I wrote a piece last week that asked for the AFL to delve deeper into matters that I thought (with tongue firmly planted in cheek) had bought the game into disrepute.
What followed was a huge amount of comment, mostly people wishing to add to the things that they were uncomfortable about in modern football, as well as some pearlers about things we probably wish to forget the game has inflicted upon us.
In the midst of what was a fantastic discussion, and another example of why the Almanac is such as great location for these views and a font of incredible football wit and knowledge, it made me ponder what we did like about football.
Many comments craved the past and a return to old fashioned footy, a lack of corporate influence and terminology and removing inane commentators. Logic would tell you that the things we like about football were the opposite of what we were pointing out had bought the game down.
So with that, in contrast to what may have bought the game into disrepute, here’s my starting list of what in the modern game is great, should be treasured and has bought the game into…repute (?)
Nathan Grima’s goal and celebration
Reclink’s matches for people down on their luck and the annual Community Cup game
The walk to the G through Yarra Park
The Tigers playing finals
Seeing couples and groups walking to the game together wearing opposing scarves
Collingwood and Essendon on Anzac Day
The statues outside the MCG
People defying ground catering prices and bringing in hot dog frankfurts in a thermos
Bob Murphy’s columns in The Age
A Saturday afternoon game at the G between two Melbourne based sides on a clear yet cold August day
Tiwi Island and top-end football
Orren Stephenson’s path to the AFL
Hearing a country footy side sing their song after a win, normally substituting their town for the AFL club they have borrowed the song from
Channel 10’s Before the Game
Michael Barlow’s comeback (hope Gary Rohan does as well)
Bachar Houli and his community work outside football
That there’s still a role for angry little villans like King and Ballantyne
The smell of the dressing room at a suburban footy ground
Jeremy Howe and the return of the speccy