Following a football team, seriously and committedly, so often feels like a fruitless endeavour. For years, fans suffer in ignominy as their team under-performs and follows one losing season with another. Coaches get sacked on a presidential whim; promising players leave for better-run clubs; injuries strike down established stars. And then, when the good times, or the great season finally arrives in which one’s team win’s the flag, instead of being stent a hand-signed letter from every player thanking one for long-suffering loyalty, one is reduced to being one in tens of thousands who turn up at fan days to applaud and laud the heroic players. And on top of that you’ll let yourself get sucked into buying over-priced merchandise and memorabilia and perhaps inflicting oneself with a tattoo.
For one reason or another, I ditched my old team and started to love Richmond fourteen footy seasons ago. They have finished in the top half of the table three times out of these 14 opportunities. I don’t want to imagine what the win-loss ratio is. There are probably more productive and less depressing hobbies to engage in. But, I maintain it nonetheless and I’m reluctant to give up on them just because they’re 1:3 after a month of games in 2016. I do have other serious hobbies; I try to live a balanced life. But sometimes a sporting life might be easier if one just read books on sport or played sport rather than bothered with watching and following a team.
Here is a piece I’ve written for Tiger Tiger Burning Bright, a Richmond fan blog, “My Club or My Team“.