Hurry up Junior

The due date has come and gone and junior still has not pulled the rip cord and entered the world. Mum to be now moves around the house with the mobility of Justin Madden and the frustration of Tony Jewell. I am much like Mark Neeld – full of good ideas about process and strategy, yet no real hands on experience.

At the moment I go to bed like a nervous club CEO during mad monday celebrations, fully expecting to be woken up at 3am to respond to some crisis.. it’s draining and my hair is thining already, not a good sign when I’m curently approaching mil hanna territory.

My thoughts have recently drifted to ‘forced parental AFL team selection’ vs the prospect of junior being given free reign to select his team.

I am a Swans man and when you live in Melbourne this means most locals turn their nose up at you and believe you know about as much about football as Warrick Capper knows about quantum physics. I was lucky, I come from Wagga and even managed to hold Cameron Mooney to no goals in one under 11 match (our careers took different paths after this).

While I hope junior will embrace his heritage I suspect suspicious grandparents and friends may start aggressive recruitment campaigns with little booties, soft footballs and so on.

Is it within my rights as a parent to kick my son out of the house if he comes home one day and says ‘I’m going for the pies’?

Tme will tell……

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. Good luck, Craig! My oldest followed early, strayed, and then came back. I found that less was best, in terms of pressure from Dad. But he had strayed to Essendon. Not sure I could’ve resisted had he strayed to Collingwood!

  2. Mark Fine told his kids they could barrack for any Victorian club (plus interstate clubs with Vic heritage, Lions & Swans) except the three C’s: Carlton, Collingwood & Essendon.

    Good luck Craig, nice little story.

  3. Rick Kane says

    As with Gigs, good luck … not just for the birth and all its wonder but for the beautifully misguided belief that you role is anything like a “nervous CEO”. Your role, to terribly misquote Robin Williams from his hilarious Stand Up Video (that’s right, video, it was that long ago) ‘Live at the Met’, is barely that of the “nervous boot studder”. I like that you are already moving on to larger philosophical questions than birth and life itself, that being which team will my kid follow. Probably suggest your boot studder role in this!

    I’m more sanguine than Gigs, in that I would suggest you hold your new born up to the light of a new day rising, look the most beautiful thing you have ever seen in your life in the eye and whisper into their ear, “It’s your life, do with it what you will and I will be beside you come what may”. Even (through gritted teeth) Collingwood.

    Best of luck to your partner, the baby to be and you


  4. Andrew Fithall says

    Good luck Craig. I dared to suggest to a Carlton supporter the other day that perhaps if their unborn was the be a girl, then the football allegiances of his Collingwood supporting wife should come into play. He shouted (as loudly as you can shout using Twitter) back at me that I was to keep all black and white thoughts away from his child.

  5. Andrew Weiss says

    All the best Craig. I had no chnace of convincing my son to be a Brisbane Lions supporter when we live in the Adelaide hills where everything is Crows or Port. They way in which he decided which team he would go for came down to him seeing at Port jumper at a second hand clothes stall for $1 in which my wife bought it for him not realising what she had done. Thankfully someone has given him a Crows jumper now so at least I do not have to see a Power jumper around the house as often. Being a Norwood supporter in the SANFL anything to do with Port Adelaide is like dancing with the enemy.

  6. Alovesupreme says

    Clarke Hansen (former ABC sports commentator) tells the story of his son Ashley’s (Eagles premiership player) initiation. Clarke (Melbourne supporter, iirc), having to affect impartaility, said that he took a very youthful Ashley to the sports store, and offered him his choice of colours. He was horrified to see the youngster heading for the black and white, and so gave him a shirt-front to re-direct him.

    My children made their choices with their mother’s and my blessing. The best we could do to influence them was to ensure that the births were at the Royal Women’s, so that they at least have Carlton as their place of birth and can claim to have been born within a kilometre or so of the sacred site, Princes Park. Alas, all three have chosen Geelong, with the eldest’s influence proving more powerful than the outstanding exemplar that is their father.

  7. Richard Naco says

    If Junior’s running late, probability suggests that you’ll be seeing pink baby wear after she pops out.

    Moonz obviously spent every waking moment after that game planning out a career that would prevent him reliving his annihilation in the U11’s, so his ascent was obviously a reaction to get as far away from you as possible . As Paul Weston owes me (I did much to build up his confidence at Glengowrie U13 try outs), so does Cam so obviously owe you (for putting Fear into his vocab).

    Good luck with fatherhood, and best regards to She Who’ll Be Doing All The Bloody Grunt Work when the blessed time finally comes.

  8. Dave Nadel says

    Given your hatred of Collingwood I don’t know why I should be giving you this advice, but the trick is to create an environment that allows no alternative. One of my wife’s work colleagues knitted a black and white jump suit that both our kids wore in their first three months. This was particularly nice, given that colleague was a Welsh immigrant and wouldn’t have really known Collingwood Football Club from Necastle United. We brought my daughter in her Collingwood jumpsuit to the post election victory party for Phil Cleary after the 1993 General Election and Carlton supporting ex-Coodabeen Helen Molnar accused me of child abuse.

    As they grew up they got black and white footballs and toys and later I took them to some football games. By the time they started school (in Ascot Vale, where at least 50% of the kids barrack for the Bombers) they were staunch Collingwood supporters. More than a decade later my 19 year old daughter is still a Magpie supporter. My 16 year old son isn’t much into football but still describes himself as a Collingwood Barracker. As the child raising books say, the job of the parents is to set a good example.

    Good luck to you and your partner with all the other aspects of the happy event…but if you want any black and white knick knacks……..?

  9. craig dodson says

    Hello all

    Thank you for the kind words and cunning strategies.

    I am pleased to announce that Jack William Dodson was born on Saturday 7th April at 2.21 and weighed a healthy 8pound 1 ounce so we are looking at a key position player rather than a rover! mum and bub are doing very well.

    Young Jack and I watched the Swans play freo and he cried on cue as the dockers kicked six straight so he is showing good signs to be a young swan fan.

    Best wishes
    Craig, Sophie and Jack!

  10. Alovesupreme says

    Hearty congratulations Craig and especially to Sophie. Best of luck to Jack for a productive fulfilled life.

  11. Two methods have been trialled in my family – not my own kids, but my nephews who are old enough to be interested.

    Trial one – Carlton father, Bulldogs mother, child left to own devices but has watched more of those teams than others. At last count, had five favourite teams – Blues, Dogs, Tigers, Cats and Dinosaurs. Jury still out on how well this method works.

    Trial two – Geelong father, mother not interested in footy since Barry Hall left Sydney, child has only watched games in which the Cats are playing. Recent history being what it is, he’s seen the Cats win a fair bit and has shared that joy with his dad. His wise aunty (hi!) found a number 3 guernsey at an op shop, so his hero is now Jimmy Bartel. I think we can all agree that’s a pretty good choice.

    My advice, therefore, is to ensure that you barrack for an awesome team and share the joy of that with your children.

  12. James Grapsas says

    Congratulations Craig and Sophie. You have a great journey ahead of you. If young Jack decides to not follow the mighty Cats, then I hope he is a loyal supporter of the red and white like his Dad. All the best!

  13. craig dodson says

    nice to hear from you james, been a long time since the royal park brunswick cricket club days..

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