In the famous words of Mick Thomas (Weddings Parties Anything) in 1993, ‘…every Saturday is Father’s Day…’
For as long as I can remember, every Saturday has belonged to my father and I.
Winter Saturdays take us all over Melbourne (and sometimes further) supporting our boys Power House AFC in the VAFA.
On any other given day of the weekend, you’ll find us anywhere between Kardinia Park and the MCG, following our beloved Geelong Cats.
It’s during these travels that my Dad has opened up about his football past and the life-changing moments etched into his memory.
On these long trips, I’ve learnt a lot about my dad’s football world, filled with muddy boots, all-time highs and all-time lows and the influence that the football world has had on him.
So, this Father’s Day, I took my Dad to see the Coodabeen Champions, the football band that intertwines the love of grassroots with the heroes of the bygone.
The Coodabeen Champions summed up every single story I was raised with.
From DiPierdomenico, to Brereton and the MCC Reserve, each song held a specific memory that I had heard, but now was able to comprehend, to fully grasp what old time footy meant to my Dad.
But, these stories of a time I was never a part of, now had meaning behind them, and passion, too.
I finally felt what Dad has wanted to share with me all these years.
I understood what all these stories meant. In a mere two hours, my Dad’s very own history, legacy and life were unraveled through song and humor in front of my very eyes.
And suddenly, this football journey of his (and now mine) made perfect sense.
My mum always reminds us to look to the future, but I know Dad struggles with this concept.
Because some of the greatest times, memories and moments that shaped my Dad, all occurred in his football past.
Whether they be through Gary Ablett Seniors’ magic, Brereton’s grit, Drew Morphett’s unique love of our game, or that infamous train to Montmorency, Dad was raised with the Coodabeen Champions.
So now, he shares this with me, his daughter, growing up in such a fast-paced football world, where technology and rules are overused and the true grassroots feel is sadly disappearing.
Greg Champion stated at the end of the show that he ‘didn’t really know what the thing about football was’, but I think I do.
It’s the seamless ability to intertwine such a special history with such a hopeful future, just like my Dad’s football past connecting with my future.
It’s Saturday’s at the footy, just Dad and Anna.