Hey Collingwood supporters, most other football supporters, and anyone who reads from the rear of the newspaper.
You have to back off me and the rest of Daniel, Danny, Dan the big money making man. Or as I know him, Norm, because if you remember the old TV ads, ‘Life Be in It’.
Norm, he does train hard. Enough. You tell me another high school educated 32 year-old on $600,000 a year, for three years, who wears a tracksuit to work and didn’t invent some social media app that I’ll never understand or use, because I’m his calf muscle. The injured one.
You may wonder why I’m speaking out, but, you know, why not? It’s not like I’ve got much on, apart from training every Tuesday at 1pm for half an hour.
I’m kidding. I work just as hard as any other AFL listed calf muscle. Harder actually, because of all the rehab. If I have one more warm-up, rub-down, ice-bath, deep-tissue massage, x-ray, scan, modified program jog, or electro-shock therapy, I’ll probably liquefy.
For you, Collingwood supporters, we even tried Reiki. We paid, with Collingwood’s money, for some tie-dyed, over-tattooed, hippie moonbeam to wave rocks over us for an hour. Did stuff all, but we did get in one of our four daily naps.
One more reason I’m speaking out is that Norm, or Daniel not too Wells as you know him, the ex-sometimes bounding Kangaroo, is way, way too nice. Now he’d never tell you this because he has manners and well over a million in money owed, but you have to stop with the pestering and blaming him, because that’s most of the problem fault.
He’s hamstrung, but not by his hamstrings. Definitely toe-y, and knows he knee-ds to get hip to the football program. But his toes, hips, feet and knees aren’t at fault, and I’m only calf the problem, so refuse to take all the blame for Daniel being lame, and currently unable to tame the world’s best game.
The incessant same questions, the trailing us around as we stroll to and from training, the constant media coverage, and the Collingwood keyboard warriors all with an opinion that nobody needs to hear, it’s a constant and crushing strain, especially on me.
Maybe I’m overly sensitive for a muscle, with fibers that are too fast-twitch and touchy, but it’s all your attention that’s caused this calf to become strained.
I yearn for the days of yesteryear, or last year, and those docile North Melbourne supporters who are barely upset by anything, after the bar for them becoming riled was raised goal-post-high by that little intra-club super-sex scandal. An event that I’ll never forget, because one of the draft picks North got for Carey from Adelaide rose to number two after Carlton was tossed from the draft for being Carlton, and cheating.
Also, North supporters are so few that even when upset, all you get is the odd disapproving glare or passive-aggressive tweet.
Considering my injury history, this current strain should be as surprising as Collingwood’s early season poor form, North’s trip down the ladder, a Punt Road traffic jam, the Footy Show’s ratings plunge, and misplacing your car in the MCG car park after a Friday night fixture. You don’t remember which tree you parked next to? Don’t worry, nobody ever does.
I’m all calf muscle and no brains, but even I know that Collingwood’s brains trust panicked in the rush for eight on the ladder, suffered a stroke, and signed Daniel and the rest of him to a contract that could have got you three Travis Clokes, or 17 Mason Coxs, not that anyone wants even one.
So back off Daniel and the rest of him, reduce the strain, and if you treat us the way a $1.8 million investment deserves, over the next three years, if you’re very lucky you might get a few full quarters out of us, in the VFL.
Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian.
His second comedy memoir ‘Going Out of My Mined’ is available now.