So, The Streak is over. It was always going to end at some point, and for us it happened at the SCG on Sunday.
But as the dust and disappointment settle, it’s worth reflecting again on just what a remarkable piece of history we’ve witnessed over the past few months.
Most starkly, this is only the second time in the last 57 years that ANY Collingwood team has managed to win 11 games in a row. Not even our Premiership teams of 1990 or 2010 could manage it in their flag-winning seasons. Nor the brilliant Bob Rose-coached teams around 1970, or Tom Hafey’s sensational team in 1977. The only other team to do it was the post-Premiership line-up of 2011, who won 14 on the trot.
That’s something of which we can be incredibly proud.
Also, every other 10-game+ streak of ours bar one has either come in, or immediately after, a Premiership year (the one exception being waaay back in 1905). So that either means we’re going to win the flag this year, or that it’s a reflection of just how far we’ve come from 2021.
There are some other noteworthy points about it:
It’s the equal fifth-longest winning streak in Collingwood’s 130-year history;
It’s only the ninth time that one of our teams has won 11 games or more on the trot;
The run included no fewer than eight single-figure margins, plus one more of 11. No other team in VFL/AFL history has ever managed that many single-figure margin wins in a season, let alone in the same streak. (Port Adelaide managed seven such wins in 2002, Footscray in 1944 and Carlton in 1914);
Our cumulative margin of 115 points is the smallest across 11 successive wins in AFL history;
We now also hold the record for the smallest cumulative margins across 7, 8, 9 and 10 wins in a row;
Our run of seven successive wins by less than two goals is now the longest in VFL/AFL history (and the two previous records of six both happened before the First World War).
But perhaps more important than the stats are the moments. None of us will ever forget that last coast-to-coast play against Essendon, and the Jamie Elliott post-siren goal that followed. Or the Daicos boys combining so perfectly against Gold Coast. Beau McCreery’s bone-crunching tackles. The coolness and crucial goals from mid-season draftees Ash Johnson and Josh Carmichael. Ollie Henry’s run of last-quarter clutch goals. Brayden Maynard’s tackles in the ‘all duck, no dinner’ game two weeks ago. And so much more.
These are the magic moments that will stay with us even longer than memories of the streak itself.
It’s been a hell of a ride. And while The Streak might now be history, it’s also worth remembering this: our season ain’t over yet.