Going Home

It can take me an eternity to decide what to wear to a game of football. So many factors. Is it a traditional rival, or one of those new fangled out-of-town teams? Is it pre season, which means donning last years Charity Shield jersey, or is it Anzac Day and time for the commemorative St George ?Red V with the Gun Barrel Green??

By the time I?ve decided to either throw on a throwback, or toss on a traditional, it?s half time and I end up going to the pub instead.

Now, if it can be hard to decide what to wear to the footy, imagine working out what to wear to a funeral.

Especially, if it is your own.

It may be morose, but there are three certainties in life - death, taxes, and Cronulla never winning a Premiership. So, you may as well plan your exit, and there's no better time than now. You have to, if you want your wishes carried out by those you leave behind. And let?s face it, they?ve probably already raided your sock draw and snogged your missus, so it?s the least they can do.

According to Olsen?s Funerals, being buried in a football jumper, having one draped over the coffin, or one dropped in the box with you is a common occurrence.

As their spokesperson, (who sounded disappointed I was merely researching an article and not booking a job) said, ?it is all part of the grieving process?.

Apparently, having a jumper or scarf that meant something to the departed creates a link to that person and is part of the celebration of their life. It says something about who they were, where they came from and what they believed in.

For the religious, I also reckon it lets them think St Peter will be able to identify them and put them together with their fellow fans, where they can swap war stories. Otherwise you could be stuck for eternity with a Manly fan, which would prove John Paul Sartre?s assumption that ?hell is other people?.

But there?s more to being laid to rest than just the ceremony.

It?s a little known fact that when players run onto Oki Stadium, they are running onto a field that contains the human remains of those whose ashes have been scattered to the winds. For some looking for a pleasant place of rest, a footy field comes to mind. Personally all my memories of foot fields are stressful and not something I wish to take into the afterlife.

Local councils, who cite environmental concerns frown upon this act. But it goes on. And it?s not restricted to Rugby League either.

A woman recently put her late husband, A St Kilda fan, to rest by taking his urn and punting it through the goals at Morrabbin Oval. Unfortunately, it was only a behind, and the Sainters lost on the day by 5. Being a mad Saints fan all his life, the deceased should have expected nothing more.

But be careful of the dead. As Homer Simpson says, ?they have spooky powers?. There?s the story of the Dragons fan whose last request was that his final resting place be OKI Jubilee Stadium. But being a Catholic meant cremation was not an option. Instead, he was preserved by the local taxidermist, and his body placed in a seat at the back of the grandstand. Years rolled by and he patiently watched his beloved team, until during the horror stretch of the late 80s, the corpse was seen to get up and leave the ground.

While I?ve made light of a serious subject, it?s not meant with any disrespect.

Life should be celebrated, just as footy should be celebrated, and as such, I intend to be buried in one of my many St George jumpers.

But, which one? It all comes down to the question, will I be playing at home, or away.

If I?ve been good all my life I'll be playing at home.

And If I?ve been bad, I hear short sleeves are best for those extreme hot climates. Cotton may also absorb the sweat from the fires of damnation.

Anyway, when it happens, and hopefully not for many years time, I hope you can all come for the celebration.

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