Thursday, March 06, 2008
Who's Afraid? - brief update #14
Mr. Main, in his first paragraph, gives his profession as journalism. Never has there been a better demonstration that no qualifications are actually required for that particular profession.
One thing that can be ignored in isolation, but is creeping into the AFL v. football discourse generally, is the arrogant and dishonest assertion that AFL is Australia's "indigenous" game. "Football", a fractured animal for much of the 19th century, subsequently splintered into the separate codes we now know and love. AFL is merely a local variant, and describing it as "indigenous" implies the sort of special rights due to our indigenous population (to whom, I might add, the misappropriation of the term could be considered an insult).
As for this:
Australia’s indigenous code, whether the others like it or not, reigns supreme here and always has been able to fight off challenges.
Could someone please inform Mr. Main that Australia extends beyond the Murray river?
If by indigenous, you mean started by three people that went to three different educational institutions in Ungurlund with three different variations of football. They kinda mixed and matched a bit and game up with Victorian Rules.
The real beauty of Victorian Rules, I believe, is that of the codefied football varients (Namely Association, Union, League, Australian, Gaelic, Canadian and American football) it most closely resembles the traditional 'folk football' games that were played between villages and towns in ye merry olde England.
This type of article, almost without exception, attempts to state unequivocally that "sockah is well behind the established codes", "Australia will never host the World Cup", "sockah is just a fad"...
If these authors or 'journalists' - for want of a better word - were truly confident of these declarations, would they need to write those articles in the first place?
Guys like Main should crawl back into their cave and just be quiet.
He is probably right when he comments that we don't have a cat in hell's chance of winning it, but to claim that all 3 codes are streets ahead is simply fanciful.
I found it interesting that A League crowds were not that far behind Rugby League and miles in front of Rugby Union.
Also, it was intereting that he does not allow people to comment on his 'so called journalism'
Keep up the good work Mike.
...The real beauty of Victorian Rules, I believe, is that of the codefied football varients (Namely Association, Union, League, Australian, Gaelic, Canadian and American football) it most closely resembles the traditional 'folk football' games that were played between villages and towns in ye merry olde England....
Have just been reading about the pre-history of the game in David Goldblatt's book (The Ball is Round). Interesting stuff.
Many thanks for the heads up.
Yeah, interesting stuff. Spiro Zavos isn't at all a bad sportswriter IMHO, although I think he's over-estimated the pull of rugby (union) in that piece.
I think you know already but Das Libero has a whole page dedicated to this fascinating phenomenon. They also have a whole page dedicated to a certain Lenny Colquhoun from Invermay, Tasmania. Leonard doesn't miss a bit everytime football gets some attention or good press.
Leonard did not disappoint when he had a letter published on last week's 'Sunday Age'. I wrote a post about it on my blog.
But all throughout Mr. Colquhoun letter there is this theme about the 'indigenous game' vs. the 'foreign globalised game'. My argument is that why pick on football. Rugby and Cricket are also foreign games if we use the same criteria.
However in Victoria it is true that Australian Rules football is a special aspect of its culture. The game is intrinsically woven in Melbourne, and I don't think that any other sport will supplant that. But I also think that Football does not need to break that connection to be successful. Many of the Melbourne Victory supporters are also following and AFL team.
Australian Rules main drawing card is its 'Australianess', which is contrary to one of Football's main advantages which is its international nature that goes across boundaries. So that is why any attempts to 'internationalise' Australian Rules football is ridicolous.
I also think that these anti-football articles that have occurred after the announcement that the Government is supporing the World Cup bid shows a discomfort that the old order of football codes is being supplanted. The days when football (soccer) was a marginalised minor sport being played by migrants and administered atrociously are gone. It is now being taken seriously, and the old guard doesn't like it. That is why we get articles like that written by Mr. Main. It is a bit like Comic Ali saying that Saddam Hussein was winning while the USA tanks were rolling in Baghdad.