A Forced Post About Football Grand Finals

You know it’s been a while between posts when you realise you’ve forgotten both your admin user name and password.

This website began with such promise. I had assembled a solid crew of eager writers, helmed by yours truly, all of whom had promised to submit countless articles on a regular basis to launch The Public Apology into the public’s consciousness. With the notable exception of Alasdair McClintock – an excellent scribe and founder of the seemingly defunct TPA Guildford Awards – these writers failed to deliver.

As such, it has been a hard slog for someone who, let’s be honest, oscillates between having an mild appreciation for sport to holding no interest in it whatsoever, other than for the hilarious and varied off-field indiscretions that professional athletes tend to commit (the latter action being what this website was originally founded upon).

But it’s grand final week in the AFL – and the Brownlow medal ceremony was held last week – so it would remiss of me to not write something, even an piss of shit article as directionless and poorly proofed as this. And the rugby league finals will follow a week later, with two Sydney teams certain to draw a sell-out crowd full of cashed-up bogans, corporate box-dwelling executives, and people who should otherwise know better than to attend any fixture at ANZ stadium regardless of code.

I’ll keep my eye on these events, sure, but my teams are no longer in either competition. In the AFL, the Swans were unceremoniously bundled out of contention last week against Fremantle – which, even though the Dockers are apparently ‘good’ now, still feels slightly embarrassing. And the less said about my NRL team, the Canberra Raiders, the better. In fact, you should visit this blog to truly understand the inner turmoil of a Raiders fan (read: knowing the direct number for LifeLine off by heart).

Anyway, to those of you cheering on your favourite team this weekend, good luck to you. You’re obviously yet to experience the strange sensation of sporting apathy that has hit me this year, unexpectedly, like a bout of SARS.  For your benefit, I will continue to keep myself mostly isolated, in a negative pressure room, and advise that your apply a face mask while adhering to complete barrier nursing precautions should you choose to come into contact with me.

By Dave Edwards

 

Sport Will Hurt You, Best Keep Your Distance

With the Australian federal election looming and likely military action in Syria escalating, I should be seeking solace in the comforting bosom of sport.

But for some reason, I am not. Why? This troubles me. What seismic shift has taken place within my general psyche that a hearty fix of round/oval ball action no longer provides me with the placebo kick I need to move on with life?

There are several factors presumably. Age, for one. I guess that, moving well into the second-half of my mid-20s – the mid/late region – I have discovered, through bitter experience, the sheer futility of following a professional sporting team.

I have adopted a realist mentality towards sport. It’s true; I am far from the idealist youth I once was, when I would trek to far-flung Western Sydney ovals to support the Canberra Raiders during their diabolically unsuccessful late 90s era in the hope they would sneak an unlikely victory against a far superior opponent. Now I need to see seven wins on the trot before I can feign some form of enthusiasm towards a “finals charge.” Don’t fuck with me, Raiders, I’m too busy to keep watching you fail.

It all means nothing unless you’ve got that trophy

I have witnessed players’ entire careers unfold as my own stutters along like a Clinton Schifofscke kick return. I remember when Braith Anasta was a young, spritely and promising five-eighth – and now he’s a grizzled, slow back-rower taking up far too much salary cap space. I watched Trent Barrett rise up through the ranks at Ilawarra and inexplicably into a Kangaroos jersey – and now he’s apparently part of the State of Origin coaching staff, despite a penchant for public pushups in his underwear and an adorable inability to string successive words together.

Hence, I’ve realised that dumb-as-fuck, yet mercurially talented, athletes are a dime-a-dozen in this country – and therefore one should not invest too heavily in a single player or team. Being a Raiders fan has taught me this key life lesson. The Raiders this year have faced unspeakable adversity, yet the Riverina pastures are so green and fertile with junior athletes that the next breed of Breezer-drinking, cop-dodging Dugans will be upon us quicker than a Brett Stewart wink.

“That one’s for you, David Gallop”

My tip for young adults suffering from unshakable sporting ennui? Keep emotionally distant from your chosen sporting team, for they will hurt you immensely. However, don’t feel bad about jumping back on the bandwagon when they’re doing well. As a long-time supporter, you’ve earned the right to be flaky.

Sport is a cycle… as is life. Drink up.

By Dave Edwards