Sunday Musings – Is it just me or is AFL your 5th favourite sport too?

Woke up Sunday morning and rushed to the IPad to check out the World Cup football results.  Tuned into SBS to watch the highlights.  Brilliant goals.  Great tension, drama and colour.

Turned on the tennis last night to watch the new Aussie wunderkind Nick Kyrgios.  Unfortunately the weather and the shiraz intervened before Nick could strut his stuff for me.  But I was captivated by the first set and a half of the Rafael Nadal and Mikhail Kukushkin match.  Rafa searching for touch on the quicker grass surface.  Kukushkin acknowledging that he could not tough it out against Nadal, but assembling a career’s worth of highlights into one glorious set.  Enthralling.

There have been some good(ish) AFL games over the weekend.  I was engaged by Friday night’s Cats and Bombers.  Old dogs teaching new tricks.  If the underdogs were in anything other than red and black, I would have been barracking hard.  Instead I took guilty pleasure in Bartel and Johnson, a step slower by foot, but two faster by head.

Saturday was golf.  Me and my mates at Royal Maylands.  Not Perth’s own Oliver Goss leading the field at his second US tournament after turning pro last week.  Just us knocking it around on a fresh winter Saturday afternoon.  Last week I was thinking Billy Dunk.  But Billy was a bit quick from the top, and a couple of hooks ended up in the Swan River.  This week I was streaming Bruce Devlin and his languid backswing had me monstering all my tee shots.  Couldn’t chip or putt for nuts, but the game felt good.  Next week I’ll try Bruce off the tee and Billy for the short game.

Got home in time to watch the second half of the Eagles and Dockers Derby.  Close but no cigar.  As a spectacle the game rivalled the Wallabies France second test.  Scrappy.  Desperate.  Pathetic.

The Saturday evening AFL games were over an hour before I bothered to check the scores.  Sydney won.  Check.  North lost as hot favourites.  Check.  Back to the score at the tennis.

Sunday the Avenging Eagle and I headed up to Dandaragan 2 hours north of Perth to watch my nephew’s Dandy Saints take on the Jurien Bay Bulldogs in a bottom of the table clash to keep finals hopes alive.  Good win by the Saints (never thought I’d get to say that again this season).  Top day out.  Lots of one on one contests on the field.  Umpires blew the whistle for all the infringements.  Tough but played in good spirit.  Nephew BOG and I got to walk Shandy the Wonder Dog around the boundary in the last quarter.  Bliss.

Made me reflect on my sporting preferences for the weekend:

  1. Wimbledon tennis – refreshing – unexpected;
  2. Footy – in the fresh country air – mate against mate;
  3. Golf – Royal Maylands – mate against mate;
  4. World Cup football – go you daring Colombians;
  5. AFL – Dog days of winter? Scrappy not spectacular? Regimented not played? One game born every minute to feed the TV gods? Leave me out of it.

Wonder how many other Almackers are struggling with their AFL allegiances? With the Tour de France about to start I may be struggling to get AFL into the Top 5 next week (unless my tee shots follow my chipping south).



  1. Gregor Lewis says

    Billy Dunk for the short game eh? Evocative stuff mate. Resonates alot with me, but less of a viewing dilemma than you might think.

    But first …

    Help a bloke out Peter please … Who can ya channel when you’ve got hands as soft as a granite wall and swing as smooth as my Greek Mama’s upper lip when she hasn’t shaved her mustache for a coupla days …
    … Who am I kidding, my Mum likes her moustaka!

    Gotta say Pete, I’m not new to your emotions above. Every year, at this time of year Aussie Rules takes a back seat (when it isn’t riding with the hound in the two tonne tray of the 4×4).

    So much going on in Top Class sport around the world. So much of the ‘best of the best’ (or maybe best medicated) on display, it takes until September turns the corner for my focus to return faithfully to the local product.

    A lot of it has to do with momentum in ‘modern footy’ for me.

    Take Adelaide’s win yesterday – a startmeup to a run in September for the Crows? I’m interested coz my Hawks playem in two weeks. Even better, it’s a Friday night special, which leaves me free to concentrate on the international quality for the rest of the weekend.

    Waiting for Sunday afternoon games on 7, is the hardest for my well battered dose of sleep deprivation to withstand.

    But it’s the same every year this time o’ the sporting calendar, with the added bonus of big football tournaments every two years!



  2. Peter Flynn says

    AFL in the morning.

    This amazing World Cup in the afternoon or evening.

    I’m known as Nostradamus in one Boston Bar.

    In the 92nd minute I said wait for the Robben dive.

    A minute later…

    Sure enough.

    The US is right into this World Cup.

    I’m loving the Colombians.


  3. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Totally get where your coming from , Peter from my perspective while I enjoyed the crows win yest I appreciated the more tribal aspect of the worlds greatest fc , AD Uni FC win over tee hee gullies sat and the redlegs over the dogs fri night in the Sanfl . Why ? As it is real football and clubs instead of a football business corporation
    Let alone the new aussie wonder kid , Nick K at Wimbledon and the fascinating , World Cup not sure who is worse the biter or the bombers ? Thanks Peter

  4. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Try Kel Nagle instead

  5. matt watson says

    I’m not football fatigued Peter.
    But I watch such little TV that I need to prioritise, and that means no soccer (thankfully), no league, union or motor racing.
    I don’t have time or patience for cycling or water sports (swimming is not a sport) but I will watch tennis on occasion, particularly the ladies.
    Finding myself drawn more and more to netball, for obvious reasons.
    AFL though, it number 1, in winter.
    Then cricket takes over…

  6. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Can hear/read ya PB. What code is AFL again? I really have no idea at the moment.

  7. I hate all sport… holding out for a musical theatre revival.

  8. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Litza, I’ve started visiting museums it’s that bad.

  9. Amzing time for Sports Lovers. World Cup is no 1 at the moment the soccer has been absolutely scintillating.

  10. Andrew Else says

    I watched four live games of footy on the weekend – the Dons on Friday night under the roof and the Blacks 3rds/2nds & 1sts in the cold on Saturday. I enjoyed them all (to varying degrees)

    My only win from those four was the thirds, and I was coaching them. Does that make me a genius? Yes it does.

    Those getting into Wimbledon and the World Cup either have insomnia, are unemployed, aren’t married or are on the road to fitting into one of those categories.

    And yes, you can still follow the Bombers without hating yourself, You’re still watching footy after all.

  11. Andrew Else says

    I don’t doubt that AFL pales in comparison to an event that occurs every four years and features the best players from the world’s biggest game, Sames goes for Wimbledon (though of course it’s an annual event)

    My point is, as great as those events are, I prefer something I can follow closely or be in involved in. The overseas events are magnificent, but a tad hard to follow

  12. Keiran Croker says

    Agree to an extent. Though I think its healthy to embrace great sport, wherever it comes from and to turn off crap games of AFL.
    More tennis this week, then the Toure de France coming up.
    Come Sept AFL will be king again. Of course it helps to be following the Swans!

  13. Dennis Gedling says

    Let me guess PB, the mighty Cervantes Tigersharks are dominating the league Dandaragan and Jurien Bay play in again?

    I played there for one season when working on a cray boat in ‘my lost years’ between dropping out of school and uni. Mick LeCras coached the seniors and his two little sons (Brett and Mark of course) were little shits of the highest order.

    “Bet I can kick further than you. Your shit. I’ll play AFL one day you watch.”

    Remember the Tour De France is on soon to replace the World Cup and/or Wimbledon too. “It never f*kcing stops” as my girlfriend would say.

  14. David Zampatti says

    I feel your pain, Pete, I really do. Perhaps, though, when you say the AFL is only your 5th favourite sporting preference, you really mean watching the Eagles trying to play is.
    Still, you did get a World Cup performance from The Lost Boy; no marks, no kicks, and, of course, no goals.

    At least he didn’t bite anyone.

Leave a Comment