Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tassie vs The AFL

Melissa Mars
Originally uploaded by JungsPN

So today, she goes back to her old hair, and looks great again. I guess I wasn't the only one who thought it was awful. I thought you all might like a Melissa Mars picture. Go and find an MP3 of Apocalips, the best song of 2008. Do yourself a favour, as Molly Meldrum would say between homophobic jokes about him on Hey Hey.

Since this is essentially a Tasmanian blog, you might be wondering, the hell aren't you talking about Tasmania trying to get into the AFL? For those of you who don't know, the Australian Football League (Aussie Rules) has decided to bring in a 17th expansion team on the Gold Coast, and an 18th expansion team in West Sydney. The team in West Sydney is going to fail completely because no one in West Sydney is interested in football, but this is the reason they will get a team, in case one day they are interested, while Tasmania is so interested in football, they don't need to put a team here because we already like football. A 10000 crowd in West Sydney will be amazing, 25000 in Tassie is unsustainable. Follow? Good, because the bogans don't. They are out in force with bumper stickers and radio phone ins, and it's doing no good at all because the AFL hates us, and completely patronises us. Let's make this something I can relate to - it's like if I fancy Leilani Kai and have a shot with her, and she fancies someone totally not interested in her even though I'm making lots of money and drive a fast car, because, even though he's ugly and a problem drinker, in 40 years he's inheriting a vast fortune - maybe - and has potential one day to be a catch. The simple answer to all of this would be for us all to be uninterested in football and get a soccer team, that's my idea, or get interested in monster trucks and have no one go to a football game ever again, but we're in too deep.

It's good though to have ambitions beyond your station, even if you know they can never be achieved. I went to school with this South African kid who used to always say "You can do anything! Just put your mind to it!" - and we'd come back with all these things like "So, what, if I wanted to play NBA basketball I could!" or "If I wanted to jump off a cliff and live, I could!" or "If I wanted to go out with Effie Michaels, I could!" (that was mostly me). He'd always tell us we could do anything, and when this kid dropped out of school to form a country line dancing academy, he was the only one to wish him well and believe in him. I wonder what became of him, he was always so positive, I'd hate for him to have a crappy life and be disabused of all his sunshine and energy. Luckily for me, I'm Scottish, ambitions are generally crushed pretty early on. I think the only kid with ambition when I went to school in Scotland was the girl with the ambition to sneakily grope every single boy in class during woodwork. I think she managed it now I think about it.

My major problem with a Tasmanian AFL team (apart from there's no way I'd support them vs Collingwood) is that all it does is create more footballers. There's a lot of footballers out there already, and they already get into Syrup without paying and get all the girls. It's probably one of my main regrets in life that I wasn't better at sport. On the North West Coast, it was drummed into everyone that if you played football, you could do anything you wanted. My Dad always remembers this one time when the girls netball team (one of whom was really hot) won the state title, and it was the footballers brought on stage to get congratulations for just winning a game. We all had to applaud them for one win after like ten straight losses. I know that when an AFL footballer gets into a nightclub, they take over the place, so it's going to be a nightmare thinking of them going into the Saloon in Launceston or down here at the Observatory (or "The O", as I found it it's called by hip kids). God help us all if, say, Tasmania beat Collingwood, the reception they would get. As I've said before, in Penguin, the WAGs of the local football team used to go in at 1/2 time and scrape the mud off the players boots with Paddle Pop sticks, so you can imagine what they'd do for an AFL footballer. And that's before we get to the "You think you are so great!" dickheads looking to punch them...

The other problem of course that always gets mentioned is that it will kill off local football, which I would hate. Although, to be honest, it's already dead. The last local football game I went to was part past players re-union and part creche, and the crowd was tiny. The last places the local football club means something is places like Dodges Ferry where there's absolutely nothing else to do. I've spent a couple of days down there, and to be honest, there's so much drinking, it's like the 80s in Penguin. I don't think it would matter if Tasmania had three AFL teams, the Dodges Ferry community would still go to the local football. In truth, this has nothing at all to do with the game, it's about 1 dollar Boags. And the ever present threat of on field violence. And more 1 dollar boags. It's just not like the old days when Peter Gilligan would talk about local football losses like someone had died. "City South...............", he'd say with a long, long pause..."No good". Then they'd bring on, like, the coach of Longford and he'd talk like they'd won the champion of the universe title, and at then, he'd get a loaf of bread and a big ham. Ah, the good old days.

So there's a chance that getting an AFL team might create some local pride in the state, at the expense of local pride in the town, and that we might actually, you know, go to a football game to watch the football rather than drink and bitch about AFL. To be honest, given the AFL response, I'm not sure I want a team. After a while, if Leilani Kai keeps turning you down, you have to settle for Judy Martin. I'd love for local football to come back as it used to be, but it's not going to happen. After a while, we'll focus on what's really important - Muay Thai kick boxing, I'm sure they won't patronise us...

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