port by a mile.

What's the difference between a collingwood fan and a photo?

Only one of them is fully developed.

Posted by: T. Surprised at September 17, 2003 at 03:10 PM

To think I've linked to a Pies supporter. It will be sweet when the Swans thrash Bris in front of a crowd bigger than the GF, followed by a last minute goal from a rejuvinated Micky O'Laughlin from 50 metres out...

Posted by: Simon at September 17, 2003 at 03:15 PM

Simon, what ever you're on, I would suggest you halve the dose because mate, you're dreamin'.

Posted by: Todd at September 17, 2003 at 03:20 PM

Tim + Collingwood = in league with Margo

Posted by: nic at September 17, 2003 at 04:48 PM

Everybody knows Eddie McEverywhere is in league with Satan and a closet communist. Compared to being the president of collingwood, those are his good points.

So, Andrea, you're to blame for this assault on good taste. tsk, tsk, tsk, and I thought you were a nice girl.

Posted by: Jake D at September 17, 2003 at 05:14 PM

What's Collingwood? I always thought it was a housing commission suburb full of crims, junkies, drunks, welfare cheats, degenerates, bevans, bogans, sharpies and derros; now someone is trying to tell me it's also a football team. You learn something new every day. Perhaps that is why the strip illustrated in relation to the team in question appears to be based on convict stripes.

Posted by: Habib Bickford at September 17, 2003 at 05:28 PM

This site is evil!

Posted by: Tony.T at September 17, 2003 at 06:12 PM

Although it's good to see your links in red and blue.

Posted by: Tony.T at September 17, 2003 at 06:18 PM


Love the new design for the site. As for the others well they wouldn't know a decent footy team if it swooped down and scratched their deranged eyes out. As for rugby, well, don't get me started on the "brain sport".

Go the Pies!!!

Posted by: Antipodean at September 17, 2003 at 06:31 PM

The black'n'white is OK but you forgot the teal and silver to go with it.

Methinks you can go back to your old design after this weekend.

Posted by: Scarlet at September 17, 2003 at 09:36 PM

Thanks Pooh, Rob, Todd, & Habib:

In the 1980's I played rugby at an American college. In the 1990's I went to grad school (U of Wisconsin) with about half a dozen Aussies. About four of them were from Victoria, one was from Canberra, and one homesick guy was from NSW. I told the NSW-guy that my wife worked with a guy from Newcastle, NSW who just received a shipment of rugby videotapes from his father. NSW-guy's eyes got real big, and he expressed his strong desire to see the tapes. I introduced the two of them, and watched some of the tapes with them. The tapes included a comedian who told what I was told were NSW-specific jokes that were apparently incomprehensible and/or bitingly insulting to Victorians. Also, I was told that real men (i.e., NSWers) played and watched rugby, while lowly Victorians had their ARF. I, of course, am only an ignorant American seeking to expand my knowledge.

Posted by: LSG at September 18, 2003 at 07:04 AM