Thank Christ football season is over

I’m really not into sport.  Not even enough to spend much time saying how much I hate it.  Mostly because I don’t actually hate it.  It doesn’t have that big an influence on my life, it’s more a case of… meh.

Not being into sport renders you instantly weird in Australia.  And by weird I mean “obviously a poofter.”  Add that to the fact I don’t drink beer, I speak more eloquently than average and I enjoy the company of women… well… There was only one conclusion to be drawn in the sort of places where I grew up.  The fact that my best friend at school turned out to actually be gay is a source of some mirth to me considering the number of fights I got into declaring “We are NOT gay!”

Which is all slightly divergent from where I intended to go. 

The two major football codes in Australia (Rugby League and Australian Rules) both finished their seasons over the weekend.  Both are nominally national codes but Rugby League is big in New South Wales and Queensland while Australian Rules is big in Victoria (where I currently reside), South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania. 

The disturbing news for me is that both Grand Finals were won by Melbourne teams.  This means the self-congratulatory braying is going to continue for a while longer even though the games are mercifully finished.

Australian Rules football is treated like a religion in Melbourne, so not being interested in it is not widely held to be an acceptable option.  When someone asks what team you support, you’re expected to answer with a team name, not “Who gives a fuck?”  If there’s one upside to people’s obsessions with the football finals, it’s being able to mess with their heads. 

Today, every second person has been asking me “how did you go on the weekend?”  In case you are not familiar with sporting fan vernacular, they are not actually asking me how I was on the weekend.  They are asking me if I supported the winning teams.  Because apparently they all have some hybrid of symbiosis with and ownership of a bunch of sportsmen they’ve never fucking met. 

I’ve been enjoying myself by responding with a blank look, then, after a pause, saying “Was there a football game on the weekend?”  Cognitive dissonance is a funny thing to watch in action.

17 Comments

Filed under Sport

17 responses to “Thank Christ football season is over

  1. Rose

    In America, baseball is kind of like that.

    I live in San Francisco, so the whole Barry Bonds’ homerun record-breaking thing got everyone all excited. I found myself not caring.

    Now he’s leaving the team. With the amount of mourning going on, I would have thought someone had died.

    People are just way too into sports sometimes.

  2. Nick

    Geelong is, according to Wikipedia, a city situated seventy five kilometres south west of Melbourne.

    Once again, it looks like the AFL has gone to a non-Melbourne team.

    Still, at least they had a Victorian team in the final this year. That hasn’t happened since Collingwood got flogged in 2003.

  3. i love football and rugby so this time of year is just peachy. however, i have 2 straight pals who don’t follow either code. up to them really – they’re into stuff that doesn’t do anything for me.

    as a bi girl with lots of poof/dyke/bi mates, i can’t think of more than one who doesn’t love footy…but that’s melbourne for you!

  4. Vladimir

    It’s a joy to read this. Football should be outlawed, and both players and fans executed by skinning alive and tossing in a pit of salt.

  5. E0157H7

    In the US it’s true to a slightly lesser degree in with football (the US type) and the 2008 election. I don’t care about football and I think that all of the possible 2008 candidates are a bunch of evil mutants that I wouldn’t trust to clean my toilet. I’m clearly some sort of alien agent that’s not to be trusted. Perhaps part of an advance vanguard force.

  6. Stop calling everything football dammit! It’s hard enough not caring about football (soccer), but when you have to not care about football(US – why did we call it FOOTball when we hardly use our feet?), football(Rugby) and now football(aussie rules); it makes things very complicated.

    For the record, neither do I care about tennis, cricket, athletics, sailing, cycling or any other sporting event.

    But at least I drink beer, you great big flouncy nonce.

  7. Massif. Aussie Rules isn’t really football. It’s “Foody”. Pronounced like footy, but we Aussies sometimes have a hard time pronouncing a hard “t” when it’s in the middle of a word.

    I’m sure it’s a cultural thing…

  8. Ahahaha… And silly me went to France in September. I scratched my head and stared blankly when EVERYONE asked if I was going for the footy. Do people actually travel all the way across the world for sports? News to me… I kinda thought it was to experience that country’s culture…
    Looking at the Eiffel Tower I wondered why there was a football hanging from it?! It’s how far fetched sports fanaticism can go… But what really gets me is the amount of money tied up in it, all across the world but particularly in the US. It’s almost sickening.
    Aussie rules… pfff! Kick ‘n giggle, right?

  9. DOA

    My theory is there are a lot of people who don’t care bout football (or soccer if you prefer) but the sports fan are so loud about it that they think everyone likes it. Thankfully my best friend is into football and he knows all about my “condition” so he doesn’t bat an eyelid when I ask something along the lines of “Why is there so much football stuff on tv lately?”. He just answers “World Cup”.
    Still it’s pretty funny when I expose the unsuspecting fan to my mindset.
    Recently I was fixing some tech problem at a newspaper office. The knuckledraggers (they’re journalists, I can call them knuckledraggers) immediately asked what team I support. So I reply I don’t. A couple of brain short-circuits later I hear mumbling…. “what did he say?”. “he said he doesn’t support any team”. “huh?”. “what do you mean?”, etc

  10. Medivh

    I think it’s more that a lot of people don’t give a toss one way or the other… until their team starts winning. You can see it in the AFL club membership levels; a grand final win gets you another 2000 members at least.

    Personally, I love the footy. But I don’t miss it when it’s the off season. My mind is not restricted to a single hobby, like some people’s are…

  11. I know nothing about sports– especially football (I’m talking American here). But my boyfriend is a college football fan (a nice, non-rowdy one), so I go with him to sports bars and pretend to understand what’s going on. Are there sports anthropologists studying the behavior of bar patrons during the football season? I want to know what is it that compels drunk men to shout call and responses across a public place (example- Drunk guy on left side of room: “O-H!” Drunk guy on right side of room “I-O!”), and why some get soooo angry and hostile when their team’s losing. It all becomes this life or death thing, which scares me and makes me want to take away their beer.

  12. Rose: I think it’s often a substitute for a lack of anything substantive in their life

    Nick: I knew someone would say that. It’s like saying any satellite city isn’t part of the capital it’s near: technically true but nobody cares.

    Vett: I’m also living proof that stereotypes are pointless, I was just sharing some of the attitudes that surrounded me as I grew up

    Vlad: mildly extreme – I’d prefer if they simply shut up about it

    E0157H7: The length of your 2008 campaign astonishes me. I think they’re trying to crush the people into not caring.

    Massif: Yeah, the beer thing sort makes it obvious what a nancy I am, doesn’t it?

    Gruntski: Mate, they’ll never get foody, they (foreigners) also pronounce Melbourne how it’s spelled rather than “Melbun” and they pronounce “aussie” with a hard “s” rather than saying “ozzie”. Just because it has a double “s”. What are they thinking?

    Kim: yeah, it seems that you can stumble into sports fanaticism no matter where you go

    DOA: Like I said, it seems to cause cognitive dissonance in some

    Medivh: You’re right, “fans” crawl out of the woodwork when a team starts winning

    Moonbeam: Take a dart gun and sedate them before you take their beer.

  13. Oh Mr. Angry… you are just so… so… well..so Cute! 😉 That’s not football. The NFL.. now THAT is football. What you are talking about is a bunch of hot, sweaty (mostly ugly guys missing teeth) using the scrum as an excuse to cop a feel here and there and still feel heterosexual because it was “incidental contact’. hee..hee.he…

    Just kidding… rugby players are hard core! Crazy, but hard core. 🙂

  14. Vladimir

    > Vlad: mildly extreme – I’d prefer if they simply shut up about it

    Me too, but that’s extremely unlikely🙂

  15. I love NFL football on a Sunday afternoon — it’s the perfect thing to put me right to sleep for a long nap. I’m usually out before the kickoff and by the time I wake up, it’s nice and over.

  16. Bizarro

    Weeelll…. And you think you have a problem…
    You see, unfortunately I feel exactly the same about football, but I… oh, I live in Brazil.

  17. cinnkitty: australians find US football funny because it seems to be a bunch of refrigerator sized men running straight at each other and not much else. Oh, and they seem to spend a lot of time pointing their spandex-clad butts at the quarterback😉

    Vlad: extremely true

    Buck: a valuable use for football!

    Bizarrro: you poor, poor bastard

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