The Return of the Jumper

OK, this has been the Richmond Footy Clubs’ best year since I was born, but when all is said and done and I think about the season, I remember a certain Jeff Garlett running into an open goal in the Elimination Final to put Carlton far and away from our reach. He kicked the ball between the middle two posts, which was when the ball then turned into a nail, and this nail smashed head-first into a coffin. The coffin was marked with the following letters:


So Dad, Bro and I stared at the TV, in a house that was darkening because nobody had turned on the lights for hours, and as Garlett kicked that goal, we all just stared aimlessly at the telly for a bit. The Blues were going off their heads and leaping around like puppies on steroids, while the land of yellow and black fell away from hype central and landed with a resounding crunch in the domain where we’d been blundering around in for the last 30-odd years.

The telly was turned off and the house fell into darkness. Of course, the sun at that moment had decided to hide behind a cloud as we all wandered around aimlessly before we stopped the depressed Tigers fan mood and started eating. For the first time in a few hours. As expected, the phone rang, with gloating Carlton supporters reinforcing the irony of a 5th placed team being beaten by a team that only made it into the finals due to a few errant growth hormones somehow finding their way into the red and black camp.

No Mr Hird, I don’t believe your story.

It took too long to recover from that, but there was always the bright side: Collingwood lost to Port, eh? Eh? Nope, that didn’t work either.

It took a healthy cricket season, summer holidays and the return of a certain fast bowlers’ mozzie to get rid of the memory of that game. In actual fact, I wrote the first 150 or so words of this 2 days after the Elimination Final. Dad, I reckoned, wouldn’t let me publish it.

So after 4 months of footy hibernation, the Yellow and Black in my home starts to make an appearance again. Pictures of Push-up and Cotch are on my wall again, and Dad doesn’t look like he’s just taken a bite out of a lemon when I mention the words ‘Carlton’ and ‘Finals’ in the same sentence. My mates have stopped the non-stop bagging. I can wear my Tigers hat in public. My brother is currently wearing a Tiger onesie.

But there is one factor that shows that I have completely forgiven the Richmond Footy Club.

I am wearing my jumper. And I am lovin’ it.


  1. Great stuff Paddy. I love that you wrote the first part straight after the Elimination Final, but then had the courage to revisit it once your equilibrium had returned. A good sign if the Tigers players are adopting the same attitude.

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