THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD“Turn and face the strange ch-ch-ch-changes” Sydney. Are you ready for it? I’m not sure you are. Especially not here in the Eastern Suburbs. Sydney’s not a one swan town anymore, there’s a giant new bird down the local, ruffling feathers and generally running amok.
If you’re struggling to follow (which, I admit, would be perfectly reasonable given that gibberish), I am talking about the AFL. Specifically, the removal of the Sydney Swans as our town’s number one team.
Yes, I realise David Bowie wasn’t singing about football – perhaps the complete opposite – and the GWS Giants’ mascot isn’t even a bird, let alone a giant one, but football fans can still learn a lot from that song. In the blink of the eye, the Swans have gone from being the only team in town, to the ‘big brother’, and now they’re essentially the understudy. And like the young man in that song, they’ll make life a lot easier on themselves if they just turn around and embrace it.
It’s not easy to cuddle up to another football team’s success, though. Winning is a habit, they say, but I see it as more of a lover, and when someone starts stealing your lover from you, you’re bound to get a little tetchy. And don’t kid yourselves, Swans fans, GWS are no longer courting your spouse, they are very much inside your marital bedroom.
For the moment you are in there with them. It’s a bit of a sexy threesome. Everyone’s having fun. But they are the better lover now, and will be for some time. They’re new, fresh and have some strange and serious moves. It’s only natural that your tired old routine isn’t going to hold much interest anymore.
You need to reinvent yourself, but that’s going to take time. I think you might even spend some time out of the bedroom (during the finals) over the next few years.
It won’t be easy grinding away on your own. Welcome to the world of equality. It’s been a while since you had to douse yourself in its glassy waters. Swans fans are a fickle bunch, too. A lot of them won’t hang around, proving yet another eternal truth that you can have all the money in the world, but even the most expensive whores won’t love you.
They’ll hang around while times are good, but as soon as you’re taking them out for burgers instead of lobster, they’ll be out the door – even if those burgers are from Bondi Tony’s.
This is when you’ll find out who your real friends are. Remember them. They are your spine, your heart, your family. We all seem to live for our brain and genitals these days – and don’t get me wrong, when things are good, you can have a hell of a time with them – but a little bit of failure can be a good way to find your heart. So, good luck Sydney Swans, you need it now more than ever.