Monday, September 22, 2008

I understand there's a football match this Saturday.

I realise, as TSFKA’s resident football tragic, the honour of writing about this Saturday’s coming AFL Grand Final should really go to Perseus – but I got in first so nyer, nyer.

I haven’t followed football for nearly 20 years now and I only attended a local match recently so The Boy could watch, but in my youth I was a mad Essendon supporter.

Saw just about every match with my dad and brother (Hawthorn), collected players’ autographs, knew all about the club’s heroes (Coleman). Then, for some reason (linked I suspect to my discovery of girls and Marx), I lost all interest. Went absolutely cold turkey and I haven’t cared since.

Which is not to say I underestimate the importance of footy in Melbourne.

Football was instrumental to the formation of class and culture, especially in inner-suburban Melbourne. Working class suburbs like Collingwood, Richmond and Fitzroy drew part of their identity from the performance of their team and any match against clubs from better-off areas (Melbourne) was always tinged with an element of class war.

Funnily enough, this feeling has never quite died. After the 2005 Grand Final, when West Coast lost to Sydney, I saw a house in St Kilda displaying this sign.

Hey yuppies. You can buy our houses but your team still can’t play football.

Football and politics was always linked, especially in Collingwood and many of those prominent in the local ALP and unions were also prominent in the local club, most notably John Wren.

Many writers (David Williamson) and academics (Ian Turner) have also written well and meaningfully about the game.

And yet, despite my lack of interest, I’ll still watch some of the match on the telly, between barbecuing dead animals and drinking beer on Saturday.

Some things never leave you.

19 comments:

Perseus said...

774 on Saturday did this whole afternoon coverage show of all the country grand finals being played. People were ringing in from remote WA, and NT, and giving score updates of grand finals. It was kind of beautiful in a 'bring us all together' way.

**

I'll be barracking for Geelong this weekend. To illustrate why, here is a list of Reasons To Hate Hawthorn (which was going to be my post today, but you beat me fair and square).

1. Jeff Kennett.
2. Chance Bateman's hairdo.
3. Jason Dunstall's arrogance.
4. Brereton's hairdo.
5. Brereton's 'line in the sand'.
6. Jeff Kennett.
7. Hawthorn's colours (poo and wee).
8. 'The Family Club'
9. Jeff Kennett.
10. The suburb of Hawthorn.
11. The suburb of Hawthorn's parking restrictions ('permit only', like, everywhere... may as well say, 'rich people only')
12. Their dominance in the 80's.
13. Jeff Kennett.
14. Sam Mitchell's ill-proportioned chest.
15. Campbell Brown's mouthguard.
16. Jeff Kennett.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Hawthorn (suburb and team) are full of knob-ends.

Go Cats!!!

Melba said...

reasons to like geelong:

1. chappo's hairdo

2. ablett's hairdo

3. harley's hairdo

4. ling - the most attractive man in football

5. scarlett's hairdo

6. there needs to be closure for
'89

7. geelong's lack of pretty boys (except lingy)

8. just one more flag, and then the others can have a go. just to make up for all the '90s disappointments.

go cats.

shitbmxrider said...

I am hoping Football will be the winner, due to the fact I am a dyed-in-the-blood Collingwood supporter, and can't bring myself to barrack for the Handbags(theres nowt more arrogant than a recently-back-on-the-bandwagon Cats supporter) or the Pretty Boys(fuck Hawthorn and all they stand for).


Yet, funnily enough, I don't have a problem with Jeffrey.

Infact, at the 2001 500cc MotoGP down at Phillip Island, when Bracksie was handing out the trophies, I may have started a "Bring Back Jeff" chant that the whole crowd on the front straight repeated.

shitbmxrider said...

Melba:

Lingy, attractive? How the hell can a saucehead like that be considered fit for living amongst humans, let alone attractive?

He is fine to live in Geelong, however.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Collingwood supporter, eh?

That explains much.

Perseus said...

Bring back Jeff? Why?

So he closed down half the hospitals, half the schools, shut the railways, privatised what was left and was responsible for those ugly French Fries at the top of the Calder.

Are you one of those people ShitBMX like my sister that say, "Yeah, but he got us the Grand Prix!"

To quote Juvenal:

"... Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man,
the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time
handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now
restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things:
bread and circuses"

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Juvenal always struck me as a Tiges man.

Perseus said...

Herod Antipas barracked for Hawthorn, that's for sure.

Melba said...

shitbmx: i was being facetious re ling.

Melba said...

and shitb, geelong supporters have suffered much these long years, there's not a lot of arrogance around, it's more anxiety that they will fuck it up. friday night there was a frisson of "oh, fuck, no" that a geelong supporter knows too well.

hopefully it will be a good game.

eat my shorts said...

Football is bred into us here in Tassie. I'm pissed though that now that the "Tassie" Hawks are the "Tassie" Hawks, I'm supposed to drop the team I've barracked for my whole life and start supporting Hawthorn ... okay, not my whole life, since 1993, when Essendon won the Grand Final and I saw a young James Hird in short shorts and long socks (shut up, I was only thirteen).

When I was five I went for Sydney because I thought Warrick Capper was pretty.

I went for Richmond for a bit because of their Tassie contingent in my latter teenage years.

A few years ago I worked with Russell Robertson's dad, and so I went for Melbourne then.

As it turns out, I'm a fairly fickle football fan, and will probably barrack next for whichever team an ex student plays for - which, considering the Hawks' presence here now, will most likely be Hawthorn.

As little as I like the Hawks, I just can't stand Geelong, so if they win again that'll suck a bit.

shitbmxrider said...

Perseus:

Its not that I am a massive fan of J.Kennett, but i have a deep dislike of S.Bracks...

Ramon:

You bet I am...I do have all my (own) teeth, however

shitbmxrider said...

melba:

Re: Ling...

I see I see...I had a geelong supporter say what you posted...except she was dead serious.

Fad MD said...

Geez EMS I thought you were much older than that!

As for Saturday, I'll be boozing it up at the Intercon with Brian Royal and Rene Kink who are being flown in for the do. Perhaps they could have got some more obscure names? Happily the 2hr time difference allows for a nice early start to the day.

Perseus said...

Can you ask Brian Royal from me whether Oakley-Nicholls is ever going to make it or is he just wasting space. Same goes for Dean Polo. Ta.

eat my shorts said...

Geez EMS I thought you were much older than that!

I choose to take that as a compliment.

Fad MD said...

Beer willing, I will report back on Monday for you Perseus.

Perseus said...

Thanks Fad... I would LOVE to have a chat with Brian Royal. I'd probably go through the list alphabetically, so I'll restricty myself to those two by proxy.

One more for Mr. Royal if you can: Tucky for Captain? His dad was Hawthorn's greatest ever captain, so does the son have any of his old man's leadership qualities, or did he inherit the Ablett family's lack thereof? (Shane Tuck is half Tuck and half Ablett blood... what a perfect footballer breed).