Round 12 – Fearless: Some of Footy’s Religious Experiences

Hiya all, hope you are all well and have enjoyed a lovely long weekend…a chance to do whatever and  to temporarily break the work shackles…


I had the  privilege, as did many in AFL land, to watch Neale Daniher being interviewed by Mark Robinson and Gerard Whateley on AFL360 on FoxFooty. As raw and emotive experience as you could find, listening to someone who has embraced his fate and change whatever he can whilst he’s still got time. To equate MND to paralysis, as Neale did, visually sums up the experience of your body slowly losing its ability to function. To his eternal credit, he has not forgotten how to laugh and how to inspire. What a champion! Sometimes you realise your lot and everything that is bothering you is truly insignificant by comparison.


For many the sporting religious experience in Australia is to go and watch NSW play Queensland in State of Origin. What a great spectacle and at the MCG last Wednesday 87,000 got to witness it. I’m not a massive Rugby League follower but it’s a credit to everyone involved that the game was entertaining and skilful. My hosts were saying that this is the best type of rugby league in the world. Wow. Big call…a bit like the Americans hosting the World Series in baseball. Obviously the World Cup is of a lesser standard by comparison. The fans wouldn’t care, especially the Blues fans…they got a win and that’s all that matters.


In AFL land, a religious experience equates to a visit to the Cattery. OK, we all know more people are fitted into Etihad and the MCG, but the Cats at GMHBA Stadium is an experience I’ll never forget. Some thirty years ago, I stood on a slab in the outer at the Melbourne end. It’s a credit to the Cats triumvirate of Costa-Cook-Thompson (not to forget the lenders/financiers) that the rebuilt stadium is truly finals worthy as a venue and the locals definitely let you know when the umpire has made a mistake! Of course, it never happened last Saturday and the Cats were worthy winners. The shining presence of Gazza in the midfield definitely added religious fervour in his 200th game in blue and white hoops. Added to this was Retro Round Music pumping through the speakers, to complement some of the moustaches on the Geelong players…Skyhooks’ “Million Dollar Riff”, Patrick Hernandez’s “Born To Be Alive” and The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me”…it’s like wow…great DJ-ing or are you just streaming K-Rock’s playlist? 


There will be more I’m sure to be documented in due course…and yes the Tigers and Bulldogs winning an AFL flag gets due credit too. There’s got to be hope for everyone!




  1. Ian Hauser says

    Fearless, State of Origin does have all the hallmarks of a worship experience for those of us north of the Murray. Ceremony, ritual, worship, it’s own language, good versus evil – it’s all there. Rightly or wrongly, Origin is the pinnacle of the code. Traditionalists would argue that international matches should hold top spot in the hierarchy but it fell by the wayside decades ago. Unfortunately, last week’s instalment was not one of the better ones as a spectacle although we were treated to some feee-flowing passages of play. The later games in each series tend to open up a bit more, so please exercise patience as I think the best is yet to come in Games 2and 3.

  2. Rabid Dog says

    I had quite a few. Hearing 60000 Tigers supporters roar ‘Yellow and Black’ at the G after a win. Crows v Port, or Freo V Weagles. South V East Fremantle. Standing on the Member’s wing at Vic Park. The outer at Windy Hill. Or Princes Park. Or behind the goals at the grandstand end with Carlton flogging the opposition. A Port-Norwood GF. Bay Disco on a packed Australia Day weekend. And these just off the top of my head.

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