But it’s a great game

The Grand Final parade is just outside my door here on Swanston Street. And I may have mentioned this before but part of the way I think the Australian personality has been molded into possibly the most tolerant nation on earth is because we began with our football leagues only local. The AFL not all that long ago was the VFL. So when you went to the footy, there you were standing shoulder to shoulder with people who barracked for Collingwood or Essendon. And most of the time – not always but most of the time – people learned to be civilised in spite of all the mean things people said to each other. And the phrase I would hear time and again to cool things off would be, “but it’s a great game”. And so it is. The game is the thing and transcends all personal differences.

The Grand Final is tomorrow, Hawthorn (the first team I followed in Australia but not for very long) against the Dockers of Fremantle. For me, on this one day in September, I will revert to following the colours of my university.

White and purple colours are
Worn by all who know
Just which college is the best
Come and let us show.

But it is a great game, the best form of football found anywhere in the world, and I’ve watched them all.