Wilkie Nominations ‘07

Fellow sufferers,
It’s a particularly bleak time of year, with the football finals just around the corner and persiflage on the topic reaching fever pitch. But hold firm, six weeks and it’ll all be over!

That said, Melbournians, who are generally the worst affected by the game, will be able to enjoy a football free grand final day on September 29th. We’re organising a little shin dig for those who need to escape the big smoke on the day, and far from Runt road. Members, keep you eyes on your email inbox, and your diaries free….

In regards to Douglas Wilkie nominations, there have been dozens, and all are being considered. Of the more humourous, we have received this one from John of Canberra.

Dear Sir,

I would like to nominate the Education Editor of “The Canberra Times” Ms Emma Macdonald, for the 2007 Douglas Wilkie Award. She has a regular column in the Sunday Canberra Times and today she wrote, under the single column headline “AFL in a league of its own in the sport of talk”:

THE NON-sports minded in our office often have a laugh at our sports-mad colleagues over the completely inane things which come from the mouths of footballers and their coaches when, presumably, the Dencorub fumes combine with too many blows to the head.

Now the real gems of sport-speak are doing the e-mail rounds and suggest AFL IQs may be the lowest of them all.

* “Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein.” (Mick Malthouse, Collingwood coach.)

* “You guys line up alphabetically by height” and “you guys pair up in groups of three, then line up in a circle.” (Barry Hall, Sydney captain at training.)

* “He’s a guy who gets up at six o’clock in the morning regardless of what time it is.” (Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy on James Hird.)

* “Strangely, in slow motion replay, the ball seemed to hang in the air for even longer.” (Dermott Brereton.)

* “I told him, ‘Son, what is it with you. Is it ignorance or apathy?’ He said ‘Barass, I don’t know and I don’t care’.” (Ron Barassi talking about North Melbourne’s Gary Cowton.)

Regards,

John,
Canberra

Citizen Laments 3

We recently received this letter from Trevor, from the AFL stronghold in Horsham, Victoria. Trevor has nobly purchased 20 badges and is spreading the good word throughout the Wimmera.

What a wonderful refreshing feeling it was when I heard that the AFL was returning. I now feel that I am not alone in this world and that there is now something to live for.

I have never understood football followers – let me be clear that I do understand the game somewhat, but certainly not the followers or the players.

I am not anti games or anti sport.

I was always of the understanding that a game is something one is involved in for the enjoyment of same. If so, why do people take it so seriously that they feel the need to assault each other, verbally abuse each other – both on and off the ground? Why are some people incapable of maintaining an intelligent conversation on any subject but football?

If football is supposedly so good for our youth, then why is football synonymous with excessive drinking, foul language, abuse, violence and anti social behaviour in general?

Why is assault a criminal act everywhere but on a football ground?

It’s one thing to watch a game, but then to feel the need to discuss, dissect, replay and re-live the game for every waking moment (and I suspect many non-waking moments) until the next game, is beyond my comprehension.

Why do television producers automatically assume that everyone is interested in football?

The endless, tiresome array of football related programs is simply mind-numbing, rivalled only by that other program called Big Brother and, for those of us old enough to remember, the test pattern.

Whenever I hear or read the term “football fan”, the words “no brains at all” come to mind. (sorry Keith!)

Could I ask when we will be taking legal action against the Australian Football League for stealing our name? The AFL was in use long before the VFL went national.

On a more serious note, Villa Maria could not be a better choice for AFL support, especially Gildas House, a service so lacking in Australia today.

Keep up the good work!

Trevor

Thank you Trevor, and yes, we are deeply perturbed by the former VFL stealing our name. Look out for High Court action in the near future…

Citizen Laments 2

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.

King regards….Richard

Earbashed Citizen Laments

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.

Parental Control

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.