The war that’s not a war
128 Have your say
There is no such thing as a football code war.
On all sides of the media we hear pundits – who are apparently different to normal people – spouting lines about the “Barassi line” and poaching players.
Israel Folau and Karmichael Hunt have become household names and part of marketing campaigns for the AFL juggernaut’s entrance to new regions.
I see groups of media playing out the implied western front of sport that actually is western Sydney, adding a range of sound bites from angry coaches or managers.
Yet I don’t see a war and I’ll give you a quick insight about it.
Almost every sports fan I speak with has more than one code that they enjoy and follow.
I play football (the soccer variety) and at every training the conversation starts with how a teammate’s AFL club went on the weekend.
If I log onto twitter on a Sunday afternoon my feed from other A-League fans will be filled with comments on the day’s AFL or NRL games.
My friendship group’s last A-League grand final barbeque was to be held by a devout Geelong Cats fan, right up until his cable TV was removed only days before.
What this indicates is that the fans of sport love a good game, especially the ones they understand well.
This kind of fan is not a rarity, especially among those I know and have met. And for those who don’t enjoy a league or union match, I’ve never really felt threatened by the appearance of the Storm and Rebels.
An actual fan enjoys sport for the merits of it, without yelling obscenities at other fans.
In fact most comments that are quoted by media from online forums border on verbal assault; anyone yelling that would be banned from most Australian venues.
These games are not being voted off the island like some form of bad reality TV show or into office like a democracy, but the most people have to do is choose if there is a time clash between two code’s games.
And no fan wants to decide which team they’d rather watch if they could go to both.
I know the media likes a controversy more than anyone else, but why do we put up the with the promotion of a dislike or hate between the groups, especially when it doesn’t actually exist?