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Why I hate football


pmccarthy
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 Tonight I am with SWMBO who is watching the grand final with great attention, while I am on the iPad. 
 

I got my first pair of footy boots when I was nine, but we moved towns and the new school banned aluminium stops on the boots. My parents refused to pay for leather stops, so I had to watch my friends play. When we moved again, the new school played Aussie Rules and not Rugby, and I didn’t understand it. I resolved to never, ever, ever, watch football again and I have been successful at that for 57 years so far. My brain just turns off when anything to do with the “game” happens.

 

I would rather watch a video of seals being clubbed to death.

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My (adult ) kids are a bit sports mad although they don't play. Eldest son (the tennis official) also likes AFL - Essendon and NRL -Storm, Second son mad about AFL - Richmond, NRL - Storm and English football  - Manchester United. My daughter is the worst, AFL - Collingwood, NRL - Storm, AFL Women - Collingwood, Cricket, womens cricket and Formula 1. I can take it or leave it.

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But are they clubbing themselves to death? - or is someone else doing it to them?

 

I'm afraid I'm just not a sports person. I can see little benefit in charging into another person at full speed, with the resultant major concussive injuries, all in the name of chasing a ball?

 

We had a great footballer from the West, Graham "Polly" Farmer was his name. Repeated concussive injuries from football ended any enjoyment of his retirement, he suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) as a result, and developed dementia at age 64. He lived another 20 years with dementia, and all the associated symptoms. A big price to pay for being a top footballer.

 

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-27/australian-rules-great-graham-polly-farmer-diagnosed-with-cte/12005508

 

Edited by onetrack
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Out bodies are designed to be moving rather than sedentary. In addition, our bodies like spurts of rigorous movement as well. For the way in which humans have developed their society, sport is the way to ensure that we keep our bodies - and our minds - fit and healthy.

 

Sport is also an entertainment, and opportunity to be somewhat tribal, or in other words, feel a sense of belonging in a world ironically, attempting to embrace diversity and then make it homogeneous. Also, if we were more sporting, we would hold our class 1 or class 2 medicals longer.. Of course, there are no guarantees, but the numbers stack up well if one remains actively involved in sports throughout their life.  Team sports teach, well, teamwork. School work doesn't.

 

As a spectator, sport provides an entertainment; it provides a sense of community, and apart from Soccer and some isolated cases of spectator violence at most other sports, provides a great family pastime and also inspiration to our younger generation.

 

Re football (and I am assuming AFL is in PM's post), it is a wonderful game, although a lot of the skill has been taken out of it (including spatial awareness of where the enforcers were) since about 1989, to make the game faster and more flowing. @pmccarthy, your gripe with footy (whether ruggers or Aussie Rules) seems to be the circumstances of, pardon the pun, being kicked from pillar to post. While I get if you weren't brought up on Aussie Rules, you would find it hard to understand if crossing from ruggers, can I suggest your sports teacher/coach wasn't doing his (I am sure the coach wasn't a her) job? But it doesn't mean you should discount it. Only today, my daughter, who goes to an English private school and was watching the first XV (I think it is 15), told me when she was driving home, that she finds Aussie Rules a more spectacular and interesting game to watch - and she has probably seen 1/8th of a game in total.

 

I played Aussie rules from about 10 to 16... At 16, I was 5'6.5" and 60KG. I had moderate leg speed but a good head for the game (literally). So, as a follower, my job was, when the packs formed (it was paddock football, after all), to get in, get the ball and handball it to the passing mid or winger. In my last two games, I was knocked out cold - elbow to the head as I was burrowing through the pack (a bit like my young cocker spaniel goes into the bushes flushing out prey), but the knock out blow would be my head hitting the turf.

 

In hospital for the second time in two weeks, my father, an ex European pro soccer player after the war suggested I take up soccer instead. I am proud to say, my first game quickly ended with a red card and a melee - I shepherded one of my players from a tackle - and while for Aussie Rules, it was a matter of fact shepherd, apparently, it was rather rough for soccer (actually, it was a shirt front, too - nice one at that). Yes, a good game of soccer is a joy to watch and play; A good game of ruggers, when they run and flow is good to watch, but too technical and too many stops - and what is it with an advantage, which if it doesn't work after about 2 hours, is brought back to where the infringement happened? Too English a game for me. Aussie Rules is fast, its athletic, it has a lot of skill, it has rules, and it is spectacular - just look at a couple of those hangers/screamers/speccies today - in the Grand Final. Players get hit - they get up unless it is bad.. In soccer, they get a touch, they go to ground, roll around like babies who have spa the dummy... And, then look at the supporters!

 

That's not to say all is great with AFL.. the long term injuries such as those that Polly Farmer copped are there.. Ther eis the new concussion protocol to try and stem it, but it won't. Also, I believe, the sport that condones some fairly barbaric on-field violence, and holds it up as heroic sends the wrong message to younger boys, and with the exception of soccer hooliganism, which is the purveyance of the down and outers of society, the Aussie male does have a heightened sense of aggressiveness compared to his UK and western/northern/southern European brethren (Sicily excepted).

 

The best thing about Footy (and I guess ruggers) is that they are not privately owned and the members are treated very well for not much money compared to privately owned franchises. There is a real feeling of belonging, and although many clubs have watered down the election of the board by all members, members can band together and force a spill (witness Collingwood).

 

I have been a membber of Hawthorn since '94, even when I moved to Ol' Blighty. There was about 5 years or so where I did not become a member (1 year, I became a member of GWS I felt so sorry for them). As a club, when I was experiencing a tough time personally (culminating in me moving here), the Hawthorn Footy  social club was very supportive, even though they hardly knew me. No other code seems to have that community spirit (although I am sure ruggers in Aus does as I think they are also not privately owned clubs). I still have my John Platten testimonial port, unopened from back then.

 

I watched the GF today with my son, an ardent Bayern Munich supporter. He loved it and remembered why he loved it when he was a youngan and I was admittedly half-attempting to indoctrinate him into it. It was sad the Dees got away from the dogs and didn't make it a closer contest, but the thrills of the game, and the elite athleticism was on display. .And I can't recall a clenched fist in the whole game.

Edited by Jerry_Atrick
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The big problem I see with sport is that only a few people do it. The majority watch and I don't think they get much fitness out of watching. When I was young I worked too hard to really want to play sport on my rare time off work. That time I had at college and in the army was when I played sport, mainly hockey. Since then I took up a couple of sports that let me sit down while I did them. Sailing and flying. Of course I had  a few years at darts, which allowed the ingestion of copious amounts of alcohol with a tiny bit of walking and some mental exercise.

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The type of sports we are referring to is about money AND REPLACES Tribal wars, Gladiatorial bouts and religion.  Heading a soccer ball is bad for your brain. I worked that out by the time I was 12. I preferred to body surf  bush walk and ride pushbikes and muck about with model aeroplanes and motorbikes (from age 10) I'm not interested in mingling at close range with sweaty biffo type BLOKES.

  When I moved to Melbourne to fly I found out it was compulsory to have a favourite AFL club.. I never did.

  Last night I watched the last 20 minutes of the Game in Perth and actually was glad I did. A clean game with no riots in the stand and fit blokes playing strongly right to the end. 57 Years since Melbourne won a premiership.. They  deserved it, and it was convincing. Nev

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Is sport a religion, can't see how it is, religion is an ideology and ideologies are fantasy beliefs. Sport is reality in action and no fantasy involved, unless you include thinking you or your team may win when you have no chance. Played heaps of sport when young, it got me into social situations, free food and drinks at times and kept the law from noticing me. Almost made it to the senior side of VFL via St kilda, but the family found out and had to disappear, being only 16 at the time, they still had control over me if they caught me. Ran into the coach of the seconds after my stint in the Navy and he invited me back to play, but my head was in a very bad space.

 

Still watch some AFL games, played and coached into my late 40's. Really like watching the ladies play though, they are getting better and better each season and provide an excellent spectacle. Only watched the first quarter this years GF, figured Melb would win it.

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It's true a lot more people watch sport than participate, but that is not sports' fault. If it weren't there, they would perform some equally sedate pastime. But, unlike watching movies, it gets them out of the house (for those that go and in normal times, of course), and does get their hearts beating and bodies moving a bit more than at the movies or watching the tellie.

 

It is about the money - of course it is.. but even so, for AFL at least, it has not privatised the clubs. It tried - twice - and thankfully failed. So the profits made stay in the sport and are used to develop the game both at the professional and grass-roots level. And if they spend it wisely at the grass roots level, it means more kids playing sport.  Yes, some of the clubs management probably draw too much of a salary, but on balance, it is far better a system than say the Premier League here, where I cannot understand why people support any but their local leagues.

 

[edit] BTW, all pastimes, and well, just about everything is about the money. You still have to buy the hiking gear, fishing rods, ice skates or aircraft.. and none of those people are not in it for the money - they may love the pastime, as do most of the AFL officials I would expect.

 

Although I agree with Dax, in Melbourne, AFL is a bit of a religion in the colloquial sense for many and Nev definitely would have been under pressure or considered a social leper if he weren't able to speak about his team. Used to have to be careful about who it was, too.. could mean the difference between getting the job or promotion, etc. When we returned in 2003, my partner, who is English, couldn't believe that country Victoria couldn't care too hoots about the ruggers world cup, and that Melbourne didn't really know what was going on with the game. But, she soon tired of the deluge of media coverage, and to be honest, after the nostalgia wore off, so did I.. It was like since 1995 - 2003, there was a rapid increase in the media - some obviously pay TV, which had only come in shortly before I left Aus, but the free-to-air was equally saturated.

 

And yes.. you still had to have a team and talk footy!

 

Edited by Jerry_Atrick
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45 minutes ago, facthunter said:

For some sport is akin to a religion.

For those people, it is "their" team that is the cult they follow religiously. If you think about the type of person who is a one-club fanatic, and hence a one-code fanatic, you might also see that they are not practising members of one of the religions. For them, the footy club provides the same things as fervently religious people obtain from attending services. The footy club provides the for the societal needs of the member and the club has its high priests, saints and prophets. Their Good Book contains the Rules and Laws of the game. And they stay faithful to one club from cradle to grave. Which makes me think that players who regularly swap clubs must be classed as heretics.

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1 hour ago, facthunter said:

For some sport is akin to a religion. The idolised heroes are like gods. There's lotsa different gods. (Down through history) .Nev

Sort of, the difference is sports stars are like gods to few followers in regard to one thing and only for the length of their stay at the top. For the rest it's admiration for their abilities and skills. Gods are a different matter altogether.

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I'm not a sports fan at all which is somewhat odd as dear old dad & my older bro where soccer nuts! My older bro was also a keen Collingwood supporter so when anyone asked whom I barracked for (which was all the time) I used to say Collingwood as I knew it pissed people off:-)😉 One thing I do know that the footy (or any sport) is big money/business these days, gone are the days players played for the number on their backs & a box of 4&20 pies!

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Why I hate football and by that I mean the professional game, is that the players cannot be trusted. How many times have they been caught disregarding the rules of good behaviour that you and I adhere to. Even worse is how many times do out politicians bend the rules to accomodate them. Hardly a week goes by when there is no footballer being charged by the police for rape or drug possession or thuggery.

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