While our footy is clearly the preeminent form of the game, we’re not opposed to the round ball version at all. We were impressed with FIFA-playing Tiger, Jack Higgins’, ‘Cristiano Ronaldo inspired … mid-air soccer goal’ in the third quarter against the Hawks at the MCG.
Also in Tigerland (aka Richmond) last Sunday we noticed happy Tigers, and dispirited Hawks, leaving the G and crossing paths with Melbourne Victory fans who were on their way to watch the round ball game.
While these are examples of symbiosis and respect, such positive feelings have not always been seen around town. In 1927 Caulfield soccer players required police protection to use their ground as the Malvern football club was unlawfully using the soccer players’ ground, having stolen a key and broken into their dressing rooms (The Age, 1 August 1927, p5).
This prompted us to head to 1927 to see what was happening in the round 4 Footy Record (Vol 16, no 4, 21 May).
While Melbourne was reliving summer last Sunday, in 1927 the weather was wreaking havoc for footy. Our columnist Chatterer declared the previous Saturday ‘an awful day for footballing’ (p3) but was sanguine saying that ‘we have to take the day as it comes’ (p9) (See national weather chart for 13 May 1927 in The Argus 14 May 1927, p35.)
Wind was the culprit, it ‘shook many goals from the teams’ but ‘barrackers excused mistakes of players’. They still, however, ‘said rude things as usual about some of the umpires … Poor old umpy!’ (p3).
In round 3 of 1927 North lost to Geelong by 2 points – but North were described as a ‘vastly improved combination’ with ‘their big men’ being ‘fast in action and clever’. Geelong ‘rose to the occasion’ but they ‘did not hang together like the Geelong of the past’ (p11). The ‘Carltonians’ beat Essendon in spite of the ‘great deal of damage’ the wind did, but Chatterer was full of praise as ‘The lads worked hard all day and did their best’ (p13). The Essendon supporters were said to have been ‘highly pleased’ with the ‘sturdy determined spirit’ with which their players finished the game (p13). This is not quite how the Bombers played last week against the Doggies, when they were called ‘the walking dead’ by former Kangaroo and current commentator David King – clearly they need to look to their past to reinvigorate their play!
We hope our teams draw inspiration from all sources for this week’s games. Perhaps, however, players could hold off on biting, but the Man bites Dog headline did make us chuckle.
May we all see a sturdy determined spirit in our players this week.