Saturday, May 12, 2007



saturday, we had the pleasure and privilege of attending a collingwood footy match with friends from forge.  phil and his wife dan are die hard, lifetime fans of collingwood and he is also a member of the melbourne cricket club, the original cricket grounds where events like concerts and footy now take place.  it is quite a prestigious membership to hold with something like a 30 year waiting list.  geoff even had to wear a collared shirt for admittance.

it was a riveting game between collingwood and their most loathsome rival, carlton.  i'm not even a supporter and i could barely stand it.  there were two things i wished i'd had during the game - a beta-blocker for me and a syringe of full-strength estrogen for the unbearable fan in front of me.  the match began with all kinds of unfair, unsportsmanlike punches and shoves and it seemed i was the only one indignant about it.  aussies love a good row.  between first and second quarter, there was full on pandemonium as the two teams clashed in the middle of the field (which resulted in embarrassment for the coaches and fines for the players).  i was almost a wreck.  and, collingwood was losing.

the second half of the match was outstanding, not only because the pies came from behind to take the lead, but there was some beautiful football played.  by this time, i could relax enough to make note of my surrounds.  the nearby fans were interesting - i've already mentioned the vulgar one in front.  the family next to him had fans for both teams and they seemed to be really good sports about it.  the man, and his family, next to me were lovely.  he seemed to be a dedicated, working-class fan of collingwood, but he was so unusually gentle.  every once and awhile i would here him softly say "c'mon pies, stay with it."  i loved him. 

as an outsider, i listened to the undulating sounds of the crowd as if i was hearing a foreign language.  in unison they would cry out, or boo, or cheer and i had no idea why.  i could follow the basics of the game, but there was so much of this cultural event that escaped me.  and i couldn't help but think of my own love for college football in the u.s. and my passion for the u. of a. crimson tide (don't laugh jodie). 


upstream said...

Ahhh.. footbrawl!

I listened to it on the plane on the way home and wished I was there. I reckon it would have been a hoot!

See you guys soon

jkoch said...

well, i'm sure that you can actually relate to the obnoxious fan in front of you thanks to your crimson (redneck) tide roots. so glad you had a good experience with an aussie sports event. i'm just glad you'll be back in time for some good, old american rules football.