VAFA – Premier B: Fitzroy v Oblates of Mary Immaculate

I am a lucky man as I have had a good education and I follow a footy team. Few people are well educated any more as they don’t bother, at school or university,  to actually learn any facts  but spend (waste) their time discussing issues, as long as their feelings aren’t hurt. They aren’t many ‘safe spaces’ on a footy field.


Following a footy team often means pain, but it has pleasures that non-followers never know.


Today most people follow their footy teams by watching them on TV. This is fun, but isn’t the same as going to the game. Most people only follow an AFL team and going to the MCG is fun, but it isn’t as much fun as adopting, and following, a local team. This was brought home to me as I made my return to the Brunswick Street Oval (BSO) from my European Odyssey and my gastroenterologist finished his odyssey through my various parts.


Everyone was there except Tom Roper and best wishes to Tom. I needed Tom there because he is a well-educated man. With him there I have someone to talk Greek myths. Going to local footy at the BSO is simply the best; good friends, attractive oval set in a lovely park and a footy team that is struggling a bit at the moment but remember defeat and victory are duel imposters. Surely the gods would not be cruel to us today.


I arrived early as I am a tiny cog in the wheel that carries the club along for the day. I man the scoreboard for the seconds. Here is where being forced to read the Iliad comes in handy. It was bloody windy yesterday and as soon as I put a score up the magnetic numbers would be torn from the scoreboard and distributed around North Fitzroy. This to a well educated man reads like a passage from the Iliad.


When the Trojans set out for Troy the hunting god was offended by the King Agamemnon so she made the winds blow the Spartans away from Troy. Agamemmon had to sacrifice his own  daughter to appease this god! Thank the gods I only had sons.


Now there wasn’t a Greek priest to consult to see which Greek god I had offended and I could not see a fattened lamb for a sacrifice (I had lamb shanks on Friday night but that, obviously, doesn’t count). I was obviously visited by the same curse as Sisyphus; he had to roll a round rock up a hill and it would roll back down again. In some readings it would hit him on the way down but he had a labour that was never going to end. Any such labour is a Sisyphean labour. Sisyphus was cursed because he was a smart arse in some way, and I am somewhat of a smart arse, so the analogy is getting more apt.


The numbers blowing off the score board hit me in the face a few times, but I am not much to look at, but when they started to hit the back of my head I gave up, and only placed the total points up: bugger the goals and behinds.


The reserves match was a beauty: the Oblates of Mary Immaculate won by a point. With about a minute the wind blew all the numbers off and refused to allow us to display them at all. A god was unhappy.


The seniors were undermanned with Rory, Lambo, Jewels and others missing but we competed well all day despite having a non-functional forward line. Nino is our only forward that looks continually dangerous and I thought that Corbs played a fine captain’s game, creating contests as best he could. Some better delivery would help, but the rest of the forward line was non-existent.


We started into a bit of a breeze but with Gator giving the onballers an armchair ride we dominated the first part of the quarter but didn’t get reward for our efforts. They scored two late goals and went in eight points up.


We killed them in the second quarter getting to a four goal lead until some idiot decided to do a streak. The Oblates then kicked the next six goals of the match. I assume he was an opposition supporter as his action may mean we get relegated to C Grade. This was when we lost the match, but it was a Sisyphean labour which meant we started to climb the mountain again, and in the last ten minutes we were coming back at them only losing by two goals.


I implore all reading to eat (sacrifice) lots of lamb and beef this week. The malevolent god that cursed us yesterday needs to be appeased.


Cailean Moore played his best game at this level while Nino is simply an excitement machine. Gator gave us first use of the ball all day. Longie needs to grow his hair longer but he gave us great run off half back. Liga played his hundredth game, so well done to him.


We are playing Monash next week and remember that they couldn’t get into university and had to go to Monash. They will not get a good education. No one out there will have heard about Sisyphean labours so we are in front already.


Sacrifice next Saturday arvo as the Roys have a mountain to climb.



  1. Peter Fuller says

    I’m highly aggrieved at your regular* patronising comments about the University where I spent some of the best years of my life, and also contracted an enduring marriage. While I know that there are quite a few Almanackers – including our distinguished host – hitch their wagons to the pride of Fitzroy, I will be hoping that the ghost of Keith Frearson will send your mob home with their tails between their legs.

    * These offensive observations seem to appear at least once each year.

  2. Steve Hodder says

    I am wondering whether you poured out a generous libation, when tucking into your lamb shanks, on the Friday eve? Any stinginess to those Gods and; well ask Ajax et al what the consequences are.


  3. Peter I am sorry that my comments about Monash have offended you. When .i played Monash we were always having a go at each other but always in good fun. I see I should use one of those symbols thatindicate that I am taking the piss
    If it is any consolation I said to my children that I would pay for their education as long as they did a course at an institution that I approved at.
    Melbourne Uni was not an institution that I approved of. It is sad that nowthetop ranking students from both their schools all selected Monash as their first preference. Themelbounre model is terrible. I

    Finally I am a Monash fan and had a photo under his statue at Monash Uni recently

  4. Peter Fuller says

    Knowing you I was quite confident that your intention was humorous, as was my response. Irony meters cranked up to 11, on the 1-10 scale, but we may both have missed the mark.
    Good to chat with you in this format, and I hope we’ll do so at an Almanac function some time soon.
    Your Fitzroy reports are a reliable source of entertainment. I have good memories of the BSO, having played and umpired at the ground.

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