Forgive Me Father

I awoke on Sunday morning racked with guilt. Is it a sin to ignore your own team? To be drawn into, and absorbed by, another match at the expense of the club you love?

Bless me, Father Brosnan, for I have sinned…

I found myself in a compromised position on Saturday night. The Gold Coast v North Melbourne clash in Queensland was effectively over at quarter-time, with North quickly getting out of the blocks to boot seven. They looked to be “on” for Boomer in his record-breaking 312th game for the club. I had been looking forward to a competitive game, and was slightly concerned that GCS, at home, would be more than a match for my inconsistent Roos. But both teams’ skills were deplorable, and it was frustrating to watch the ball being butchered on so many occasions. But that first term, whilst allaying my fears, also put paid to any notions of a tight tussle. And I knew there was something else on another channel…

Flicking the remote from Fox Sports One to 10 was not something I had planned to do. It just happened. And I am slightly ashamed to say that I am glad I did. Stark was the contrast between the Geelong v Hawthorn match, and the less than inspiring spectacle previously on screen. Big crowd in at the cricket ground, Pods on fire, Buddy up and about: this was a temptation too difficult to resist even for my Kangaroo heart. I was so engrossed that before I knew it, the siren had sounded for quarter time. The Cats were three goals up, but the Hawks were in the contest.

It was with a little reluctance that I switched back to the Gold Coast, more out of a sense of duty than anything else. North were still well in control, the rain was beginning to fall, and Ablett was continuing to show his class. “Who is on him?” I cried out. The rhetorical question which has been asked by a million opposition supporters over the course of the little master’s career. This game was still going nowhere, and the conditions were only making the skill situation worse…

Back at the ‘G, Hawthorn worked its way back into the contest with seven in the second quarter. For much of the time, they looked to have too much run for the Cats. Even with an injection of younger, quicker players (Duncan and the like), I reckon a lack of pace is Geelong’s weak point. At half time, it is game on. And after a ten-minute catch-up with the sub-standard goings-on at Metricon, I make the decision to watch the entire second half, uninterrupted, of the more superior of the two matches. Yes, I realise it was a shocking act of disloyalty…

I felt the need to repent: for ignoring my team in favour of two clubs who would be providing me with only a fleeting moment of pleasure. I do not care for these clubs, but the spectacle which they continually provide when playing each other is too difficult to ignore. It is thrilling; it is enticing football.

My sons were disgusted with me: “Dad, why aren’t you watching North? Isn’t that why you got Foxtel?” I did manage to catch Boomer Harvey being rightly feted as he was chaired from the field. But as that epic last quarter at the MCG unfolded, I was secretly so glad to have made the choice to spend my evening in the company of a more exciting game of footy…

Our relationship is strong enough to survive. We have both been tested by disloyalty in the past.

But, please. Forgive me, Father.


About Darren Dawson

Always North.


  1. John Butler says

    I forgive you Smokie, but will Boomer?

  2. Smokie – say 6 Hail Mary’s and be good to your mother for a whole week.

    Cracking game of footy wasn’t it?

  3. And I forgive you too – for making me endure two games of football at once. Who says men can’t multitask. Just give them a remote control during footy season. Thank god there wasn’t a test match somewhere in the world

Leave a Comment