Just to pass the time away

I love football, the real version, the round-ball game. The game the world is devoted to.

The one which sees players from each continent playing side-by-side, while fans around the globe tune in at all times of night and day.

At the game, there’s the singing, whistling, chanting, dancing, trumpets, drums and vuvuezelas willing the home team on and intimidating the opposition.

But in Australia if your commitment is focused on the A-League and Socceroos, there’s a long time between seasons.

That’s my rationale for turning on the AFL. It fills up the yawning gap.

My allegiance to Essendon is a hangover from the days before the Holland v Brazil 1994 World Cup semi-final and the Liverpool v Newcastle game in 1996 stole my heart.

The Bombers of Watson (the Elder), Van Der Haar, the Danihers, Michael Long and Simon Madden are the red and black my heart warms to.

I only enter the two office footy tipping competitions to embrace the work culture and have something to talk about on Monday mornings.

Sure I could tell you all the players on the Essendon list and why the club should be playing Kavanagh, Steinberg and Merrett already, but I don’t really care.

It’s just to fill in time that I’ve sat watching the games against the Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney.

I just need to make sure my son doesn’t become a Carlton supporter if he’s forced against my will to take on an AFL team.

No need to get excited by the talk of Essendon being premiership contenders, the English Premier League will be back on by September.

I wasn’t really interested in Saturday night’s game against Melbourne, was barely keeping an eye on the TV for the excruciating two-and-a-half hours.

Barely noticed that Essendon couldn’t adapt to Melbourne’s flood and kept bombing it in to the forward line. Didn’t get frustrated at all by the succession of poor shots at goal from close range in the second quarter.

I don’t remember thinking early in the last quarter about the potential for the Bombers’ to be provisionally top of the ladder again.

Surely it couldn’t have been me slumped on my knees in desperation minutes later.

The remote must have slipped from my fingers while I was changing the channel … there’s no way I could have thrown it at the couch in fury.

And the text message from my Demons-supporting boss rubbing the 6-point loss in, just two minutes after the final siren didn’t hurt one bit.

How long till Melbourne Heart are back playing the real game?



  1. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

    As they say in very old jokes – Denial isn’t just a river in London.

  2. Bad luck Stockers – and can I add that having suffered through the 2000 GF and having to leave before having to witness first hand Sir James take to the dias to receive all his various medals and trophies for being the greatest living individual ever to walk the earth, it was some small solace to see him leave his seat and retreat to the back of the box once he realised his goose was cooked on Sat night.

    As the Wild Pumpkins at Midnight sang: “Little victories, little victories, you just have to count your blessings…”

  3. David Stockman says

    Full credit to you Freeza for being a gracious winner. Can’t say I was the same during the recent dark years. Was abused on my way to work on a Monday morning last year in the wake of Essendon’s victory over Geelong… just because I took my Bombers scarf along with me for the ride.

  4. The real game / the real version ???????????????????????????????

    What does that mean?

    Soccer is no more real a version than gridion / gaelic / canadian or our wonderful game.

    Don’t know where you coming from mate?

  5. stocky you champioooooon ! nice piece fellah

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