Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Who's Afraid? - brief update #4

Just when you thought the football refusers couldn't get any more ridiculous, following Michael Duffy's interesting theories on our evolutionary unsuitability for football, a rather breathless and incoherent pundit on the Crikey website has come up with this.

Sadly (mercifully?), the full text is available only to subscribers (I only saw it while browsing one of my usual football forum haunts), but the précis is roughly as follows: the grand final was boring because Melbourne scored so many goals without reply, the chants were "uneducated", calling the game "football" is an affront to Australian history...oh, and there was a flare, don't you know. Tsk tsk.

Mr. Maher's fatuous rubbish deserves no reply, but the eternal question remains: why does drivel like this get past the sub-editor's desk?

Having said that, most reviews of the atmosphere (let alone the football on show) at Telstra Dome on Sunday have been glowing. Save for the booing of the Adelaide United players at the close, which was indeed distasteful.

Mike, forgive me for a copy and paste job, but I just posted this comment over at my sie, which i think is also apt for your latest piece;

"....it was a great occasion, even if it wasn't the greatest contest. like last season's gf, which i was fortunate enough to be at, it was just a great day for the game.

perhaps for those yet to be converted afl fans, a dour 0-0 draw may not have been the best way of convincing them, but fortunately we got a beautiful attacking spectacle with plenty of goals and action. reading the piece yday from patrick smith in the oz re-inforced that there are still many out there waiting to be convinced, but I get the feeling that this game finally convinced him.

Ditto Richard Hinds over at The Age, who, thanks to his son, seems to have warmed to the Victory of late.

Reading many of the established Melbourne 'opinion' writers, all traditionally AFL, I was amazed at how positive the press was last week and in the aftermath.

I still remember the words of Kevin Sheedy early in season one when he was urging people in a press conference to "go to the game on Friday night and watch a boring 0-0 draw". He's been pretty quiet of late, I've noticed...

The success of Melbourne has been the story of season two, but I really hope there is no complacency from all involved, a lesson Sydney learnt this season...."

I haven't seen the crikey piece, but I from what I've managed to read pre and post gf, most of it has been positive, which is great to see. I spent a fair bit of time combing the Age on Sunday morning and to read positive pieces (despite remaining stubborn about the name soccer) from the likes of Tim Lane, one of my favourite sports callers, was heart-warming. He hasn't been the only one, as I metioned above.
Crikey football is generally pretty poor. They've had a few articles from Francis Leach recently, which have been good, but otherwise, they're either silent or negative. This was a very disappointing article from someone who claims to be a Sydney FC fan.
Crikey love the negative angle though, going against the love-in is their raison d'être.

They do get a bit full of themselves whether they have a point or not.
...This was a very disappointing article from someone who claims to be a Sydney FC fan...

All I can say is, if he's a genuine football fan, I'm the proverbial monkey's bum.
We can all agree that the coverage for the Melbourne Victory from 'The Age' has been outstanding.

For those who did not see the front page of 'The Age' the headline was 'Joy of Six' which was huge in size and the whole package was great.

This must have been extremely grating for AFL journos at the paper, one of which is obvioulsy Geoff McClure which has a light hearted look at sport on a section called 'Sporting Life'.

Now McClure hardly mentions football. It's AFL or Cricket all the way. But he must have been really pissed off about the amount of football exposure in 'The Age' considering these pieces:

He must have searched high and wide for ANYTHING NEGATIVE about the match on Sunday. And he came out with this gem:

Back in business

IT MAY have been a soccer pitch two days ago and will be an AFL field today but Telstra Dome is confident that spectators (and players) would hardly notice it for today's Melbourne intraclub match. Not only are the soccer nets gone and the AFL posts already up, but according to the stadium, paint technology is now so advanced that, by today, the soccer markings used for Sunday's A-League grand final will be erased and replaced by the oval-shaped lines. Welcome back, real footy, we say!

Real footy hey?

And also I agree that Tim Lane had a great article about football in 'The Age' on Saturday, but there was a sting in the tale at the end:

As for its name, well, it's still soccer. You've got to be No. 1 in your country before you can claim the title.

This is the article in full:

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