How to Lose Australia




Here’s how to lose Australia. Here’s how to lose Australian Football. Be racist. Make a Sudanese kid, or an Asian, or even a Muslim feel unwelcome in your neighbourhood. That way they will feel unwelcome at the footy. Unwelcome playing footy.


That way they will stay with soccer.

Or basketball.


Or whatever they play. Or with not doing anything, getting bored. Bored kids look for trouble. That’s universal.


Then, you can moan that they don’t assimilate. That they don’t adopt Australian customs.


Then, you can feel swamped in your own yard, like your culture is dying. That footy is under threat.


Then you will be angry. You will scream at people and demand they be more Australian. But you will not be laconic, which is in our national identity. And you, not them, will have lost Australia.


Next time you see someone new to our country ask them to have a kick with you. Invite them over to watch footy, or to come with you to a local game. If they say they don’t know how the game works, reply; “She’ll be right, mate.” Ask more than once.


Not all of them will come. But many will.


Like Italians did before them.


And the Greeks.


And the Irish.


And the English.


And my father, fresh off the boat, a war refugee from Hungary.


Those that don’t like the fact we’re multi-cultural, have missed our nation’s point, and, as much as they think otherwise, probably hate being Australian.

They just want to be white.

That sort of person thinks about themselves and theirs, not what we were built on, our country’s credo: A fair go for all.


In Australian Football we can all enjoy a kick. Just to be out there is some sort of brave. You can get B.O.G from any position on the ground.


The Old Dog, Matt Zurbo, has been writing for the Footy Almanac for 8 years or more. He wishes everybody the happiest Off Season, and loves yas all!


  1. Cat from the Country says

    Thanks Mat for reminding us.
    I love the fact that we have names in our footy teams we find hard to pronounce.
    We learn, (or give them nicknames or shorten the name and add an ie or y.

    Merry Christmas, Happy New Year to all Almanaccrs and may your team give you more wins than losses.
    Go Cats!

  2. Colin Ritchie says

    Well spoken Matt, your sentiments are spot on! This article should be sent to a number of politicians in Canberra. Peace, love, and happiness over the festive season Old Dog, keep up the fight!

  3. Well said Matt! Sports are supposed to be more open to people no matter what race they are.

    As I am a Saints diehard and writing footy stories here, I should be alright living in Melbourne.

    I would advise others in general to understand others and to open the door for different people. Sadly I found many immigrants kept themselves and formed the community from the same country, while I was in New Zealand.

    Cheers and Merry Christmas


  4. Old Dog you,NAILED it you took me back to Norwood High ( 39 years ago ) where in the guys who played footy especially at lunch time included every. nationality under the sun absolutely superb

  5. Punxsa-and-the-rest-of-it Pete says

    I visit mum for lunch each Sunday, and on my way, I pass a tiny primary school oval in Albion. In summer, there’s always a game of cricket goin on, played by Indian immigrants, and in winter, there’s always a game of footy, played by 20 to 30 kids/teenagers of Vietnamese ancestry. This so gladdens my heart, that for years, I’d felt an urge to detour to sunshine plaza in that instant, pick up a brand new sherrin, swing back, and holler, “Hey fellas …[torp the sherrin deep into the oval] … enjoy.” I told my mate Mick about this a while back, and he said, “That’s a little too handing boiled lollies to kiddies, Zitt. Do that, and they’ll be police sirens everywhere.” Bloody mates of mine, right? Soiling the germination of a beautiful gesture like that with their darkness and cynicism. All the same, can’t really blame Mick for never getting around to torping that nurturing sherrin … the real reason is I’m a tight [email protected]#*, and we both know it.

  6. Malby Dangles says

    Good on ya Matt!

  7. Seasons greetings to you, Matt, and to all.
    Wise words indeed.

  8. Yvette Wroby says

    Beautiful Matt. Merry Christmas to your family xx

  9. Thanks all. Punxsa, that is just about the shortest, crispest, best story I’ve read on the Knackery!

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