If you were told to pick a favourite moment from the 2023 Grand Final, you’d more than likely go to the fourth quarter.
There were Jordan De Goey and Steele Sidebottom’s crucial goals, and countless efforts that helped get the Pies over the line.
But if you think back to the second quarter, there was a sliding doors moment with equal significance.
As the shoot out of a first half continued, Brisbane went up by 13 points when Lincoln McCarthy’s pot shot went straight through the big sticks.
The Pies were on the back foot and in need of a settling major, and it was a dual reigning best & fairest winner that stood up.
Taking a sliding mark just inside the fifty-meter arc, tucked up against the boundary, Jack Crisp calmly slotted the set shot to kick his side back into gear.
“I had a fair bit of confidence in my ability to kick that goal,” Crisp said.
“What was actually going through my head when I was walking off the mark was ‘I did something similar in the Qualifying Final, this was a bit more of an angle and a bit further out, but I have complete faith that I’ll be able to get the journey’.
“I remember the way I did the kick as well the same little arc right at the end to get that little bit of extra umph.
“The ball was perfect, the weather was perfect for it and I kicked the ball and just saw it sailing through and just turned to the crowd and gave one of the biggest celebrations I’ve ever done.
“I knew how much it meant in that moment; Brisbane had kicked four of the last five goals and we were down 13 or 14 points so I feel like that goal really shifted momentum back in our favour.”
One of his taller teammates agreed, with ruckman Darcy Cameron saying the 30-year-old’s goal was his favourite moment from the day.
“Jack Crisp’s goal, I’ve watched that back a few times and you look at the scoreboard, it’s 37 to 50 and if they kick another goal it starts to get nervy,” he said.
“That goal from that spot and he did it three weeks ago against Melbourne, I don’t think that gets enough attention.
“That’s a really clutch goal and then we kick another and then we go into half time with a lead, that’s a big moment and I think that’s a really big play.”
For Crisp, the game was the culmination of a career of hard work.
Arriving at the Club in 2015 as a disregarded Brisbane player, Crisp quickly became one of the Pies’ most important midfielders.
“100 percent the best game I’ve ever been involved in, I was even thinking before the game it’s the biggest game of my career to date,” he said.
“Being in the AFL for 12 years and finally getting another crack to win the flag, knowing what I’ve done in my career for the last 12 years, it doesn’t matter what stage you are in your football career that game was so unreal to be part of.
“Every contest, every tackle, every kick, everything you do to will yourself to the ball and have an impact to turn the ball your way you just feel the emotion and how invested everybody is.
“We’ve trained these moments 100 times over but when you’re actually in them it’s when all eyes are on your making those decisions it all comes down to a split second.”
The high-scoring nature of Collingwood’s game style has been perfectly suited to Crisp.
Using his run and carry all season to help his teammate qualify in top spot, he continued on with an outstanding finals series that was crucial to the Pies’ success.
“The way we play really helps me play to my strengths in breaking the lines, changing angles,” he said.
“It’s forward football, but it’s not just straight down the line, it can be down the boundary and use my legs to run and carry and draw.
“I’m just really glad I could play my role on the day, I played a bit of wing and a bit of mid early and then when Murph went down I went down back as well.
“It meant a lot to me and it meant a lot to my family.”
The team’s selflessness was the most pleasing aspect of 2023 for Crisp.
Part of a side with a myriad of midfielders, the left-footer says it was important to set his ego aside at times for the betterment of the outfit.
“We set ourselves up last year, we had a really good season last year,” he said.
“We knew we had a lot of experience, it’s just about staying connected, playing your role and being selfless.
“It’s about putting your ego aside for the ultimate glory which we did so it was amazing.
“Fly always talks about a winning attitude, coming in to get the best out of yourself every day. The winning attitude and the growth mindset is the way to go.
“We’re here to grow, we’re not here to just stay the same.”
Jack Crisp’s 2023 stats:
- Played every game in 2023
- Ranked #5 at Collingwood for disposals
- Best Finals Player
- Ranked #2 at Collingwood for tackles