Year of This Tiger


What a football season huh?

I did not take advantage of the fantastic opportunity of writing for this fine publication as much as i should have during the year. My bad i know. (Sorry John)

Let me give you some background on me and also some background on why i didn’t write as much as i should have.

My name is Damian Paul Gibson and I’ve had the year from hell, job problems , trying to study full time while working full time, relationship break ups,  moved house four times (long story) so with all of that going on finding the time to write has been threadbare to say the least.

I did also write a huge rant in the middle of the year which would have got the almanac shut down within minutes if it had been published, i cant lie i may have sooked it up a little bit over that as well.

I am not painting a great picture of myself but it’s an honest one, and honest opinions is what got me the invite to come and write for this site in the first place.

So I’m going to try and give you an honest insight of what its like to be an obsessed Richmond supporter.

Its terrible!

2014 i didn’t watch the second half of the season because of the build up to that season and then based on the horrible performance of the the Tiges in the first nine rounds or so i had, had enough! Of course as most non Richmond supporters would cry straight away “typical Richmond!”

The old Damian would respond with insults filled with aggression and cursing yelling down anyone who challenged me. I have however realised that coming and going is part of being not just a long suffering Tigers barracker but also the right of an adult to have some time off.

Also i would like to point out that pre my break from the Tiges (don’t get me wrong i wasn’t having a fling with a Hartlett from Adelaide or getting cheap Dixon from Gold Coast) i would pace my house walking in out of the lounge room depending on score for away games and biting my tongue at home games in my reserved seat at the G for home games waiting for the break so i could skull a scotch and coke and chomp through a couple of cigarettes to avoid the stress.

In my time away from watching footy i was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I know its a prevalent thing to talk about in the AFL at the moment , i’m adding my voice to it.

I could not enjoy the game… all!

It seriously (in my head at least) felt like every kick, bump, tackle was life and death.

Don’t get me wrong i wasn’t giving it away because of the boys’ efforts, if anything i was always very proud of them, just for getting to the point of doing something i would have loved to have done if i had the skill and heart to keep going from schoolboy footy. It was just too much stress to watch.

Anyway, cut to the last round of 2014 Richmond V Sydney in Syndey to make the finals. I’m in a pub too drunk to stand but just drunk enough to watch, when Dustin Martin ran into goal to put the Tiges up with a few minutes to go i was elated, outside of almost getting kicked out of the pub i was in i was back in the game.

Then came the Elimination final versus Port , i missed the first fifteen minutes due to PT issues (dont get me started) but the game was over. I sat and watched the whole thing though. I had been taught well by my Dad “you don’t leave a game early mate, that’s what Collingwood supporters do!”  So i sat and watched and then it finally dawned on me, nothing i do changes this.

Might sound simple when your not in the heat of battle but it was a moment of Zen to me , i could watch footy and enjoy it for what it was …… dare i say it….a game.

Fast forward to the beginning of this year to be honest as someone who runs his own footy site (with huge heavy lifting done by others) i didn’t see the Tiges doing that well. We hadn’t traded that well (i thought) and i wasn’t 100% sure on the kids (cliché)

15 wins later we finish 5th exceed our own expectations as a club and that’s all you can hope for outside of premiership of course.

I jumped on the Big Footy Forum this afternoon and saw people losing it about how little Richmond had done in the trade period and i had to laugh to myself  a little.

“We’ll be fine kids” I thought

And if we are not , well dare i say it there’s always the next quarter, game, season.


Lifeline is a free and confidential support service which can be reached on 13 11 14.

Beyond Blue can be reached on 1300 22 46 36.




Damian Gibson is one of the founding fathers of the AFL facebook community the Zanotti Files. He also is the host of Fifteen Minutes of Doom & FMOD podacsts A football (and Richmond) fanatic, he should not be approached while watching a game or playing Words with Friends on his phone.


  1. Don’t you try about the Sleeping Tiger Damian. Just listen for those Jungle Drums.

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