How to Watch Footy, part 8

Life first, footy a long way back

Saturday 4 May: Spotswood v St Albans (2nd half), Essendon v GWS,   Richmond v Geelong;
Sunday 5 May:  Williamstown v Coburg (development), Williamstown v Collingwood (seniors)

Pre-match warm-up: Saturday morning domestic duties

Main viewing area: waiting room, maternity ward, Royal Women’s Hospital

Distractions: see ‘Main viewing area’

Good intentions (1):  watch the second half of the Spotswood game at the Donald McLean Reserve (no, not the Don McLean Reserve) and catch up with my mate, Curly and his lovely wife Shirley. He’s a writer, she’s a librarian. Perfect match.

Good intentions (2):  catch the end of the Essendon game on the telly, after pedalling home from Spotswood.

Good intentions (3):  scoreboard duties for the Williamstown games.

Saturday 3pm. Our daughter Hannah’s contractions begin mid-Saturday afternoon, just as I am about to head to Spotswood. I think, This is no time to be watching footy. I stay at home, fill the time with domestic duties while waiting to hear more news. Listen to a little of the Essendon game on the transistor. They’re losing.

5pm. No more news. I can’t concentrate on the cooking or the cleaning. Turn on the telly. Watch the third quarter of the Essendon game. They’re on the way to winning.

5.45pm. Hannah and her partner Caleb head to the hospital. They’d like us to be there – not in the birth suite but nearby, in the waiting room.

6.15pm.  Waiting room. My wife Julie is crocheting. My son Reuben is listening to his iPod. I’m reading Footy Town (Di Langton’s story about becoming a scribe for the Amateurs and Barry Dickins’ Lalor story.)

7.30pm. Two young teenage boys, twin Geelong fans, join us in the waiting room. They turn on the little telly and start watching Richmond v Geelong. I keep reading.

8.15pm. The Geelong fans head home with their dad. I have a power nap, Footy Town on my lap.

8.30pm. We get an update from the midwife. Hannah’s doing well, very well.  I ring the Williamstown general manager, Brendan Curry, and stammer that I won’t be doing the scoreboard tomorrow, got a few family things on my mind. He says, No worries, Pops!

9.30pm. Olive Susan is born. 7 pounds 2 ounces. Gorgeous, of course.

Sunday 9.30am.  Some blokes would celebrate with a beer or two. I join a few mates for our regular circle work at the Fearon, home ground of the Willi CYs. We do the same thing every Sunday but now things are different. The ball is in my hands or at my feet or heading towards me but my thoughts are elsewhere. Still, I dob a few goals from the wrong pocket.

Sunday 3pm. Julie and I, with Uncle Reuben and Reuben’s brother Uncle Jesse, visit the hospital. I figure someone else is doing the scoreboard at Williamstown, pressing the right buttons. Caleb asks about yesterday’s Essendon game. “We were watching it while measuring the time between the contractions.”

Monday 7am.  A mate at the beach tells me Willi beat Collingwood by six points.

Monday 5pm.  Curly emails, saying ‘the Spottie game was a ripper – an inspired come from behind win’.

Votes: 3 to Hannah Claire Maskell, 3 to Olive Susan Maskell, 3 to Caleb Shea. 3 to the staff at the Royal Women’s in Melbourne.

About Vin Maskell

Founder and editor of Stereo Stories, a partner site of The Footy Almanac. Likes a gentle kick of the footy on a Sunday morning, when his back's not playing up. Been known to take a more than keen interest in scoreboards - the older the better.


  1. Where’s the “like” button?
    Great news Vin.
    See you down at Willy soon.

  2. Peter Fuller says

    As a recent recruit to the grand-parents’ team, I can highly recommend (what I assume is) your newly-acquired status. It’s grand that you honoured the baby’s arrival with a few goals from the wrong pocket.

    In our match it was three votes to the staff at the Freemasons. I reckon this year’s Brownlow count will have them neck and neck with the RWH combo.

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