Easy tigers, the footy is back in its cage: Opinion

OK, that’s enough. The footy’s over for the year and normal life can resume. We can start paying some attention again to the jittery state of our national cricket efforts, or whether interest rates are going up or if it’s time to take the cover off the backyard pool. Important stuff.

This final series – especially grand final day – saw some fascinating Australian social behaviour. I think it’s becoming more intense as the years go on.

For example, one butcher shop I went into last weekend had black and yellow sausages. Really. I asked how he’d achieved this noble gastronomic high point. By inserting (wait for it) Vegemite in curry sausages.

He said they were delicious. “Walking out the door,” were his precise words. What? The sausages or the customers? Whatever. He was having a bit of fun and at last report, no-one had died.

Then there was the wedding my daughter attended in which the marriage ceremony was held around lunch-time, then everyone adjourned to a nearby hotel to watch the Tigers-Crows match on the big screen and then resume the festivities with a reception.

Having been previously connected to the original AFL – the Anti-Football League – I don’t tend to take too much interest in the sport other than consuming news reports of snapping hammies, crucial cruciate ligaments and the end of season sport of coach cutting. I do, however, usually enjoy the grand final on TV if mainly for the sense of occasion.

Sometimes, it’s even a fascinating sporting contest, such as last year’s win by the Western Bulldogs. The Tigers turned on a pretty good spectacle this year.

Nearly as entertaining as some of the public reaction. Such as the explosive emotions shown by former Addy journo, now Seven Network US bureau chief Mike Amor and his Dad – also a former Addy chap, Neil. Their reactions at Richmond’s win was posted by Mike on Facebook and it was like an entire kindergarten class after sculling 100 litres of red cordial and 10 kilos of raspberry snakes.

Again, it’s all good clean fun and as far as we know, no-one died.

We shared the grand final afternoon at a camp ground with some friends who under normal conditions are nice, respectful and even conservative folk. Something happened. One woman made a ‘Tiger chandelier’ out of a wire coat-hanger, black and yellow serviettes and a camping torch. Another chap walked about in public, showing off his Tiger ‘jumpe’ made up from a cut-out newspaper page.

None of us knew a damn thing about football, but were betting on who’d kick the first goal in each quarter, which team would win and by how much. I would not know Dustin Martin from Dusty Springfield – only that she probably sings better than him.

By the end of the match we were all leaping from our chairs and cheering this colossus of Punt Road and telling all and sundry that he was from our part of the woods.

Mrs Whacked knows as much about footy as I do, which is why, by the end of the game, some companions were getting a little snippy that between the two of us, we’d won the pool for every first goal scorer of each quarter.

And I picked the result and the closest winning margin.

We were so proud and the $22 will be put to good use.

So, that’s enough football excitement for one year and it’s time to start shouting at the Australian cricket team.

WAYNE GREGSON