Sonny Liston once said, “A prizefight is like a cowboy movie. There has to be a good guy and a bad guy. People pay money to see me lose. Only in my cowboy movie, the bad guy always wins”. Collingwood is the AFL equivalent of Liston, destined to always play the bad guy in the theatre of football. But how did Collingwood end up being the most reviled (and, by its fans, the most intensely loved) football club in the land?
There are several common explanations: Eddie McGuire’s ham-fisted and offensive media forays, the club’s “feral” fan base, and events like the infamous Nicky Winmar incident at Victoria Park. But to each of these charges, Collingwood is hardly unique.