White Line Fever

Saturday 6 September 2008

Tonight's thrashing of the Western Bulldogs felt in some ways like the final we had to have to get to the next one. The poor old Doggies have limped their way into the finals and will most likely limp their way out next weekend :( But oh, oh, oh, my team is a happy team, and a very, very good one. That boy on your right is a 21 year old, once in a lifetime player. I am so grateful that he misses a lot of goals because seriously, it might possibly keep his ego from spilling completely and utterly over into irrevocable Antichristness :)

The Hawthorn supporter in front of me was a disgusting creature and may at some point in the future feel ashamed at his behaviour one can only hope. Or maybe not. To yell at supporters who are despondently leaving the ground stuff like, "Oh well, at least you've got '54" - 1954, the last flag the Dogs have won - just doesn't float it for me. What a bitter bastard this guy is. Spent the entire game abusing the umpires - many supporters have this strange paranoia that the umpires are out there to get their team. As if a shiny professional outfit like the AFL would stand for any kind of favouritism like that. I reckon probably 75% of the words that came out of his mouth were vitriole. Man, it left a horrible taste in my mouth.

That Hawthorn supporter in front of me, I commented to my mum, was like a Richmond supporter only richer. Seriously, I understand people going to the footy to get their anger or angst or whatever out. I mean, how many socially sanctioned places are there where we get to yell and scream? But sheesh, does that need to include the levels of vitriole that people (mainly men) display against opposition supporters and players? It makes me angry. I don't understand why you can't be gunning for your team to win without it necessarily meaning that you require the opposition to get hurt, to die, to never win a flag.

Sigh. I must be too egalitarian. Last weekend my team played it's last game for the regular season. Each side had a player aiming to kick the elusive 100 goals. No player has kicked 100 goals in the AFL for about 10 years, so it was kinda a big deal that we had two in the one game, you know? Our team thrashed Carlton that night, too. Thrashed them so that I was kind of bored at times, realised my mind had wandered off and I was pondering ponderables. The same even hapened a little bit tonight, I am embarrassed to say :) But last week, I wanted Brendan Fevola to kick his 100 goals as well. I wanted the opposition supporters to be able to go home - a team who were not playing finals - with something that they could be happy about as well, you know?

I have an ethical problem with sport even as I devour my team's performances each week (and would consider strangling your grandmother for a Grand Final ticket). I have a problem with the whole concept of winning. What constitutes the happy elation you feel when your team has won? What proportion of it is happiness that your team has played well enough to win, and what proportion is euphoria constituted by the fact that you are on top, the best, the greatest? How much of winning is comparison? How much of everything is comparison?

Maybe this is just a male/female divide, I'm not sure. Maybe some males reading this would be rolling their eyes at the namby pambyness of this version of winning. All I know is that when I see grown people behaving like this at a football match, it makes me realise how bitter and twisted so many of us are. It's kind of creepy. But then, I guess it's kind of real.

And just in case I'm sounding a bit holier than thou by saying all this, a bit "I'm ethereal and don't indulge in that stuff", I spent a great part of tonight's match trying to hide my extreme distate and irritation at what I thought were two pathetic examples of humanity that were sitting next to my mum and in front of me when really, all they were doing was taking pot shots at easy targets. Which, when you think about it, was exactly what I was doing too.

Dammit. I hate thinking things through to those sorts of conclusions :)


Image: AFL.com.au


  1. What happens at the footy stays at the footy...a Richmond supporter only richer... nice one:)

  2. Heh. Well, it was probably a bit cheeky on my part, really. I can feel my long-dead granddad whispering in my ear, saying, "You are a Hawthorn supporter because your mum is. And she is because I was. And when I started barracking for them they were as working class as Richmond."

    Yeah, okay Grandpa. But how is that gonna fit nicely into the point I was trying to make in my post? ;)

  3. okay, I didn't really read this...But I see by the photo that your kind of football is padd-less, rugby like- Awesome! Much more interesting than our football here in the US. It's raw footbal there... It's like that in Argentina too (where I'm from)
    Those men are crazy, by the way!

  4. Yeah, can't have any of that padding stuff, Manuela :)


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