Posted by Andy Bell
This time last year I shrugged off a hangover of monumental proportions to write of my disappointment at a Preliminary Final loss by the Western Bulldogs to St Kilda and of my feelings for my team.
Plus ca change, plus la meme chose, as we were saying after the siren in Bay P9 last night (Spetember 19th) as we digested a 24 point loss and the retirement of club stalwart Brad Johnson.
Beloved Bulldogs they were and are.
But it’s at times like this that we need to retain a grip.
As the late and great cricket commentator John Arlott once wrote, “we take sport too seriously and life too lightly”.
He was correct, and I say that as someone who has shed tears and suffered long celebrations all in the name of some kind of leather covered ball.
However, watching sport and barracking for a team (aka your tribe) does teach you lessons for life.
Nothing happens without effort. Success is hard work and fleeting. Loss is hard, but not forever. People completely different from you can share the same passion.
And so on.
In the hours after yet another Preliminary Final loss there is a feeling of sadness and disappointment, but however deep the hurt it isn’t fatal.
There are people dying as they go to vote in Afghanistan.
There are people in Pakistan who have lost the little they own in catastrophic floods.
There are people who deeply love each other whose relationships are not respected in Australia.
I love my Bulldogs, I admire Johnno and I wish I was going to a Grand Final.
But as the heartache of the MCG fades, I also remember that footy is part of a broader human canvas.
And what a picture that is.