3 days ago
Last night I sat in front of the tv watching the normal boredom of the annual Daley Messenger Awards and was thinking of the annual grand final bbq I religiously attend when the phone rang.
It was my son who lives in Sydney and he wanted me to go fishing soon so he could make the bookings. I asked him what dates was he thinking of and he told me the 1-4th October as he couldn't get any more time off until Christmas.
I was stunned and thought what? ?miss out on the grand final bbq, he knows I either go to a friends house every year or to the club for the day, watch the grand final and eat a steak or two?? As I held on and was silent I could hear him saying ?Dad do you want to go or not?. I told him I would ring him back shortly with an answer,
Sitting on the lounge I wondered why over the years I had enjoyed going to the Grand Final bbq with my friends? I thought of the conversation and the ragging of each other as we had made fun of each other's team and the wearing our team colors. If our team had made the grand final, it gave us bagging rights over the rest. In fact it became our day as we were feted and waited on by others. Needless to say if your team won, you were King for the day.
It all started in the days of teams we all associated with, the Roosters, Saints, Berries, West, Eels, Rabbitohs, Balmain, Manly, Norths, Newtown etc when we were young bucks. We grew up with these teams and were sworn supporters of our clubs.
Something started to change, slowly but surely. Some of the guys stopped wearing their colors and jeans and shirts became more prevalent. I started to realize that the influx of new teams and the amalgamation of others had taken away something from the game for us. The year that Melbourne played Saints in the grand final was the watershed and only three of us had bothered to put our team colors on. Sure it was a great day and a good game of football but we were quieter than usual. Not one of us followed Melbourne.
The friends that I have known for many years mean a lot to me as we have developed from acquaintances to become such staunch companions but I also noticed that several hadn't bothered to turn up at all last year. I had put that down to the fact that we are getting older and the next day is harder to handle after a good night out. In fact I also thought we used to have more turn up when the game was played in the afternoon.
The question is ?was it age that had kept them away or the fact that they couldn't associate themselves with the two teams playing??
I thought about this year's semi final teams and see names like The Raiders, The Storm, The Broncos, The Knights playing for the premiership. I wondered how many would turn up to the bbq if by some strange chance that the Broncos played Melbourne. Sure it would be a great game played by two very good teams but it wouldn't mean anything to me nor most of my friends.
I could see the game had changed but we hadn't. We were the grass root supporters who could never change teams. Like most people we had not adapted but lived in the days of past glories and afternoon grand finals.
Some of our friends are no longer with us and our families are getting older as we are. Time with the family now means a lot to us all. I think we had lost some feeling for the game.
I thought of the offer from my son to go fishing. Burrunjuck Dam is full of wild life, birds that you can feed by hand, kangaroos that takes food from you, grassy camping grounds and plenty of trees that you can lie under and absorb the heat of the day. We normally play two handed euchre at night and listen to the crickets and just relax. The fishing could be good and the best thing about the dam is tha radio coverage isn't the best.
So I rang back my son and said ?Lets go fishing Son?.