A change can be good for you

By Rina Reiss

“I am very new to being a footy fan. I came from actively hating football

altogether, to taking my Swedish lover to a footy match for him to

experience an Australian sporting pleasure. I actually became entranced with

the atmosphere and the theatre off the field as well as the sporting prowess

before me. Subsequently, I actually displayed a mild interest if my big

brothers’ team Collingwood, was in a grand final… so clearly my interest

was not often aroused over the years. Then my dear friend Phil took me to

Waverly in the members stand to watch Geelong v’s Collingwood. To my great

delight Collingwood won. But here I was being treated to a game at my hosts’

great expense. I will never forget how he quietly allowed me to enjoy the

thrill of winning. What a good friend!

In 1990, I cheered on Collingwood to their great grand final win. I watched

the match on TV with my niece (10 years old) and nephew (15 years old) while

their father enjoyed the on-going party be had with all his mates and fellow

supporters. We celebrated with a kick of the footy at the local oval in St


Later in 2009 after falling out with some family members, (all Collingwood

supporters) and dealing with deeply sad and personal life-challenging

matters, my friend Yvette offered to take me to the footy for a bit of fun.

Well, what a mad St Kilda supporter she was. She even dressed up in the team

colours. She laughed and sang and cheered and that was just on the train

trip to the game! Her enthusiasm and joy was deliciously infectious. It was

a shot of pure and much needed pleasure for me. I was supporting St Kilda

and if felt really good to support a team that won and so often!  I decided

it was time to choose my own team. I’d lived in St Kilda for over 20 years.

It felt natural to now embrace a new chapter and support the Saints.

I have joined Yvette’s happy family throng to St Kilda matches and even read

last year’s Almanac. I have been learning more and more every week but most

of all cherishing the conversations with friends and complete strangers

about how we are going and the form and possibilities for other team that we

will meet along the way. I’ve absorbed the joyous energy of thousands of

people all heading hopefully to a footy match. Where else can one experience

such massive amounts of positive Qi/energy in the city? It’s been bliss.

However, my new found innocence was horribly shattered when I went to the St

Kilda v’s Collingwood match this year. I was deeply disturbed by the

ferocious nastiness of some Collingwood supporters towards me and my happy

little band of friends. Random acts of verbal aggression overwhelmed me. I

finally understood after all these years that when I half-heartedly told

anyone that “I kind of follow Collingwood”, I would generally receive a most

unflattering response. I decided I didn’t want to go to another game with

Collingwood. My greatest fear has been a grand final with Collingwood. Their

supporters and their form are so dominating.

I cheered on Geelong as they faced up to Collingwood. How ironic, eh? My

friend Phil and I are now united in our opposition to Collingwood. I have

arrived!” But I will be at my very first grand final this weekend and I’d be

very happy to re-live the 1966 match with a one point victory! Go Sainters.

About Rina Reiss

As a late comer to footy in 2009 (aged 54), I have quickly made up for lost time by craming in as many winning games and grand finals as possible thanks to the support of my dear deserving team, St Kilda.

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