Round 9 – Fremantle v Richmond: Pre-match in Latin

Pathos is an appeal to emotion, and is a way of convincing an audience of an argument by creating an emotional response. Logos is an appeal to logic, and is a way of persuading an audience by reason.


Why do we love sport? Essentially sport is drama. It is theatre. The great emotion in theatre is Pathos: that delicious sense of tragi-comedy, the born loser, the unlucky sod who keeps getting shafted, the emotion of being gutted after almost succeeding. We love laughing at those characters in theatre because we laugh at our our misfortunes. And in sport we are united in the theatre of our own lives. Cogito ergo sum is a Latin philosophical proposition by René Descartes usually translated into English as “I think, therefore I am”. For us Middle Australians, “I follow sport, therefore I am” And I am immersed in sport to the betterment of my life. Heady stuff. And so, sport is drama, we are theatre

In that regard, two teams of the AFL have consistently provided us with the background to great theatre, pathos,and irony. And in doing so, have held a mirror up to our own lives. We are all the better for their trips, stumbles and falls. Like Charlie Chaplin, we love to see the born loser try and fail. Human nature. If sport is life, then we need failure to balance the victors.

Essentially we love to see great teams. And the even nature of the AFL (supplement saga excluded) means we see good play most games. Sure we see blow outs, but most teams play a quality brand of football. And we revel in the excellent teams who constantly take it to the next level.

But if that’s all we have then sport loses its appeal. How do we know what is good if we don’t understand what is bad? How can we applaud the successes if we don’t see the failures? How can we keep watching good without balancing it with knowing what is bad? We need the born losers in sport. Without them we have action with no context.

So where am I leading with this?

Well, essentially two clubs understand this better than others and have consistently worked hard at providing the perspective we crave. Two clubs have consistently risen above the mark to allow us to appreciate the great teams by revelling in their own inadequacies and losses. Two clubs have provided the context for the three-peat clubs, the shoulders for others to stand on. That is a grand thing and its time we acknowledged the role these clubs play in making our competition, experience, in fact our very existence better. Phew.

On behalf of all Middle Australians, sports lovers, nay, all of us living our tawdry lives and needing a kick. For all us us that need to laugh at another’s misfortune to forget our own miseries, for all of us needing to see pathos and the delicious irony of bitter failure in others,  I thank Richmond and Fremantle. The born losers, the common man that threatens to succeed and fails at the final (or first) hurdle, the clubs that offer so much to have their hopes dashed.

Why these teams? Why continually have selections failed? Why have these teams picked the chaff from the wheat, the coal from the diamond, the fools gold from the real stuff? Why do we hate Ross Lyon when he can clearly coach? Who picks Clive Waterhouse as number one pick? On and on and on it goes.

Remember,we are not criticising these two great clubs, we are extolling their virtues, thanking them profusely, acknowledging their deficits in our favour.

The Editor (With respect to the Chairman and his beloved yet tragic Tigers)


  1. Stainless says

    “sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt.”

    I think Virgil would have appreciated Freo and Richmond!

  2. Very eloquent Middle Oz. Blowing a gale with sheeting rain and a chance of hail in Perth today. The game should be a gloriously messy mud wrestle. Dockers 0-9? Another Tiger win? Good for football.

  3. My favourite quote from the ancients.

  4. Leave us alone you pricks

  5. Middle Australia says

    Stainless, A very good Latin summary of our Latin. All I can reply with is ‘Los Trios Ringbarkus’.

    As we all know now, it was a win for the Tiges and it is good for football.

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