Right arena to be loud and proud — but not obnoxious

Raelene HallMidwest Times
No one wants to see the two best footy teams lining up for the grand final at the MCG and not hear the passion from the fans.
Camera IconNo one wants to see the two best footy teams lining up for the grand final at the MCG and not hear the passion from the fans. Credit: The West Australian, Simon Santi

Just when you think our world can’t get any more stupid along comes the “Behavioural Awareness Officers” at the footy. Suddenly I feel like taking up drinking.

What is footy without a lot of yelling and shouting, a few expletives (nothing worse than you would hear on any street/train/bus in Perth) and telling the umpires they are “silly people who don’t know the rules”?

I grew up in the country where sport, including footy, was a regular part of winter afternoons.

People travelled for miles for the fixtures and everyone, from little kids through to older folk, all participated in one way or another. As a kid I spent all my time bothering mothers to allow me to push their babies in their prams. My mother wasn’t a sportswoman but spent time in the kitchen organising afternoon teas and the pies and beers for after the games.

Barracking was an integral part of any sporting game and, as most of the adult players in the footy were husbands, sons or boyfriends, the women were very forthright in the defence of their men, and, as for the umpire, he couldn’t do anything right, depending on which side you were cheering for. It didn’t stop him joining in with everyone for a pie and beer at the end of the game.

Now I know AFL is another level, and it’s a business as much as a sport, but what I think the boffins who run the AFL need to remember is, it’s the supporters and their passion that makes football what it is.

Do they really think the top players would be willing to play a game without any supporters? If they keep going with their political correctness that’s the way footy will be heading.

Imagine the last Saturday of September, with the two best teams lining up for the game to end all games — the grand final at the MCG, and not hearing that passion from the fans?

There is no room for violence nor for racial abuse but good old fashioned cheering (and jeering) has always been, and should always continue to be, part of our game.

Some people complain about offensive language but who determines exactly what that is? What’s offensive to one isn’t to another.

Footy is a game built on skill and passion. Let’s not lose the latter.

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