Theatregoers prefer blondes? A sunny Sunday afternoon at the footy

By Steve Alomes

When he was younger he put aside his real, genuine charm and momentarily succumbed to cheap cliché – the appeal of finding an attractive blonde.

That was in the days before political correctness ever existed.

When it came to footy Paul alternated between passionate supporter of his club and general footy lover.

Having got tense as buggery at the last match, especially when their lead fell below 30 points, he quite liked the idea of going as a theatregoer to a match between Essendon and West Coast Eagles at Docklands. And he was all the more delighted that on a sunny winter day reaching unheard of 17 or 18 degrees, they left the roof open.

A good day for footy, Paul happily concluded.

Except, being an Essendon game, as a non-Essendon member they had to queue up for a reserved seat, even without charge. That was happening to members of either clubs which made a loss at the covered stadium or those who were much cleverer and avoid it for home games.

When he got to the queue, and not hearing the ticket-seller, he assumed that they would operate on traditional WASS principles – Worst Available Seating Service.

The ticket was section 42, row R 49.

He had asked for between the 50 metre lines but this was right on it.

Sitting down, only one other seat was taken in most of the row, the adjacent seat R48.

In it sat a West Coast Eagles supporter, a young woman in sunglasses, and blonde into the bargain.

He had gone beyond his ‘gentlemen – and randy buggers if not sleazes – prefer blondes’ phase, although age brought a new phase, being flattered by spending time with what might have been called ‘young talent’.

More importantly perhaps they  shared two things, they knew their footy and neither wanted to be drowned by a surrounding Bomber army, or even ghetto, although she also had her Eagles scarf, ready to wave at the final siren if the scoreboard was friendly.

They had an enjoyable conversation about the ups and downs of the Eagles and other clubs during the season, changing rules and beyond; beyond included living in Melbourne and Perth, and, ranging more widely, work including competition law. She was charming and intelligent as well as blonde and young.

It was a mixed game, with some good play and fairly close scores and a few ‘home video’ style stumbles from players in both teams.

Half way through the third quarter the Eagles seemed to be holding to a 14-20 point lead, to their surprise,  and that of most of the other 32, 593 people there, perhaps even the afternoon’s fully clad Bomber-top streaker.

And, as it turned out, when the Eagles trounced Essendon by 53 points by the final siren, they shared something else, a distaste which she articulated strongly, even before waving her blue and yellow scarf. The problem with the golden boy, under investigation coach James Hird, was another word starting with H – hubris. Neither could recall many moments of humility and concern for the players, From all those doorstep interviews. But then, as in all footy memories, they could have been wrong.

When the siren blew they expressed their mutual delight after sharing a pleasant Sunday afternoon at the footy…one her Eagles-following boyfriend had missed out on due to a bad hangover.

C’est la vie.

Perhaps, despite all the clichés, from pc values to discriminatory blonde jokes, an afternoon at the footy with a blonde can be more fun.

  • Steve Alomes’ Australian Football The People’s Game 1958-2058 (available from wallawallapress.com) has a definite brunette cover preference – NicNat on the cover with three dark supporting actors. Inside are only a few blondes mainly of the St Kilda type (Carl Ditterich, Trevor Barker, Nick Riewoldt), a more high-flying James Hird and a painting of Dermie (‘Blondness be my friend’) Brereton . For night time action, there is also a brief cameo of the ‘running of the blondes’ at the Brownlow Medal count.

Comments

  1. Cat from the Country says:

    One of the great points of Aussie Rule: Supporters of both teams can happily watch a game side by side. Our friend Richard, a Yorkshire man, met The Doggies Supporter and me The Cat from the Country at the G to watch a Geelong v Collingwood game.
    My two companions chose to barrack for the Pies that day. I thought we had chosen a strong Cats area, but as the crowd arrived I found myself surrounded by mostly Pie supporters.
    There was great cameraderie all day and The Cats kicked 9.24 to beat The Pies.
    Richard could not beleive the spirit of the crowd. “No fences to keep opposition supporters seperated!”

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