Who Gets the Footy Team?

The off season of footy (otherwise known as “are we there yet”) is filled with Rugby, Cycling, pre-Olympic meets and of course, currently, Soccer, Tennis, Basketball, and Cricket (in all its forms).  All wonderful events, which help one to be meaningfully distracted from the ordinariness of life.  If you are doubly lucky, these things form part of your life and you enjoy them with the people you love.

Then there is the summer reading of the 2011 Footy Almanac and preparation for teams, coaches, support teams, draft picks, new rookies, retirements and replacements.  We have many many new and shiny coaches all looking to make their mark, and the old ones as well, getting ready to pump and be pumped.

It’s been a summer of cold and wet and a few hot hot days, but today, on Wednesday 11th January 2012, it is bloody cold and windy and rainy and so my mind is back at our winter pastime  both physically and philosophically.

So I have a question for the Almanackers around the world (by the way, happy New Year).  When a couple breaks up, who gets the footy team?  I heard a story about a couple who shared this as one of its enjoyable pursuits, had reserve seating and were therefore regular attendees of this ritual and religion.  What happens when they are no longer a “social team”, no longer rooting for each other while still rooting for the team (so to speak).  Are there social niceties? Who gets the footy friends?  Do the scarves historically stored, get split up?  Who shifts seats?  Who stops going and for how long?

Coaches shift and get sacked (see Ross Lyon, Rodney Eade etc), players leave (follow the Scully story), the structure goes on.

When relationships break down, the last thing you want to do is to sit regularly with your once significant other. Or do you?  What is the etiquette, are there rules, can we make up rules?  I know someone who changed teams with husbands (only twice but she wasn’t a regular attender with the first, but is now with the second?)  Who do you go to the football with, your friends and family, their friends and family, mutual friends?  Is this the guide, if it’s yours before, do you keep it after?  And vice versa?  Like with some property in divorces?  Have people named it (their footy assets) as property in divorce settlements?

As much as we all hope separations and divorces remain civil, how civil can it be around the passion of football?  Is there a rule book that the AFL keeps for such matters?  Are there precedents, anecdotes and histories?  Is it regulated, modulated, formulated or does each situation sink into its own morass and is left to be muddled through along with the feelings, the hurts, the reclaiming and the re-sorting.

Please discuss (could I have been a teacher in a former life?).

Yvette Wroby

11th January 2012

About Yvette Wroby

Yvette Wroby writes, cartoons, paints through life and gets most pleasure when it's about football, and more specifically the Saints. Believes in following dreams and having a go.


  1. John Butler says

    Happy New Year Yvette!

    I think Ross actually adopted a shared custody model.

    He left the club but kept the fullback.

    He should have got a better lawyer.

  2. Did Mrs Edelsten end up getting the team?

  3. I take it as a matter of pride that an ex-girlfriend of mine from the 70s still barracks for Collingwood. She came from a St Kilda family and only lived with me for four years, shortly after she lived with a Richmond supporter for eight years and has now been involved with a Bulldogs bloke for many years but she still barracks for the Pies.

  4. Great topic Yvette.
    I can’t really imagine not being with a Collingwood supporter :s
    I mean the teasing would be fun if my significant other barracked for another team, although i have good history in convincing them to become collingwood supporters :)
    Is is okay to believe that if we did barrack for the same team, i love them more then he does? haha

  5. Richard Naco says

    I’ve broken up very amicably with almost all of my past lovers, so having her retained as a footy mate would be no stretch for me.

    Whether it would be the same for the other party is another matter entirely, but We am Geelong [sic].

  6. Peter Baulderstone says

    Yvette – I have to confess to being a Saints ‘dumper’. I grew up in SA, and the first VFL Grand Final I listened to was via 3WV (Western Victoria from Horsham) on the old bakelite radio in our Renmark house. It was 1966 and I knew our family hated the black and white magpies – wherever they came from. St Kilda seemed a safe bet – glamour and talent – Ditterich, Mynott, Baldock, Stewart, Bob Murray etc etc. How wrong can you be? My real passion was the West Torrens Eagles in the SANFL who I went to see most Saturdays when I was in Adelaide up to my late 20’s.
    St Kilda and West Torrens – a better pair of ‘promise the world and deliver nothing’ losers could not be found. Torrens made the Saints look like overachievers – for nearly 30 years from my birth we did not win a final. I don’t mean a Grand Final – any final. We once drew a First Semi and lost the replay. We once got the double chance and lost both the Second Semi and Prelim (both by under a goal).
    When I moved to Perth in 97 I stayed a Saint supporter but the Avenging Eagle ‘convinced’ me that an Eagles membership was a good investment (in her – if not the Eagles during the Ken Judge years). But for several years it was Saints 1; Eagles 2.
    I stayed loyal through the Adelaide GF disaster; the sacking of my favourite coach (and footy commentator/person) Stan Alves; and the Watson debacle.
    The final straw was the sacking of Malcolm Blight after hiring him for big bucks 6 months before. Hiring him (even with his well-known idiosyncracies) seemed a worthwhile “hail mary” gamble. But sacking him for Grant Thomas was ‘jumping the shark’. I decided that ‘character building’ was one thing, but self flagellation was another. My character showed little sign of having benefitted from protracted agony and disappointment.
    In mitigation I claim ‘cruel and unusual’ punishment in having followed them and Torrens faithfully for nearly 40 years (the post merger Woodville-West Torrens doesn’t count) before jumping ship. The rack would have been kinder.
    Non, je ne regrette rien.

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