Collingwood Magpies: Australian Rules
team, in the Australian Football League
Black and White
Home Ground: Melbourne Cricket Ground
Formerly Victoria Park
History: If you're any kind of serious footy fan, you either love the Magpies or you hate them with a passion. There is no middle ground. Collingwood has perhaps the largest fan base in the country, a famously rabid bunch (the Magpie Army) who are dispised by the rest of the football world for the braindead morons that they are. The 'Pies always draw huge crowds, and their rivalry with Carlton is the stuff of legends. Opposition fans risked being spat apon at Victoria Park, the Magpie's former home ground. Collingwood are the most hated club in Australia. According to Collingwood themselves, about a quarter of the revenue made by the league is generated by the Magpie Army.
Right from the early days of the VFL, Collingwood were a force to be reckoned with. They first tasted premiership success in 1902 and 1903, and wond a third flag in 1910. The most important and famous figure of Collingwood's early history was Jock McHale. He played in the 1910 premiership, but it was as a coach that he left his mark on the game. Under McHale's iron-fisted leadership, Collingwood became the most feared side in the league. In the 38 years with McHale in charge, Collingwood won 9 premierships, including a record 4 in a row from 1927-1930. (The actual years were 1917, 1919, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1935, and 1936)
The 40s were a lean decade, by Magpie standards. The drought was shortlived, though. Collingwood won the flag again in 1953, and in 1958 they beat Melbourne in the grand final, stopping the Dees from equalling the Magpies' record 4 straight premierships.
In the 32 years spanning 1958-90, Collingwood made 9 grand finals. Collingwood lost nine grand finals. The common belief was that Collingwood were 'chokers', they cracked under pressure. The unflattering term 'Colliwobbles' was born.
In 1990, under coach 'Lethal' Leigh Matthews, the 'Pies finally broke the hoodoo, with a win over Essendon. Success was fleeting, though. Collingwood struggled for much of the nineties. Tony Shaw took over as coach, and the team went basically nowhere.
In 1998, Eddie Mcguire, the most over exposed head on Australian TV, took over as president of the club. Mcguire managed to lure the very successful coach Mick Malthouse from West Coast in 2000.
There hasn't been a whole lot of improvement in results as of yet, but the signs are there, and the young Magpies should start showing some improvement over the next few seasons.