It’s a beautiful, 20 degree late autumn Anzac Day, so off to the footy we go….
No, not that confected, corporate spectacle at the MCG- we’re off to the REAL footy down at Warringal Park with the Heidelberg Tigers playing the Northcote Park Cougars.
Real footy. Where ‘the boys’ are all called Johnno and Jacko. Where the numbers on the backs of jumpers go up to 71. Where the cars still front-park around the oval and horns are tooted when a goal is kicked. Where a bloke does his hammy and has to hobble off the field alone clutching the back of his leg, sit on the sidelines for a minute or two, then limp off to sit on the bench without a single trainer or physio [are any such people even attending?] in sight.
Real footy. Where at half time and three quarter time everyone streams onto the ground to have a bit of kick-to-kick or to crowd around to hear what the coach has to say. Where the little league kids form a line and clap the team back onto the ground after half-time, before they go up to get a sausage and a drink, “only after yer tell Mum and Dad where y’are!” Where the winning tickets for the slab of beer and the meat tray are displayed on the scoreboard, and the winner can pick them up at the bar. Where kids ride their bikes around the outside of the oval, where dogs are tethered on leads attached to the fence, where you can get a snag in bread for $2.50 and a VB that doesn’t come in a plastic cup.
You remember, real footy. Go Tiges!!