AFL Round 10 – West Coast v Richmond: The end of TV as we know it


I’d worked a long hard day, headed home, cooked dinner and around 7.30 I played my trump card. With remote in hand I called to footy haters (everyone else in my house) in the kitchen, “What a day I’ve had. Man I’m so down. Maybe the only thing that will cheer me up is by watching… House Rules!”

I can’t stand when people tell me the tough time they’re having living in their house with their hundred thousand dollar renovations, let alone a nameless bunch of people on my telly sawing and expressing themselves through face masks instead of my team playing footy. With horror I realised they put my Monday night footy on cable.

Immediately, my mind casts back to the very first pre-season game of the Place Sponsor Here Cup. It was a Friday, I remember, after a long and joyless summer of spineless cricket, when I poised with sweaty remote to watch… Gardening! The only hoe I go near blasts from the lyrics of my son’s rap songs, so watching a show about gardening is about as much fun as watching a show about renovations. Enough with the cooking and the painting and the singing on my television. When I come home from work I don’t want ideas for more work from my television, I want much more. I want to lose myself in another world. I want to watch a bunch of numbered blokes in colourful , jumpers chase pigskin, but the option of cable is not high on the list in my home as say, eating. The reality is cable is not an option for most people; times are tough out there and the best advice I can give to a struggling young family is they never check under the pram.

Soccer didn’t exist for me the moment  it went to cable, like the AFL pre- season. I read nothing about the teams, knew nothing about the players, until a single match popped up on to free to air and they called it a Grand Final. (Idea for the AFL next year: “Grand Final Round”. It’ll be huge). This time I was determined not to be beaten. I can download a bit of television faster than the spa water droplets drying on the naked dragon chick’s back in Game Of Thrones and I’ve watched IPL live in India on the computer behind mammary laden pop ups, so I was sure I could find someone showing the footy live. Technology is my friend and its tool was my daughter’s iPad.

As the family settled in to watch singers teach other singers how to be bad singers, I googled my hopes. First I was offered an app that would show me the footy for cash, but the whole family is on prepaid phones and the net only deals in credit, not actual cash. I could google til the cows come home, but the AFL and cableland have the live match under lock and key, so I resort to live score updates. The match hasn’t started and I killed time with a quick game of Angry Birds. I was poised to slingshot some sort of legless chicken through a precarious tower of ice to crush an equally legless pig, when I realized it was well into the first quarter:  3.3 Eagles to 2.3 Richmond and all was going to plan.

The family headed to bed, but the channel surfing was spare. The Media Watch bloke furrowed his brow. Something was wrong with the iPad. Richmond’s score was going up in the second quarter, but there was some kind of lag happening with West Coast’s score. I refreshed. The blokes dancing to “Hot Stuff” in the dole queue on the Full Monty still made me cack. The lag was definitely still happening to West Coast’s score so I resorted to old bloke fix ’em technique and shook the iPad, managing only to pivot the dormant Eagles tally, so I could watch Richmond’s score climb no matter the tilt. The Eagles only managed to make it to 5.9 by the third, while Richmond had piled it on to 14.5. I check the Footy Almanac website for any insight to the play and find a thread delighting in the Eagles downfall. I birded a few more pigs rather than respond. The Eagles manage a paltry three to Richmond’s two in the last, but it looks like Patterson Stadium isn’t an impregnable fortress this season.

After the match the AFL website offered a two minute highlight package, but there was no tree falling in the forest that night. There was no forest. The only thing the night has given me is a determination to get my free footy viewing. All I have to do now is get India interested in Aussie Rules.



 1 vote    iPad

2 Votes   the fat bloke in Full Monty

3 Votes   Angry Birds



  1. Peter Schumacher says

    I have pay TV these days but I am with you totally, free to air’s coverage is worse that hopeless, it is abysmal.

  2. The Wrap says

    I had Angry Birds BoG, but I guess we all see it differently Matt.

  3. Stainless says

    What can I say? When you can get a grainy, almost live image of Nick Vlastuin slicing through the Eagles’ defence and goaling from 50, a T-Box ($11 a month) is a beautiful thing!

  4. Thanks Stainless, have to look into that so I don’t miss any more crushing defeats.

  5. Stainless says

    Matty – given that we’d beaten the Eagles twice in 26 years at Subi before Monday, it’s a wonder I switched on at all!

  6. I recorded it Matt. Emailing it to you now.

  7. Quarters says

    Hey Matty, I’d worked a long hard day really?

  8. That’s either me taking the piss out of myself without remembering or one of my brothers. If it’s one of my brothers, it was a freak day, OK? Back in your box.

  9. Quarters says

    Hey Matty, no 1 brother still teasing you eh?

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