Tobe Frank - The first Saturday in October? It’s just not footy!


To be frank, I’m fuming. I’m appalled. My year has been turned upside down, upended…all because that ‘one Saturday in September’, which is supposed to be (religiously) the last Saturday in September, is now the first Saturday in October.

Yes, the biggest day in the Australian annual sporting calendar, the AFL Grand Final’, is, for the 24th time in 119 years, being held in October. Who does that? Who makes that decision? Why is there not a national community announcement at the beginning of the year? Shouldn’t there be a vote or a referendum on these types of things? Billboards spaced out at 5km intervals along the highway? Is it that hard to work backwards from the last Saturday in September and start the season 23 weeks earlier?

For the love of footy, it’s even immortalised in a song!  Surely if there’s a tune for it, it has to be sacrosanct?

Fact is, I don’t think about footy in October. I don’t plan for footy in October. It doesn’t cause alarm when the Missus says we’re going to some distant, long lost relative’s wedding in October…specifically October 3 2015! Generally, I know that my October weekends are spent catching up on all the household chores that have been ignored for a few months thanks to the footy and my resident status as a couch potato. By October, the Missus’ list is so long she has run out of pages in the notebook and I can’t buy anything else from Bunnings if I haven’t used the last two dozen things I’ve bought.

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Alas, my beloved Hawks have made it to their 4th straight AFL Grand Final and I, for the first time since 2008 (yes this has happened before), CAN’T WATCH IT! They have a chance to secure an elusive hat-trick of flags, and I’ll be stuck in a wedding fully of people I don’t know…most of whom are tattooed to the gills and will be so drunk by time the speeches get underway that I reckon the MC will be able to recite lyrics to a Wiggle song and still get a rise out of the crowd.

With any luck I’ll be sitting next to Aunt Estelle who has a tendency to fall asleep at will and snores louder than a coffee grinder…which is great because it’ll mask the sound of the footy being played on my iPhone and will muffle my sporadic and uncontainable shouts of joy should Cyril Rioli slot a glorious goal from the boundary line.

I can’t decide whether it’s piss poor planning, ignorance, karma, just plain inevitability or a super cocktail of all the above.

Honestly, there are not too many things I like to do more than watch the Hawks win a flag. They’ve been doing it regularly since I was a boy. In fact they’ve done it more regularly than anyone else and at least once a decade since I was 12.

So, I’m just going to have to record the game on every device in the house, and resist the urge to check the score on my phone, turn off the radio on the way to and from the wedding and just pray to god I don’t get any spoilers among the crowd.

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I’ll settle for a late night or early morning rerun if I don’t know who’s won the game. I just hope my boys come through.

Who will you be supporting today? Have you ever been caught out by something being on when it wasn’t suppose to be?