Surely we have paid for our sins

Footy on Good Friday – The case for.


With due respect to those of faith, Easter, and Good Friday in particular, is perhaps the strangest weekend on the calendar. Any other long weekend might see the family pack up a tent and drive to the country for a quiet few nights around the camp fire. A romantic trip the the Yarra Valley or catch up with the in-laws. But chuck another day on and it’s a 15 hour trip to the Gold Coast arriving back on Monday night with a divorce pending and your relationship with your children irreversibly shattered. On Thursday, the local shopping centre was overflowing as people obviously believed that having the supermarket closed for one day a year would almost certainly be the equivalent of an Ethiopian famine. Hell, how will we survive one day without being able to go to the mall. If your not a fishmonger, Good Friday is not going to rank as the must do day of the year.


Good Friday was a torture designed by conspiring Christian leaders to make people feel guilty. Guilty for what? A carpenter dies to save the world from ourselves then comes back two days later ready to line up for the Jerusalem Hawks. Growing up in Albury in the 70s, Good Friday was the longest day of the year. Everything was closed, Stations of the Cross at 3pm just to ramp up the guilt thing in a little further, re-runs of re-runs on the ABC, most involving Charlton Heston, and the Children’s Hospital Telethon on Channel 7. A worthy course no doubt but 12 hours of Daryl Summers, Zig and Zag, C list Melbourne TV people and drag queens (apparently Zig and Zag) again), washed up footballers and f#&king Happy Hammond. Trust me, the carpenter got off light. You could only kick the footy until dinner time and then is was the telethon. Talk about purgatory.


Forward 40 years and what have we got. A few more shops and cafes open plying us with expensive seafood and again playing on the guilt stuff. Eat meat and straight to hell you heathens. Some more channels on TV and the Children’s Hospital Telethon still commanding more air time than is devoted to remedying the Middle East crisis. Why? Because there is no bloody football. Can anyone explain the AFL’s, and Victoria’s for that matter, refusal to play football on Good Friday. Is it still out of guilt for something that reportedly happened 2000 odd years ago? Do they really believe it would impact upon the money raised for the hospital? Does Andrew’s mum and dad own a fish shop? Why not have a game at 4.30pm so the guilt ridden can still do the Stations of the Cross, watch footy while peeling a few prawns and then cross to Daryl at the telethon who can announce with great pride that the money donated out proceeds from today football game has exceeded the total amount collected in the past 20 years. Given that roughly 75% of the population have either lapsed from or never quite taken on the religious meaning of Easter, it’s fair to assume that a game of footie would get a few interested spectators and rate it arse off on TV. The people win, the kids win, the faithful win and the only losers are the fish and prawns. Providing of course the game does not involve the Carlton Football Club.


Footy on Good Friday – The case against.


Without question every team in Melbourne will put their hand up for what will be a great money spinner for competing clubs. After much thought (about 3 seconds), the AFL will allocate to game to Collingwood on a trial basis of lets say, 30 years. They actually might pick Carlton as the other team. Eddie McGuire will make the pre-match speech and donates free audience ticket for sick kids to Who Wants to be a Millionaire and case of JD and coke for the hard-working nurses and doctors. Sticks will unveil a new shield and they play off for the Mick Malthouse-Judas Iscariot Perpetual Plate.

About Tony Robb

A life long Blues supporter of 49 years who has seen some light at the end of the tunnel that isn't Mick Malthouse driving a train.


  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Play it at the Dome, just after Stations of the Cross at Southern Cross Station

  2. Yes, there is so much more open on Good Friday than only a decde ago. Then again, for those of us working in the health sector, there is the understanding health problems are a 24/7 reality. I enjoy working Good Friday, and as our patients are settled i’m having my break, and what beter to do on your break than check the Almanac site.


  3. Tony- I enjoyed your passionate argument. If the AFL and Fonzie were honest they would schedule Collingwood at the MCG on every Friday night. They could imagine nothing better. At least then we would all be free of their pretenses.
    And players- their names blazed forever across the back of their jumpers like every American athlete- would be forced to swap numbers every few weeks so that every football-loving kid in the country had about thirty-five of these in their wardrobe (or on the floor).
    Maybe then, but probably not, the AFL might rest.

  4. Tony Robb says

    Glen I hope your day goes well and best wishes for your great work in public health

  5. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Ridiculous we can’t be watching a game now wouldn’t matter who is playing

  6. Peter Flynn says

    The latest possible Good Friday is April 23 I think.

    Two days before Anzac Day.

  7. Skip of Skipton says

    April 23 is the latest date a Good Friday can occur. March 20 the earliest if I understand correctly.

  8. Tony Robb says

    Boys i don;t give a flying when it falls, Just play a game

  9. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Tony if Hawks v Cats was on now would be interesting to compare tv ratings with a GF other opinions ?

  10. Skip of Skipton says

    I concur Tony. Essndon vs. Carlton or Collingwood vs. Richmond.? The AFL and Channel 7 will be wanting to raise as much money as possible for the Childrens Hospital.

  11. It has to be two clubs steeped in the spiritual meaning of the Day – Which means any matched played on Good Friday can only be between two teams – St Pats & Saint Ignatius. The line-ups to be selected from the 18 clubs by a committee of active parishioners of the respective parishes. Food & beverages donated by Coles & Woolies and sold at shop prices. All precedes donated to the Children’s hospital appeal, including the AFL’s broadcasting rights and the sponsors’ advertising fees.

    Or am I just becoming a grumpy old man and missing the whole point of why we’e on this planet?

  12. Wrap, never has so much sense been put forwarded

  13. David Downer says

    “Does Andrew’s mum and dad own a fish shop? ”

    Yes. They did!


  14. Try as I might I’m finding this issue pretty damned close to impossible to get excited about.

    Although, as with all the WADA yada yada it’s always mildly diverting watching the AFL matching wits and spin with some similar size crowd from absolutely outside its radar (but in this case with the same sense of entitlement to first call on our hearts and minds).

  15. Rick
    I assume you refer to the church as the similar size crowd. The church has never been outside of the AFLs radar. In fact, the church has been integral to the identity of many inner city clubs. Archbishop Mannix comes to mind. Most clubs were catholic or protestant and rarely mixed company

  16. Tony,

    OK, not well expressed, swap ‘influence’ for ‘radar’.

    Most/all the original VFL clubs have some kind of historic connection to a local church, just like my old school and my old cricket club did, but these days historic is all it is, just at it already was when I was at the school or playing for the club. If an AFL club ever became associated with a particular religious cause it would be through individuals who were there at the time.

    Rick N

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