And the winner is…

For a bona fide Australian male sports fan I felt particularly apathetic about the past weekend’s football finales (that wasn’t a spelling mistake but I could just as correctly said finals it just wouldn’t have been as fancy). Maybe it was the fact that no teams I care about were playing. Maybe it’s because I loathe AFL and am at least casually indifferent towards the idea of a Sunday night Rugby League Grand Final – even after 5 of them with no realistic chance of things actually being changed back to how they were in the good old days of yesteryear with the traditional Sunday afternoon family affair… but alas… we’re stuck with the pressures of commercial television and the night final is here to stay. I tried hard to get into the AFL the other day – if listening to 15 minutes of Roy and HG calling the last quarter and getting out of the car with 1 minute to go constitutes trying – but it just didn’t grab me. I wasn’t enthused. The cliff hanger ending was there. But even lawn bowls has cliff hangers. A game’s goodness is not determined by its closeness. Maybe it was Roy and HG’s total disregard for the actual flow of play and the niceties of the game (although as far as I’m concerned AFL has no niceties – that’s three or four less than Rugby Union). Although I suspect my apathy which this year encompassed both the league and union stems from the lack of tribal affection for any of the teams on show. In fact the team I felt the most empathy for was the Sydney Swans. But that’s ok. I’m good with that. I heard some anti-sports intellectual arty type on JJJ condemning Australia’s love for sport and the disparity between the recognition our leading sports stars and academics receive and I thought “you know what, you just don’t get it” until you’ve seen your team win something (or even felt the pain of them losing over and over and over and over again (it’s been hard being a Manly supporter lately) you’ll never really grasp the passion or affinity supporters feel for their teams). I enjoy watching a good game of sport between quality teams (most of last night’s game was good quality), but at the end of the day I’m just not going to get goose bumps watching the Broncos beat the Storm by just 7 points, or the Swans going down by 1 point to the evil West Coast Eagles. The connection a supporter feels with their team is unique. It’s often forged for the simplest of reasons but in most cases it’s a bond that will last for a life time. There was an old article I read comparing the loyalty a man feels to his football team to the loyalty they feel to a spouse (looking at spiralling divorce rates) which showed a complete cultural aversion to swapping teams even if the team you support ends up being a dud. What does this mean for all the Gold Coast people who are about to trade allegiances from the Broncos to the Gold Coast ahead of next year’s season – is that a free pass to ditch an old team for a newer, more exciting model?

This blog was a bit of a ramble, but it really effectively killed my spare time. I am starting to wonder if anyone other than Mark and Joel actually read my posts anymore anyway. The comment counts on the last few have been really low. I don’t think my family even bother coming here any more. Maybe the bad puns are turning people away. Maybe it was the fact that I kept insulting commenters – or maybe it’s the complete lack of meaningful content. Maybe you should suggest (in comment form) why no one comments anymore…


Joel says:

Firstly, let me just say that the broncos are great and they made a damn gutsy win last night. Secondly, I think it is the lack of provocative content that is causing the lack of blog comments. Write about something controversial if you are keen for comments :)

Miriam says:

Bummer that The Storm didn’t win the game… Anything that will damage the popularity of AFL down here in Victoria is welcome.

Nath, I do still read your blogs quite regularly… Am still awaiting the topic entitled ‘My Darling Robyn – Tweet Twoo’

The Grammar Nazi says:

I fell asleep on someone’s couch and awoke for the last ten minutes of the AFL final. I didn’t know either of the teams from a bar of soap, but I always get involved in a one-point game. I cheered for the country boys from Perth.
Except they’re probably not country boys, they’re probably really over-paid footballers from the east coast who play for the west coast because someone offered them a lot of money. Would I be right?
And I missed the rugby final on account of it was Sunday night and my fan club wanted me to come out to the Coffee Club with them after church, seeing as I was away the week before and then the week before that I threw a hissy fit and ran off with my Man-Toy instead of going out with them.
All of this had nothing to do with anything, but hey. You got a comment.

Mark says:

Yes, you’re right about it being a nothing link that sparks a connection – my preferred League team is the Newtown Jets, because that’s where we were living when I first became aware of the sport (1981)… then they lost the grand final to Paramatta (which they did again last Sunday) and left the top level to become a feeder team for the Roosters.

Since then I’ve been largely indifferent at the club level, more interested in supporting individual players, though I am parochial enough to prefer the Qld teams doing well against anyone from NSW, Vic, SA or WA for that matter.

I think that until the arty types come up with an intellectual equivalent for panem et circenses, or in Aust, beer and sport they’re going to be discontent and whine about it.

Your Father says:

Because your posts are a bit too long and not about life in Townsville any more.