Slice of Life Story Challenge March 23 -Let's Get This Season Started
Let’s Get This Season Started!
Tonight marks the commencement of another football season here in Australia. It is the launch of Australian Rules Football for 2017. As it turns out, my team, the Richmond Tigers are playing the season opener against arch rivals, the Carlton Blues. Melbourne is a renowned sporting city. It prides itself in being the sporting capital of the nation. A large crowd will fill the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) tonight and nationally television sets will be switched on to watch this season opener. But football in Australia has a different dimension to other sports. I read today that this indigenous game of ours possesses the power to bring the community together like a kind of social glue. I agree. You won’t go far in Melbourne today without hearing a conversation about football.
I am among other things a sporting tragic, having supported my football team my entire life, just like my father before me and as my son and grandson do now. A family tradition is running strongly through our veins. I have experienced the highs of premiership victories on five occasions as well as the lows of unfulfilled ambitions and absolute desolation arising from chronic underachievement over the course of multiple seasons.
Every supporter commences a new season with a sense of optimism. You must, otherwise it becomes a rather pointless exercise. I am not about to make a boast about the season to come, suffice to say it can only be better than the season of 2016, which started with great expectations but rapidly crashed and burned as my much loved team plummeted to the depths with too many inglorious defeats.
So, tonight I will sit on the edge of my seat and watch the game unfold with my usual level of intensity. Having played football myself for some twenty years from the age of twelve, I am acutely aware of the pent up energy within each and every player as the game commences. First game, new season. A strong sense of nervous anticipation is coursing through the bodies of those participating, before the contest commences.
Boo the Wonder dog, will shuffle off to join my wife and content herself with alternative viewing and company. She readily senses tension and tends to slink away when the mood gets heavy. She will enjoy her doggy dreams in a calmer place.
The words of the old song, Football Crazy come floating back through the mists of sporting time as I write:
‘He’s football crazy
He’s football mad
The football, it has taken away
The little bit of sense he had…’
The season opener will deliver triumph or tragedy and will cause supporters of both team to temporarily embrace those twin impostors- victory and defeat. Time will tell. A new season. A new reason to get behind your team and support them. Go Tigers!