Soft free

G’day, I’m soft free. Away teams hate me because they’re seldom awarded me.

I come in all shapes and sizes and all degrees of softness.

I’m ‘in the backs’ where the contact was slight, ‘too highs’ which were anything but, and ‘holding decisions’ riling fans to scream, “Maggot!”

Whenever I’m paid, Jack Dyer types moan, ‘Tiggy touchwood”. They’ll then vent, “The game’s turning into basketball.”

Umpires go out on a limb to defend me, arguing I was ‘there’ to the naked eye. They’ll particularly bunker down whenever confronted with multiple camera angles of me, expounding, “Yes, well, slo-mo’s conjure illusions, don’t they?”

Glamour forwards, on another branch, love me, because they benefit from me more than most. Hell, if they’ve got blond tips, they’ll gorge on me throughout their careers! (And a big hello to me ole mate Warwick.)

Taggers, however, despise me because I stymie their scragging. But who ever gave a shit about a tagger, right?

And then there’s fans with siege mentality …

They claim I cost their teams games and go on to swamp SEN with their persecution complexes, spewing, “Collingwood this and Collingwood that and Rocca would have won a dozen Coleman’s had he ever been given one or two of me,” but the truth is, their gun forwards saw a whole lotta of me, and their teams had a ledger squared by me, and though I may have ruined their day once in a while, I also made their day on many occasions … so there.

Yep, I cause all sorts of controversy and a whole lotta whining, but at the same time, I populate hundreds of hours of broadcasting time, and if not for me, the footy biosphere would struggle for content.

So the next time I raise your blood pressure, or have you leaping from your seat, or have you ruing I’m bothersome like congestion, long queues or fricken Sam Newman, be mindful that I’m as integral to the game as a fair decision … and while I’m at it, a Jeremy Howe specky.




About Punxsutawney Pete

Punxsutawney Pete see's a shadow: twelve more months of winter


  1. Luke Reynolds says

    Hey soft free, missed you today. You weren’t one of the 6 frees Collingwood received for the ENTIRE game. Maybe I should have rung SEN afterwards.

    Always nice to see a shoutout to The Wiz!

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