Is the world black and white to you? Is it yellow and black? Is it maybe blue and gold?
To me, the world is black and white. Nevertheless, I don’t deny that I definitely let other colours into my life.
Growing up in my household, football was never a big deal or a topic of conversation. This is due to the fact that my parents, and my brother and I, are from South Africa. Over there they don’t have the AFL or anything like it. This meant that when we came to Australia, Mum and Dad continued following the cricket, rugby, and other sports which they followed in Cape Town.
However, we’ve been here now for nineteen years, and believe me, in those nineteen years there have been some big changes. Both my Dad and I barrack for Collingwood, and my brother and my Mum barrack for Richmond. If I’m being honest, I don’t religiously follow the football at all. Often, I’m just sitting in the lounge room with Dad and he’ll put the game on, and I watch it because I’m already sitting there. I don’t go to football games or have a club membership, but I do follow Collingwood, and I tell people I follow Collingwood when I’m asked.
In comparison to me, my Dad loves the football. While he doesn’t go to games all that often, he always watches Collingwood play when they’re on TV. You’d probably be able to hear him yelling at the TV from the end of the street! He knows all the players names, the rules of the game, and the lyrics to the club song. It makes for quite a show when we win a game, as he turns the volume up on the TV and sits there singing along with it!
My Mum is an absolute Richmond nutter! She goes to every game she can, and always takes friends along with her. Just like my Dad, Mum loves to sit and yell at the TV as though the players can hear her and take her advice. She’s got a membership, a scarf, a blanket, stickers on her car, and even a little tiger soft toy. She’s Richmond obsessed like I’ve never seen before!
If you were to ask me when I became a Collingwood supporter, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. I genuinely don’t remember. When I was in primary school we used to have ‘footy day’ where we got to come to school dressed in the colours of the team we supported. Every year you’d find me sporting different colours to the year before because I could never make up my mind!
My brother, on the other hand, has always been a Richmond supporter. He’s not as crazy about it as Mum is, but he has supported Richmond for as long as I can recall. I remember a story Mum and Dad told me about my brother right after he started following Richmond. He chose the team, and Mum and Dad went out and bought him a membership, a jersey, a scarf, and all the Richmond merchandise they could. Sadly, about a month later Richmond was absolutely obliterated in the Grand Final, and my brother was so upset he told Mum and Dad he was choosing a new football team to follow. Mum and Dad said they were scrambling because they’d just spent all this money on Richmond merchandise for him and didn’t want it to all be a waste! So, they gave him this long, motivational speech about how once you choose something, like a team, you have to stick to them and stand behind them. Even if they fail and lose, you can’t just give up on them straight away. And guess what? My brother still follows Richmond today, so I guess the speech worked!
I know that football is popular, and I genuinely do enjoy watching Collingwood play, but I would also just as happily watch a movie. Even so, I will not deny that I follow Collingwood, and I am proud to say that I choose “Good Old Collingwood”!
NOTE: This is an article I wrote for The Footy Almanac