Footy season might nearly be over, but before we begin the annual summer of sadness known as ‘Cricket Season’ here are fifteen reasons that footy is amazing.
1) On Grand Final Day there were be huge gatherings around the country of close friends and family who hadn’t seen each other for months. Then for over two hours there will be strictly no talking. During the Grand Final is actually the ideal time to rob a house. Even if people are home, they probably won’t notice.
2) There is only one Grand Final. As apposed to other sports where every round of the finals series involves it’s own mini series. Or sports where there’s no finals series at all. Which is a bigger downer than the political career of Alexander Downer, a cold pie or the Melbourne Football Club.
3) So there’s only one Grand Final, apart from if the Grand Final is a draw. Then we do it all again. And what’s better than a bonus week of footy? Nothing. Nothing is better than more footy.
4) There’s also no other game in the world where at the start of every match, the players run through a banner. Then at the end, the winning team sings their club song. It’s as if start and finish of every game were designed by a four year old.
5) Its proper name is actually it’s nickname. Only those who don’t get it call it by its official name of ‘AFL’. Real fans call it ‘footy’. It’s like your mate Spanner. Only people who don’t know him and his parole officer call him ‘Michael’. Anyone who’s nick-named after a tool always has a parole officer.
6) You know what’s easier for a true fan than detecting a non-fan? Nothing. ‘That Fremantle forward Aaron Sandilands. He’s very tall. Is he related to Kyle at all?’ a girl asked me. I replied, ‘I don’t care. Go away. Please stop talking to me Lara Bingle. If you’re not good enough for Michael Clarke, you’re not good enough for me.’
7) One thing the AFL does not understand is irony. Which is why, after the whole Essendon supplements scandal, nobody has a problem with one of the game’s major sponsors being Swisse – who make vitamins and supplements. Their supplements are completely legal though, as they have been found to contain basically nothing that’s beneficial to anyone.
8) Another big problem in the AFL is the drinking culture among some of the players and supporters. Every year there’s a scandal involving drunk players, violence and the odd player lighting a dwarf on fire. (St Kilda – last year.) When questioned by police, the dwarf said that he wasn’t happy. The police officer then replied, ‘Well which one are you then?’
9) So keeping in mind the problems caused by alcohol, guess who’s another major AFL sponsor? A brewery. The only way it could be worse is if there were adverts for the one thing that ruins the lives of more players and supporters than any other. Gambling.
10) Back go Grand Final Day, and the AFL understands that the actual entertainment is the game itself. Unlike American sports, where the game sucks so much, that they need big celebrities just so people pay attention. In Australia, the pre-game entertainment is limited to bands that sing about footy, play Cold Chisel covers, a few kids with streamers, and past players being driven around the ground in convertibles. Still the most popular pre-match entertainer in recent memory was Meatloaf exactly because he was rubbish, and fired hotdogs into the crowd. Maybe he would’ve been more popular if he had a gun that fired pies. At Eddie McGuire.
11) Getting smacked in the head is actually one of the objects of the game, as you get a free kick. To a footballer, a free kick is far more important than a healthy brain.
12) Politicians love the Grand Final because no matter what they do, nothing will knock football off the front and back page of every newspaper in the country for at least two weeks. Sometime in October I half expect to discover that Clive Palmer has dug up Adelaide looking for coal, and Tasmania has been sold by the Liberals to the Chinese.
13) Women always notice the attractiveness of the players. However, despite the tight and limited clothing of the players, and the fact that men notice and talk about every other intricacy of the game, the attractiveness of the players is something that straight men never notice at all.
14) If you’re into any other code, you will probably still watch the AFL Grand Final. AFL Football is to sport what English is to languages. While it might not be your first sport, everyone in Australia speaks at least a little AFL.
15) The Monday after the Grand Final medical rooms around the country will be filled with men who pulled out a football for the first time since last year’s Grand Final Day. As a result they also pulled or tore a muscle, dinted pride and embarrassed themselves. I am always one of these men.
Catch the one man comedy show ‘Xavier Toby – Mining My Own Business’ at the Melbourne Fringe until Sep 26.
Based on stories from his debut non-fiction comedy memoir.