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U3A Writing: Hawthorn v Collingwood

Paul Nicolias tells of football rivalry.

Carl is an old friend. He is a one-eyed Hawthorn supporter, one eye brown, the other yellow. Twenty years ago he was given the title unofficial coach of the Hawthorn football club, a position he still retains today. He knows everything about Roughead, Buddy and Hodgy, and the rest of the Hawthorn players.

On nights Hawthorn wins he must make the phone call to Paul. Out of bed bleary-eyed I answer the phone, yes Carl. Guess what he replies, Hawthorn won tonight thanks Carl. As a tipster he never picks Collingwood, yet he sometimes picks 8 winners for the week. Come on Carl whose leg are you pulling?

On a weekend trip to Broken Hill Carl arrived with his Hawthorn beanie, scarf, number one football jumper, brown and gold glasses and a Hawthorn bag, telling every one North Melbourne would be beaten today, waving his bag like a Hawthorn flag all the way to Broken Hill.

At Broken Hill while Carl went to buy a Hawthorn tie, I walked across the road to St Paul's church and prayed to St Paul. Carl was preaching to the Hawthorn players before the match on his mobile phone, new tie and all, while I was being hit by bolts of lighting. This was St Paul's way of telling me to have faith in your mountain top dream, where I dreamt that Collingwood would win this year's grand final.

About three years ago our faithful golden brown-eyed Carl resigned as the Hawthorn president to allow Jeff Kennett to become president, but he continued on the Hawthorn committee, players advocate on the tribunal and players representative on the Hawthorn committee. Carl is also life time coach of the old brown and gold Hawks.

Paul "Collingwood" Nicolias


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