37 Years Have Come to This.

So now it comes to this.  After 37 years following the Tigers as a supporter and 21 years as a member I am able to go to my first ever Grand Final.  Who would have thought this time last year the Mighty Tigers would be playing off for the ultimate glory against the Adelaide Crows.  There have been many traumatic experiences watching Richmond over the years that has made following an obligation at times rather than a pleasure.  Richmond tends to bring out the feral in me at times.  I can watch soccer matches and be clinical in my thinking as I grew and played the sport and can understand how a play or incident can happen.  Watching Richmond is different.  It turns the sanest person into a raging psychopath at times.  Unfortunately, this has also spread at times to the board at times and had more coaches go through the club that a revolving door needed to be installed at the coaches office at Punt Rd.


Over the last 5 years something has changed.  We have had the same coach, Dimma, since 2010, recruits we pick up can actually play and we have depth as shown by the Richmond reserves making it to the VFL Grand Final.  To also have two Brownlow Medallists in the space of a few years is another strange thing to have as a Richmond supporter.  To hear 90,000 Tiger supporters, sing Yellow and Black when the players came on the big screen via the dressing rooms was a moment where all the sadness, disappointment and anger washed away.  It reminded me of my favourite author Nick Hornby talked about when Michael Thomas scored the winning goal for Arsenal to win their first league championship in 18 years.  After that moment he still loved Arsenal and went to their games, but the relationship is different now.  He could enjoy things outside of the football club and not be swept up with the emotion and live his life vicariously through them.   I now feel like this.


Yes, we still have one week to go and if we lose I will be devastated, but I also now have other things in my life.  I am in a great relationship with a woman who understands me and loves me for who I am.  I have two step kids who I love as my own and while they are Western Bulldogs supporters I shall take them along to Bulldogs games and not be thinking about news or politics involving the Tigers.  There are other sports I follow with a passion and will also start participating in.  There have been times I have pushed things aside for Richmond and while I shall always be a Tiger I am going to let other things into my life that I know will bring more joy to my life.


Saying that I shall lap up this week and enjoy everything about it.  As I have been told by mates who support other clubs you just don’t know when you will be back in the position again.  So in the spirit of Jack Dyer I shall be screaming at the top of my lungs once the national anthem finishes with the immortal words “EAT EM ALIVE”

About Vaughan Menlove

Obsessed with Richmond, Luton Town, Melbourne Victory and Arsenal. The Dr had a soccer career hampered by the realisation he was crap, but could talk his way around the game. Co host of It's Not Called Soccer podcast


  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Enjoy your day Vaughan and may the best team win.

  2. A nice read, VM.
    Good luck on Sat.

Leave a Comment