I have never been a follower of AFL. For as far back as I can remember I could not understand the appeal of watching a bunch of male meatheads running around a field wearing their ridiculous getup of long socks and shorty-shorts, sweating, and spitting on the field – revolting!
And what’s with the pathetic little push and shove matches they get into? They don’t look tough, they look like dickheads.
For a brief time when I was around eight or nine I wore a Geelong FC scarf because our primary school had a “footy colours” day, and I felt like the odd one out for not having a team. I’ve even attended a match or two, and I can tell you I was freezing, miserable, surrounded by screaming fans (what were they even screaming about?), and bored out of my bloody mind.
Growing up in regional Victoria, not following AFL can be tough. You’re definitely in the minority, and it was always awkward when someone tried to make small talk by asking which team you barrack for. All my family and friends were into it and later, my husband.
Unwaveringly, I still never got on the bandwagon. In fact, as I grew up and watched more news, and saw the way the AFL and its players represented themselves, my disinterest grew into dislike, and eventually hatred and disgust.