Relatively Gutted

By Phil Dimitriadis


The gut holds our emotions, our food, our poisons, our hopes and our fears. We get inspired by those who show guts, but do we get gutted too easily when things don’t go our way?

Jimmy’s dead. Wounds are raw and words are plenty. He reached out and people are reaching back with their emotions. When he crossed that fateful mark in 1987 he crossed a threshold that belied all our expectations. His family and close friends are entitled to feel absolutely gutted over his untimely loss. Jimmy achieved more in half a life than most do in three lifetimes.

The fans feel gutted. They wonder how they’ll get over it, but I’m sure they’ll work something out, eventually. How long can you stay gutted for someone you don’t really know?

Round 1, stretched over two weeks. If the Pies drop the first match against Hawthorn I’ll be gutted. Maybe more of a broken nail or pimple in a sensitive spot gutted, but gutted nevertheless. The pain will be real enough, but manageable, unlike actually being gutted.

Sharrod’s just been suspended for two weeks. I had him in my Dream Team and now I have to change it again. Mildly gutted. Doesn’t he have one white parent? Isn’t this supposed to make some difference? Maybe not. I’m sure he feels gutted.

Liam Jurrah may have (allegedly – Ed) nearly gutted someone. That bloke IS gutted (allegedly – Ed). Liam feels gutted. Eddie showed some guts in getting an interview. Melbourne felt gutted by the intrusion.

Matt Rendell spilled his guts on Footy Classified by expressing just how gutted he was by the fallout of his remarks, which gutted the AFL, particularly its Operations Manager.

People feel gutted, but that’s not enough. They have to be absolutely gutted to elicit a sympathetic reaction.

I’ve had a gutful of misused melodramatic language in sport.

Sometimes, less is better.

About Phillip Dimitriadis

Carer/Teacher/Writer. Author of Fandemic: Travels in Footy Mythology. World view influenced by Johnny Cash, Krishnamurti, Larry David, Toni Morrison and Billy Picken.


  1. Reminds me of Ritchie Benaud bemoaning the use of the word ‘tragedy’ in the commentary box.

    I guess if you don’t use OTT language or yell at 130dB across five octaves then it’s hard to get noticed these days. Unless you’re revered like Ritchie. Or scared of you like Lethal!

  2. Phil – yes, yes, yes. Gutted. Love it. And when people are gutted they also get the furrowed brow going, like George Clooney constantly walks around with.

  3. I think the Premier League shows the way. There is an absolute prohibition on the use of the term ‘gutted’ unless accompanied by either (or preferably both of) those descriptors ‘over the moon’ and ‘sick as a parrot’: “We lost when we should have won. I’m as sick as a parrot, and the lads are gutted. Uni’ed must be over the moon at the points we gifted them today.”

    In passing, I get the former, but the latter?? Most parrots, from my observations, appear to be cheeky little buggers in rude health.

  4. maybe the parrots have a hangover…

  5. Michael,

    I’m ‘over the moon’ that QPR came from 2 goals down to snatch 3 points against Liverpool yesterday.

    KD looked ‘as sick as a parrot’ and his lads looked…..

  6. Phil Dimitriadis says

    Jeff, even Richie stopped using superlatives like marvellous and super after the 12th man got to him. Using language in the right context for the right moment is an art. Tim Lane is a master at using the appropriate vocab to describe any situation.

    Gary Lyon was brilliant last night because his words came from a very real and uncomfortable place. That was inspirational because the man felt every word.

    Dips, yes, the furrowed brow has become a common bugbear of sportspeople, commentators and celebs filled with their own importance. Cooking shows are the worst at the moment. They’re gutted because some French tosspot prefers his meat rare, yet saucy. Give me a fucking break!!!

  7. Skip of Skipton says

    Phantom, despite recently winning the FA’s version of the NAB Cup (against a 2nd div team) Liverpool are big in name only now. They are fast becoming the Richmond of English Football. Their fluking of the Champions League a few years back kept their stock high, but they have been in decline for a long time now.

  8. Skip,

    QPR are that desperate for points we would take one from Wopping Dyslectic under thirteens.

  9. Skip of Skipton says

    Yeah, nah. Look we’re gutted. I’m gutted, the whole group is gutted. We had our chances but failed to capitalise, today. I don’t think the finger of blame can be pointed at any one individual, it was as a group that we let each other down. This is something that’s going to burn all summer within the group, and hopefully drive the group to take the next step.
    Yeah, nah. Look we’ve had our structures in place all season, and we played to our structures today, and have trusted our structures all season. It wasn’t our structures today that let us down.
    Yeah, nah. Look our contested possession count was down. All season we have prided on winning contested possession, and the times that we haven’t won the contested possession has adversely affected our result.
    Yeah, nah. Look we want to keep moving forward as a group. As a group we want to be elite. There is no reason we can’t be elite with our training, elite with our preparation, elite with our recovery. It’s this club’s mission to be elite. From the President to the boot-studder. We will leave no stone unturned in striving to be elite in every capacity. But for the moment, we are all gutted. I know from briefly speaking with the group last night that we can’t wait for the first day of pre-season.

  10. Very good Skip. Why is a Cats supporter rehearsing those lines so early in the year?

  11. Phil
    ‘gutted’ is just the tip of iceberg, mate!
    The season is about to commence, as are the cliches!

  12. The Eagles weren’t gutted in last prelim. Peter. Just plucked.

  13. Phil Dimitriadis says

    That’s gold Skip. You’ve ‘set the bar high’ , ‘become the yardstick’ and ‘barometer’ of this post. Yeah nah, you’ve done good.

  14. Skip of Skipton says

    Cheers Phil, Peter B, and other leadership group comrades. I was gonna put generic tabloid type questions between the ‘yeah, nah.’ but my wife and young daughter went ‘submit’ when I went to the dunny/can refresh, and watched youtube vids of Mr. Ed the talking horse.

  15. I would’ve thought so too.

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