You know you are starting to get a bit old when you hear your Dad’s words coming out of your mouth. Some youngsters will have a quiet chuckle at their father’s differing views on their surroundings, others will thrash and kick and fight their old man through their younger years. While the type of reaction and its severity is dependant on the views and passions of each party, the point is that seldom do a father and son quite get the other’s viewpoint.
This was no more evident to me than when I took my 5 year old son, Richard, to the footy to see Richmond v Carlton at the MCG on Saturday afternoon. While the result of the match, the Blues overwhelming a sluggish Richmond, certainly played its part in dulling my enjoyment of the event, it was the extra to football bells and whistles that spoiled the footy for this 32 year old with an 80 year old’s mentality.
Why must the speakers at the footy be so bloody loud? Why must they talk at me non-stop? Can there be a moment’s piece where there are no drums or music or experts blabbering on about this and that? Can’t I just sit for a few precious moments in anticipation or in reverie of the bloody footy?
My son didn’t seem too perturbed by it all. I’m sure he’ll grow up thinking it was normal, and he even grinned at me with youthful exuberance when a bunch of percussionists started playing the Richmond “Jungle Drums”. I’m not overly sure why they do that, but I do very much recall being able to enjoy the footy and foster a love of my club without drums when I was a kid. I smiled back at him.
At half time I called my brother Marty in an attempt to vent out my frustration over the horrendous second quarter that had seen our 30 point lead dwindle down to pretty much a solitary kick. There was a vast array of things that I was keen to get off my chest, like my side, seemingly on a weekly basis, appearing satisfied with being ahead by a few goals and using this satisfaction as a reason to stop playing in a manner that earned them the lead.
I was not really able to impart my views on this and the use of pick 6 in the 2010 National Draft on the sloppily skilled Reece Conca to my brother as I was too busy being bombarded by James Sherry’s attempts to get me to buy Tiger apparel with purple on it for some reason. It was a good thing that Marty clearly heard my frustration at the speakers and took it as a good reason to make an excuse to get off the phone because if I was still failing to speak to him when SEN’s “expert commentators” came on the big screen to tell me what I could clearly see for myself then I might have burst into a roar of “Shut up, Mark Allen!!!”
How did Mark Allen become a footy commentator anyway? He’s a golfer!
Mark Allen and the terminally negative bearded waffle Robert Walls ceased their sermon and then “When Two Tribes Go To War” came blaring out of the speakers at least 3 times in a failed attempt to get me excited about footy. I say failed attempt because I was excited to watch the footy already. I had gone to the footy to watch footy, of course I’m going to be excited about it. All the music did was make me enjoy my experience at half time less.
The match continued and the Tigers got progressively worse and more frustrating, but I was probably just anxious to head off to the Tiger Superstore to get myself a purple training top. I’m sure the whole purple thing was for a good cause, but if it wasn’t that they were banging on about then I’m sure they would have been talking at me about something else.
Wouldn’t it be nice in this day and age to be able to sit at the footy with the hum of the crowd and your own thoughts? Or to be able to have a conversation with someone without straining to hear? It’s like the MCG staff can’t work out that people are ok with going to the footy just to watch the footy. It’s not just the footy though, it’s anywhere and with everything. It’s like the world thinks people can no longer handle any moment without some kind of sensory experience; without information.
I don’t need people banging away at me all the time; in fact, I prefer not. If people want to read this, they will. If they choose not, then they won’t. Life is better when you have choice, and at the MCG you have no choice. Actually, your only choice is to not go.
Anyway, as I said, my son seemed not to notice or care. Actually, he speaks very highly of his experience. That said, it is probably the kick to kick we had outside the stadium before and after the game that he remembers most fondly. Me too.