‘Get your camera ready, three photos and bub can’t go in the cup’

It is 37 degrees and I have had a horrible day at the office, however, I am determined to battle peak hour traffic and a screaming 8 month old baby to go and get my picture taken with a silver cup with red and white streamers.. Why?

As I enter the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic centre carpark and dodge lycra clad weekend warriors about to go and ‘feel the burn’ I take a moment to reflect on just how football has got a hold of me and how I’m fortuntate it has.

As I enter the room there are red and white streamers and a cross section of people all brought together by a common bond. This is a community.

Two spots ahead of me in the line are two ladies from the blue rinse brigade talking about Skilton. Two spots behind are two teenagers talking about Lewis Jetta. 60 year age gap which today seems irrelevant.

Each person in the line has there own story to tell and reason for believing. There is a ‘feel’ in the room, not sure exactly what it is but my best guess is that its contentment. The feeling of a job well done.

I’m standing with my wife and son Jack. This is a family moment. Sure Jack is more intersted in the texture of the carpet than the Cup, however, I’m hoping the photo will give him pleasure in subsequent years.

Shit we are next.. I’m starting to sweat. The Marshall offers strict instructions.. ‘Get your camera ready, 3 photos and bub can’t go in the cup’.

Bang, Bang, Bang.. Its all over quicker than a Bernard Tomic fan club meeting.

We are left with one photo blinded by the light of the sun, one with jack looking as interested as Richo at a positive body language seminar, and in the final photo Sophie steps off the podium to grab jack and hence looks smaller than Smurfette. 3 Gems captured for the ages.. It doesn’t matter. It’s about the journey not the destination I conclude.

All those present in the room are part of a community. There are Doctors, the unemployed, parents, grandparents, kids etc etc. There is no pecking order in this room, no politics, egos are checked at the door. We all pay our money to watch 36 guys chase a bit of pigskin across an oval. This year the sporting gods favoured our tribe and we will be talking about it for the rest of our life. We are lucky and we know it.

In an ever disjointed community, football plays a vital role. It provides many things depending on what you are looking for. Perhaps, a release from a stressful job, a reason to catch up with friends, an excuse to put on a footy jumper and be a kid again? Whatever your reason it doesn’t matter.

I pack the tribe into the car and we head off into the sunset and say goodbye to our football community for now.

About craig dodson

Born in the sporting mecca that is Wagga Wagga and now reside in Melbourne with my lovelly wife Sophie and son's Jack and Harry. Passionate Swans supporter and formally played cricket at a decent level and Aussie Rules at a not so decent level! Spend my days now perfecting my slice on the golf course and the owner of the worlds worst second serve on the tennis course.


  1. John Harms says

    ‘Get your camera ready, 3 photos and bub can’t go in the cup’. Craig, this could be the title of a book.

  2. Andrew Weiss says

    This sounds familar when we tried to get some Pixie photos done when are son was one or two months old. Even after 30 odd photos were taken there wasn’t a decent one amongst them.

  3. craig dodson says

    Intersting you say that John, I’m working on writing a book on the experiences of being a Dad over Jacks first year.. You may have found the title! Andrew I feel your pain, we did a similar thing as well.

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