Snap Shot #49: Fucking Footy


After having spent thousands of dollars over the past five years on Sydney Swans memberships, flights and tickets to three grand finals, various merchandise, heaps of overpriced crap food and way too many mid strength shit beers, I decided that the time had come to wind back my footy fanaticism. So this season, my son and I have surrendered our memberships. Turns out it’s pretty good timing as the Swans have dived towards the bottom of the ladder. As disappointing as this is, we have both declared how glad we are that we haven’t had to pay to watch these series of annihilations. But then… in the past few weeks they’ve started returning to some of their once glorious form. So I sound out my son out about the possibility of getting tickets to the Friday night game against our greatest rivals – fellow birds, the Hawthorn Hawks. Five years earlier we had the privilege of seeing the Swans beat them in a grand final. Two years later we sat horrified as our Swans got well and truly plucked by a team on a roll as the Hawks won their second of what turned out to be three consecutive GFs. As disappointing as it’s been to see our Swans do so poorly this season, it’s been offset somewhat by the schandenfreude of watching the Hawks also take a tumble to the bottom of the ladder. So part of the motivation for forking out over a hundred bucks to watch a live footy game was the likelihood of seeing the Swans pluck the Hawks for a change. The fact that it’s the Friday night game of the Indigenous Round and the chance to see indigenous superstar (and former Hawk) Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin shine only adds to the occasion. And shine he does, going on to kick five goals and astound with his dominance. The atmosphere is great and there is a real buzz in the air. But as the game unfolds, I can’t help but become increasingly annoyed by a couple of loud foul mouthed American female voices behind us. I do my best to exercise restraint. But finally I crack. I turn around towards the loudest offender and see a bespectacled woman with short cropped hair. I immediately make an assumption about her sexual orientation. “Excuse me…” She stares straight ahead. “Excuse me…” I try to get her attention by waving my hand in front of her face. She finally glares at me. “Would you mind winding the language back a bit?” She gives me a death stare. “It’s a fucking football game!” “Yes, but I’m here with my thirteen year old son.” I turn around. She is incensed and complains about me to her companion. “He thinks his fucking kid doesn’t swear…” I want to turn around and reply, “He does sometimes but gets in trouble for it – especially if he does it in public.” But I don’t. I exercise restraint. A little later Buddy scores a goal right in front of us and the crowd goes nuts. Behind me I hear “Everybody say Fuck Yeah!” I want to turn around and tell her that she is only re-enforcing the cliché of the loud and obnoxious American. But I don’t. Again, I exercise restraint. Surprisingly, a little later, so does she when she substitutes ‘frigging’ for ‘fucking’. In case I hadn’t noticed, she says, “You’re welcome for the ‘frigging’”. I’m tempted to say something. But I don’t. Restraint. In the last quarter of the game, I see her return to her row with a tray of beer. Although I just catch a glimpse, I’m confused as she now seems to have shoulder length hair. Perhaps it was tied back before and for whatever reason she’s untied it. I don’t give it anymore thought as the game is now well and truly neck and neck. Far from being the walk over we had hoped for, the Hawks have led for most of the game. But in the dying minutes the Swans surge and get ahead. The crowd goes wild – especially the drunken loudmouths. But soon it’s a tied game. The atmosphere is tense. And with less than a couple of minutes left, the Hawks’ captain, the unfortunately named Jarryd Roughhead, kicks a goal. That proves to be enough. The siren sounds. I want to scream “Fuck!” But I don’t. I exercise restraint. We quickly shuffle out of our row and away from the Americans before there can be any further unpleasant changes. Once we are safely outside the stadium, I mention how annoying the woman behind us was. My son replies, “I know. I almost turned around and told her that she looked like Skrillex’s lesbian sister!” I’m quite thrown by this. Although I know he’s referring to the dubstep artist/producer whose ‘music’ my son enjoys torturing me with, I’m unsure why this woman would look like his sister. “You know, ‘cause just like Skrillex she had one side shaved and the other really long.” Ah – that would explain my earlier confusion. I smile, thinking that my son has actually made quite a funny comparison. But I’m also relieved he didn’t actually say it to her. He exercised restraint. Thank fuck for that.