Today I am a happy girl. Ridiculously happy really when all things are put into perspective. Things like, today is Federal Budget day and there will no doubt be some real pain in there for many. And don’t even get me started on the asylum seeker debate – a debate requiring a more serious post than today’s.
But today I am happy because a group of men/boys beat their opponents by three points in a round of sport last night. Yes, the mighty Blues stood up against unrelenting pressure from the Saints who by all accounts, were fighting for their season last night.
According to commentators, the victory proved Carlton should be taken seriously this year as a top four contender. For me, the fact “we” are in the top three past the opening round of the season is making me excited in ways I cannot even begin to describe.
Yet there is this part of my brain which keeps asking – why am I so happy about this result? Why do I become all tingly every time I open a news website, searching for more articles about the win?
What it is about a game of football that makes me feel this way?
It’s not like I ever really played the game myself. Auskick didn’t exist back in the day and the only kicking I ever did was a few half-hearted drop punts around the oval on our Year 12 muck-up day. Yes – we were wild and crazy at our muck-up days in the 80’s in Tassie. Those Xavier boys could have learnt a thing or two.
Given I was raised in a family with five older brothers, and dragged along to watch more than a few games, it’s a little surprising I’m not a better kick when I think about it.
But that was me back then – the observer rather than the doer. Still, it is a big jump from being forced to watch your brother play reserves TFL footy to becoming a passionate Carlton supporter. Especially when you grew up in another state, and only got to see your team play around once every four years.
I’ve tried to think about what I love about watching a live game. I love the anticipation before the game, the butterfly dance in my stomach. I love feeling part of a tribe, sharing my love and belief in the Navy and White with strangers.
When the ball is stolen out of the opposition’s possession, and one of the boys runs, runs, runs and BOOM shoots truly for goal – I jump to my feet, pump my fists, scream my happiness and wave the flag. Usually inadvertently in an opposition supporter’s face. Ok, maybe not so accidentally.
And I love shouting out the tribal cries of “Judd-eeee” or “Ed-eee”, and best of, “BAALLL”.
When I look back at what I have written, my explanation for why I love the game seems inadequate. Sometimes I nearly feel embarrassed to confess I love the game/blues so much. Almost like it is daggy or worse – for bogans.
Still here I am, counting down the days till I can finally take my boy to see “our boys” for the first time this season.
When the final siren goes and the crowd chants “Rat-ta-dat-du-da” I know I’ll be dancing with pure, unadulterated joy, both from the victory and the fact I can share the passion with my son. And I guess if something so simple can rock my boat, then there is indeed reason to be happy.
Cheers and Go Blues,
PS I am trying to avoid comment on the “away” strip colours. Hard to be the Navy Blues when you’re wearing Baby Blue.