RaUM – Anxiety Pleasures


Footy moves quickly. From 1983-2012 Richmond were known as a basket case club full of under-achieving teams followed by easily angered fans. Then, there were a few years of mediocrity: making the finals but losing them. And then, suddenly, a team that would not wilt; would not cave in and just kept on getting better, one game at a time, until there was no other team left to beat. The MCG was showered in yellow and black confetti, the cheers filled the air, tears fill onto  well-worn scarves. Long-time fans hugged one another; knowing the others’ depth of pain and joy. Fifth-generation Richmond fans wrote lovingly of their fulfilment, never even in the slightest expecting this joyful moment to arrive so quickly. Others splurged on countless premiership merch. How the dream was realised still warrants analysis weeks after the events. For the truest of Tiger fans, the moments of Graham’s goals, Jack’s tackles, Shedda’s handballs are a part of the ever-present present.

This 4th edition has been slow in the making. Events over-took it. The intoxication and euphoria of winning the Flag proved a catalyst for new conversations and friendships. But, I begin with a more sombre reflection, a ‘confession’ from a recently retired player; a player who never played for Richmond: Chris Yarran. I did some other things too: a translation of the song into Indonesian; some conversations with extremely admirable and dedicated fans – Angela, Scot, Tony, Peter. There is a letter too to President Peggy O’Neal whose steady and even-handed guiding of the Club has re-shaped it beyond recognition from the poor club she first came across when she first moved to Richmond some 20 -plus years ago. I put a map in it also; of where I have seen players, on the loose and in the wilds of suburban Richmond. And there are some clippings, too. Anxiety pleasures: well, that’s what Richmond-fandom feels like to me.

A5; yellow and black paper; blood, sweat and tears.

Paper, glue, saddle-stitch binding, paper clip

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