Footy through the eyes of a father

Football as I know it changed during round 2 on April 7th as Jack William Dodson came into the world.

As fish and chip shop owners were playing their grand final on Good Friday and I was pondering if Ross Lyon instilled structure and process into doing the dishes and lovemaking or if he was able to break free of his football persona, Sophie decided it was time to go to the hospital.

I swear over the last nine months lightening rang out twice in Melbourne, however, tonight it feels like Noah is hitching up the Ark to the back of the Tarago. To be honest I’m a nervous driver, much like Cameron Mooney and set shots I can tend to fold under pressure.

So off we set in the Camry, Sophie grimacing like a Richmond supporter in Round 1. Bloody hell this is stressful as it pisses down and I keep one eye on the road, tell Sophie to breathe (which is doing SFA to improve the situation) and wonder if my RACV coverage may include roadside delivery?

Finally we make it to the Royal Women’s Hospital and I feel better, Doctor O’Sullivan arrives and gives things a quick once over.. “all going well, I’ll be back in 5 hours”.. 5 Hours, bloody hell what am I paying you 3 grand for?

Over the next five hours I get transported back to what it felt like to follow the Swans in the early 90s – excruciating pain for those I love, praying and finally accepting there is nothing I can do to influence the result. Paul Kelly was a tough man but I doubt he has gone through the pain Sophie (and all you gals) go through.

At 2.22am Jack comes screaming into the world and we are a team, we have a gun young recruit to the family.

I watch round 2 as the Swans take on Freo in the comfort of the hospital very happy that I went private (I’m sure they throw Foxtel in to get the Dads over the line). Jack lets out a sigh as Sam Reid makes goal kicking look like Chinese water torture but thankfully the Swans get the chocolates. I try to convince Sophie that Richmond vs Collingwood might be worth a look but she maintains that 38 hours without sleep trumps Jake King. Fair point as the family retires for the night (or until the next feed).

Round 3 is a scrappy win against Port, watched in the solitude of the couch as a lactation consultant teaches Sophie upstairs. I hear muffled laughter from the girls and the comment “my husband’s the same” as I express my displeasure at LRT’s decision making.

Round 4 and I’m on burping duty as we take on the Kangas, Jack burps, craps and spews all over me in much the same way as the Swans are doing to North.

Round 5 and it seems Jack is starting to pick up light and sound and is captivated by the TV, great day to take an interest in the box as the Swans produce their best and get over the Hawks.

Round 6 and Jack has been screaming all day like Tony Jewell, Sophie exhausted in bed, Jack introduced to the dummy and Dad on the couch wondering if Adam Goodes can really walk on water. Alas he is human and breaks down and the Swans lose.

Round 7 – no comment – been blanked from my memory

Round 8 – the family makes the trek back to Wagga to meet the grandparents, 3 generations of Dodson men sitting on the couch and yelling ‘just kick the friggin’ thing”. Bliss.

Round 9 – I am granted a leave pass and decide to venture into my first game of the season. much like the Swans I am there in body but not heart. What’s Jack up to? Gee I’d rather be home on the couch playing with him than watching Mike Pyke get touched up by Jason Blake. As the umpire bounces the ball for the final quarter I’m on the 7.01 to Seddon.

What a season it has been and we are only up to round 10

About craig dodson

Born in the sporting mecca that is Wagga Wagga and now reside in Melbourne with my lovelly wife Sophie and son's Jack and Harry. Passionate Swans supporter and formally played cricket at a decent level and Aussie Rules at a not so decent level! Spend my days now perfecting my slice on the golf course and the owner of the worlds worst second serve on the tennis course.


  1. Phil Hill says

    Dear Craig,

    Good luck with the offspring and remember one thing and one thing only. The wife and you are on the same side. The offspring is often the opposition.

  2. pamela sherpa says

    ..3 generations of men yelling ‘just kick the friggin’ thing’ -classic. Sounds like Jack will be surrounded by solid football company as he grows up.

  3. Haje Halabi says

    excellent work craig, we somehow juggle around footy realities with our realities. enjoy the ride. when they go to aus kick you feel that it is another chapter in the journey…Haje

  4. Dear Craig,

    one needs humour, stamina, support and love for the journey of parenthood,not much different to following the footy. May you have bucketloads of both. Mazeltov to you both


  5. craig dodson says

    Thank you all for your kind words and best wishes…

  6. Paul Wilkie says


    Congratulations on the arrival of Jack. I have enjoyed reading your posts in recent weeks. Funny stuff as always mate!

    Looking forward to your next one.



  7. craig dodson says

    Good to hear from you Wilko, hope everything is going well.. Good to see another Parker on the Almanac site..

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