This letter was written by Richard. The poor chap does his best to avoid the football coverage and despite his best efforts, it seems to get the better of him. Published here in it’s entirety, he makes some important points that I think we can all relate to.
One thing that really annoys me about the grand final is that it is not the grand final. It is not the last final. There will be another one next year unless the sun dies or we are invaded by aliens. I have fantasies about arming the players with knives and guns and some small modifications to the rules so that it truly becomes a grand final but I know that next year more “players” would fill the places of the thankfully departed.
The grand final for me brings two pleasures to my football loathing life. Whilst they are to an extent offset by the near frenzy of the media in a sporting feeding frenzy leading up to the event, I do look forward to it.
First of all I know that there will soon be a lessening of the saturation media and conversation coverage that prevails for so much of the year. The frenzy of the media coverage seems like the old Maxwell Smart “cone of stupidity” where everything said was jumbled up and incomprehensible seemingly to those participating but doubly so to everyone else.
After the (wishfully) grand final there will still be a small feeling of relief that however small and however brief it is still most welcome.
However the greatest enjoyment for me comes from trying to stay ignorant of the outcome for as long as possible. This is where the real contest lies. Any fool can and usually does watch or listen to the game. It takes real skill to remain conscious and avoid learning of the result.
Considering the way the (how I wish) grand final invades our cultural psyche, this is truly a difficult and worthy task. Even more difficult is being honest and admitting that I have at some stage failed because I foolishly glimpsed the front of a newspaper or listened to a news bulletin or saw some idiots scarf flapping out the window of a car. The fact that I can associate some dreadful colour combination on a piece of material as belonging to a particular club is a sorry indictment of the power of advertising we are subjected and subject to. That even I could be forced, nay, inculcated, to recognise football colours is appalling.
I do not want to sound like I am obsessing but I have come up with simple strategies such as not reading a paper for a few days, no glancing at newsagents, no watching TV or driving a car for at least 12 hours after the game, that help me in my quest for blissful ignorance.
How have I done? To date and with 15 years of effort, my worst result has been 3 hours and my best has been 36 hours.
My hope is that in sharing this I can raise awareness of some of the only true pleasures that “footy” can bring and that each year there are opportunities that are available for all to grasp.
After fifteen years, the Anti-Football League has undertaken a pressing of lapel badges. Now you can officially join the league, and proudly display your membership.
Badges can be purchased for AUD$6.50 (plus postage). Profits from the sale of AFL merchandise will go to Villa Maria, a Melbourne based organisation that provides services for the elderly and people with disabilities.
To purchase a badge, click here.
To learn more about the history of AFL lapel badges, click here.
We received this heartfelt cry in the wind from a gentleman who goes by the strange moniker of mocrawf.
As a completely disinterested Victorian anti-football gentleman, I am angry at how the Media seem to think that we are all interested in hearing about this boring sport. It has been recently proved that it is just a safe haven for drug addicts, common thugs and the brain dead.
With so called celebrities such as Billy Brainless and the ever dumb and dumber Sam (Old Man) Newman, who recently on the TV show “Temptation” proved he is completely moronic by failing to answer one (kindergarten style) question correctly, what a waste of a private school education.
Both of these celeb’s are proof that too much alcohol consumption eats away your brain. Obviously they are perfect roll models for the thugs and druggies who play and worship AFL. I can’t wait to see the end of another boring football year in September.
We agree wholeheartedly and completely, mocrawf.
We received this disturbing letter from Grant, a concerned parent.
Do you have any information or know of websites where I can find out about parents who do not want their children involved in competitive sports? I have heard there are parents out there who try their best to keep their children away from sport. They see some of the on and off field bad behaviour of a very small number of athletes and see competitive sport as a bad influence. They also have in mind that in this day and age a minor permanent injury can ruin young person’s employment prospects. Any information would be useful, thanks.
Dear Grant, we can only suggest that you withdraw your children from school and move to a community where competitive sport is shunned. I understand the Inuits are very welcoming people and are blessed with never having heard of Aussie rules. We, at AFL headquarters have been investigating real estate in Siberia. Maybe you should too.
Regarding your concern for the effect of permanent injuries on employment prospects, I wouldn’t worry. Most of Australia’s working public have a fanatical obsession with some type of leather kicking activity, which can only been seen as a type of self-harm, and therefore injurious to the soul. Any unfortunate ailment that is result of the social pressure to play football, will not be noticed in the workplace.
We sincerely hope this advice proves to be some help.
AFL members will be no doubt blissfully ignorant to the recent developments at the MCG over Melbourne’s colder months. However, whilst attending a non-match at midnight, on Tuesday, we noticed a wonderful artwork adorning the newly refurbished Olympic Stand. Entitled ‘Kicking the Leather’, the sculpture incorporates the use of footballs, old and new, to create a collage that meanders up one of the structural supports.
Artist Penelope Lee has taken a leaf out of the Anti-Football League’s book and deflated, unstitched, and shredded several hundred footballs to create her masterpiece. Over the years, during Wilkie Award presentations, we too have put the pigskin through similar ordeals, but never have we created something as elaborate as this.
Here at the AFL we suspect the commission of ‘Kicking the Leather’ is part of a desperate push to breathe some life into the MCG stadium during its unfortunate winter periods. And so, football non-enthusiasts are encouraged to look out for this piece and marvel at this salute to our cause, next time they’re attending a non-match at the ‘G’.
In recent weeks we have been subjected to a different type of Football hubbabaloo. The soccer World Cup has been and gone and thankfully there will be no more talk of it for another four years. But has it been good for the Anti-Football cause? We can only conclude that it has a few more merits than the normal pigskin calisthenics we, the downtrodden and overburdened, are usually subject to.
Still, as ever, we have been required in our workplaces and public spaces to lend a polite ear to the tired remarks: ‘Did you catch the game? Geez, I tell ya, we was robbed’.
But as an upside, the soccer games have been played at a more civilised times of day –three in the morning, for example. If only the Aussie rules crowd would take a page out of the World Cup book, and play all their games in the dead of night. Just think, no more congested train carriages at Richmond station by gambrinous hordes. No more Punt road deadlock on Saturday afternoons and the television coverage would have the post-mortem-game-wrap-up all over by breakfast time. An ideal situation, you would have to agree.
But as members of the Anti-Football League, we should ask whether we should celebrate this recent distraction, or condemn the soccer World Cup completely? If they insist on calling the ball played with the round ball ‘football’ and not ‘soccer’ then should we consider fighting on another front? Presently, we are undecided.
Members, as ever, are invited to continue the debate by leaving a comment below.