By Ross Stapleton

Collingwood may well be the most
iconic and discussed football club in the country and often for all the wrong
reasons where it has become effectively joined at the hip if not the hip pocket
of its millionaire president Eddie McGuire.

So whenever Collingwood is in the
news for any reason let alone a big story like the devastating chronic
hamstring trauma that has threatened to end the career of its illustrious captain
Nathan Buckley, naturally you expect the Nine Footy Show last night to give us
all the hottest and latest breaking news on Buck’s hammy. And so it was
we got his scoop interview with his boss and Footy Show host just hours before
he went under the surgeon’s knife yesterday to literally take a last medical
roll of the dice at trying to discover what ails the champion Magpie. You
could have sworn we were getting a blow by blow update of the Pope’s medical
condition such was the solemnity with which both Buckley and McGuire discussed
his condition and mindset at the prospect that his playing career now hangs in
the balance. For those who find religious significance in all things AFL
– this is only to be expected.

But no sooner have we just taken
in the penetrating insight into Buckley’s pre-operative condition in both the
physical and emotional sense, than McGuire can now bring us the breaking news
that’s literally burst at that moment from the operating theatre, that the
surgery had been a huge success could “ not have gone better”. Actually
his surgeon had discovered what McGuire had us believe was the almost
miraculous presence of a torn tendon inside the hammy or whatever, that could
only have been detected via such surgery and in fact this might well now
rewrite the medical manual on hamstring medical prognosis around the
world. Indeed!

Now in case you feel I am getting
on the Magpie president’s case for what was very legitimate and genuine news to
the football world, all that was fine and well. But then we also had yet
another boring interlude with a former Collingwood champion “Fabulous” Phil
Carman who regular watchers of the show have already seen
previously. I will also ignore the fact that despite Collingwood
not having a game until Sunday, their selection was the first team featured
last night when for many fans there is much more interest in tonight’s
traditional heavyweight Essendon v Carlton clash to be shown vicariously at
many different times around the country by Nine as is their custom.

But the Collingwood president
outdid himself with his detailed breakdown of the drink driving and speeding
charges faced this week by a young Richmond
player Jay Schulz that McGuire stated are almost certain to cost the Tigers it’s $500,000 Transport Accident
Commission annual sponsorship as early as today. This was the kind of
parading of a wayward player’s personal wrecklessness that is going to cost his
club dearly, that came with all the McGuire bells and whistles of how this was
just not on, with the very sponsor Collingwood itself also shares as he
admitted. But beyond any dispute when in the past Collingwood players
mucked up with drunken behaviour or speeding or other acts that could jepordise
its own TAC sponsorship, there was no such Footy Show leading the way with that
news.