Saturday, 14 March 2015

Much as you'd expect - Whittlesea United 0 South Melbourne 5

Scarf draped loosely across my shoulders, along with Gains I head out on a day that was clearly not made for scarves. In Thomastown, we walk along Main Street, and I pause for a moment to look at a house I lived in as a small child nearly 30 years ago, a house I can't remember, where a cat would walk along the top of a short brick fence. Not knowing which side of the creek to go on, I choose the western side, and we end up walking past a practice match on a footy oval. The left footer taking his shot for goal about 35 out on a 45 degree angle hooks his kick to the right, knowing he's missed as soon as it leaves his boot. The rusted scoreboard shows no signs of life. Crossing over to the right side of the creek, we find the ground we're meant to be at; it turns out that we inadvertently dodged the bloke collecting money on the other side, but I attempt to make up the difference by buying a kofte roll and can of drink combo, good value at $10. Andrew Mesorouni accidentally begins his order at the canteen with 'three keftede, er, kofte rolls'. The game itself is much as you'd expect, a slightly weakened South side doing most of the attacking, though United manage to scrape the crossbar while the scores are still level. Eventually the home side concedes, and the game is more or less won there. Milos Lujic and Andy Brennan score before the break, while Matthew Theodore, Luke Adams, and Andy Kecojevic score after it. There's a photo of Kecojevic celebrating his goal, and deep in the background I'm also pictured, arms aloft; it's 5-0 in a relative canter and I'm celebrating, cynical fa├žade abandoned. At the end of the game, the Hellas fans applaud their team, but not before applauding Tansel Baser, on the other side today, but still loved. We take a different route back to the station, past a TAB with an old wino drinking out of a brown paper bag. The station's steps look ominous from the other side of the street, so we take one overheated elevator up and one air conditioned elevator down, and head back home.

Next week
A really big game away against Bentleigh Greens on Friday night.

Around the grounds
Empires of Dust
A late decision to go to this game nevertheless resulted in me getting to the ground on time. Richmond's technical director Micky Petersen may think that being on the spectators' side of the fence grants him some sort of protection from being able to abuse the officials, but he'd be wrong. Richmond dominated the midfield in the first half with physicality and desire, going into the break 2-0 up but a keeper down, as he was stretchered off after a collision. Bulleen improved in the second half, but left their run too late despite pulling a goal back. When The Smiths wrote 'How Soon Is Now?', were they looking into the future when Melbourne would have screens at tram stops telling you that your tram was there 'now', but actually nowhere in sight? Anyway, I missed the 10:00PM Werribee train, and thus spent the next half hour eating dark chocolate M&Ms,

Mandatory 2015 FFV election commentary
Ripping off Mark Boric's column on this issue, I will attempt a modicum of transparency. I had lunch a couple of times with outgoing president Nick Monteleone, as part of historical committee functions. If nothing else, he's frank and forthcoming. I met Nicholas Tsiaras once at Wembley Park. He was wearing a high viz vest and got me free beer. I met Tony Ising once a long time ago at a social kick about, and probably left no lasting impression. I've spoken to Kimon Taliadoros briefly once or twice over the years, as happens if you move within certain circles. I uncharacteristically choose to disassociate their internet personas from their real life selves. The other candidates I know nothing about. Like ancient Athens, this democracy is limited to a select few. Where's my vote Crawford? What point would any sort of advocacy on my behalf achieve?

I'm fucken great/Behold your bitter avatar!
A small group of well meaning people have been posting unsolicited posts of bewilderment and praise of my writing, specifically my Heavy Sleeper World Cup reviews on Shoot Farken last year, wondering how I wasn't nominated for the Football Fans Down Under (FFDU) awards. Here's one example.
I was going to ignore all this, but I've already made comment on this previously on Twitter, so why not again?
I have no idea who the hell the FFDU are, and why people give them so much credence - their website mostly seems to be interested in the local fan clubs of several UK football clubs - but it's seems mostly like a bit of harmless fun, and a good way for people with more ambition than myself to get their names out there as well as get some more publicity for their work. When canvassing for last year's awards came up, I had this to say of one of the nominees
Which shows how seriously this whole thing should be taken. And yes, I did nominate myself (along with other people I liked; Joe Gorman the only name I can definitely remember) once for these things, but I never bothered with the canvassing for votes. And then at some point during the week, I had one of my trademark moments of delayed clarity.
To fish? To bait? To accept the title allotted to me, and surrender to the partisan seas? Or to remember the hard lessons learned several years ago, and choose my own path. Whatever happens, I'm sure it'll manifest itself as a suitably insular and humourless experience.

Final thought

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