Labels and brands and markets

Not so long ago down here in Tassie mum went shopping at the local corner store or supermarket and she would buy a particular brand of milk, bread or toothpaste. This was a time when football was footy and we went to watch the local team play at grounds like the then unlabelled York Park . We knew the really good players might have a chance to play in the VFL but most young blokes thought a draft was something to be avoided in case you caught a cold.

When me and my mates went to the footy we paid a few bob to get in or climbed the fence, or got through a hole in the fence, and got in for free. We saw a few signs around the perimeter fence advertising the local businesses and the odd sign appeared elsewhere, e.g. in THE grandstand. Yes, there was only one. Did we pre pay for a ticket or were we allocated a seat? Nah, we just showed up on the day, even at the grand final. At half time we would swarm onto the ground like bees, find a bit of space and kick the footy while the players had a bit of a spell and some of them had a smoke. The same ritual was performed after the game as well.

We used to sit in the grandstand behind the old ladies (well they seemed old to us) who were loyal and faithful supporters of their team. When they didn’t like a decision by THE man in white they suddenly would brandish their umbrellas from some secret spot and wave them vigorously. When we sniggered at this odd behaviour we where next in line to be castigated. So, we retreated freely to the back of the grandstand. To our pleasant surprise this afforded a much better view of the young ladies who would walk around and around the ground unencumbered and we would spend most of the match watching them. We would throw the odd glance at the guy changing the numbers on THE scoreboard just to keep in touch with the game and in case we were quizzed after the game by family members. If we were lucky the old man had slung us a couple of bob and we would indulge in a hot pie, with sauce. Didn’t we have our own money? Well, no. We didn’t work any sort of casual job and relied on the folks for a bit of a treat on Saturday arvo.

So there you go kids. That’s how it was not so long ago at the footy on a Saturday afternoon.


  1. For ever and ever. Amen.
    They can take our shoes, but not our memories. ‘Onya Hilary.

  2. In Tasmania the only live footy broadcast, TV or radio, (everything else has the National brand) is NTFL on the north west coast by community radio station ‘Coast FM’.

    The broad cast is a hoot. You can be listening to the legendary ‘Doc Hancock’ while watching the game. Some times what you are hearing and what you are seeing are slightly different and Doc will compare players with their parents who he knows; he knows everyone.

    ‘Young so and so is a better cut than his old man —–, he must get his looks from his mother——.’

    We don’t even get the local statewide scores anymore as the AFL games go consecutively and there is apparently no time to cross.

  3. Daryl Sharpen says

    Good one Hilary. No casuaL jobs at Maccas in those days. Everyone went to the footy, totally reliant on Mum & Dad for funding. No extra charge for sauce either! If you could afford a drink you took the bottle back for the refund and some chewie or freckles.

  4. Daryl,

    NTFL vs STFL in Ulverstone on May 19th.

    I can’t wait.

  5. Hilary/Larry says

    Thanks for the comments. I suppose in the title I iused I am a bit frustrated by the language used by those paid by the AFL to promote it and how they adopt and use words from gov’t, business, etc. and expect us to accept it. Footy is footy and we love it not because it is a business, which it is, but because it is what it is. If ‘they’ want to keep us onside then for heaven’s sake use our langauge and don’t try to justify the AFL by referring to the ‘brand’ or the ‘market’!

Leave a Comment