The Footygods: Elpis

The greeks were funny about hope. Some of them thought that there wasn’t much point having hope because the gods would do you in anyway. Some thought that hope only existed to make your suffering even worse. But they did give hope a minor goddess; Elpis; a young woman who held flowers in her hands. She was so minor that she couldn’t even fly out of pandora’s jar when it opened.

You tended  to agree with the Greeks when your team had just been belted by Richmond and was falling out of the eight. But when Razor Ray Chamberlain put the whistle to his lips, you just knew that hope was some cruel joke played upon you by the footygods. And having lost at every quarter, you were facing the fourth with a real sense that suffering was almost boundless.

But then a pretty young woman walked up the stairs selling raffle tickets and the swans suddenly burst out with three goals in a couple of minutes. And when both Riewoldt (who looked a bit like a greek god) and Milne (who didn’t) both missed; then things looked a bit more promising. Ad when Mumford kicked another, the crowd knew that it was over. And it was. The siren sounded and we sang the song for the first time in a long time.

There is something about hope. If it hadn’t been for hope,  I would have handed in my ticket in the early 90s. And I wouldn’t have got to see them lift the cup in 2005. But there was an awful lot of suffering in between. So perhaps the Greeks were right in saying that hope didn’t mean much. But I’m still glad that they thought it meant enough to give us something to believe in.


  1. claire Honegger says:

    Whoever wrote this article is quite outstanding. His descriptions of the game are sprinkled with cultural references and make this short article into a piece of literature, it could have its place in a novel, and i’d love to read the rest… to me sporting articles are so dull normally that I felt compelled to write to compliment the author.. May he take up writing, he’d be sure of being read. i smiled, I laughed, I had hope…thank you very much and please keep writing.

  2. Mulcaster says:

    I always wonder why people talk about glasses being half full or half empty…I must be greek…my glass is smashed into the ground and crushed under heel.

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