Though my father had played for Footscray reserves and grew up only a few streets from the Western Oval, he was not a keen follower of their fortunes, and rarely attended games during my childhood. Working second jobs at night (as a milkman or cleaner to supplement his income as a draftsman) he could have been forgiven for pining for respite on the weekends; instead he always encouraged my mother (the true Bulldogs fanatic) to head off off each week to see her beloved team.
(He was so new-age that he even prepared dinner for when she and I - for as the eldest I was allowed the privilege of sitting with her in the John Gent stand - returned home. Daringly he replaced the usual three meat and veg with the occasional experiment with a new fangled product called Rice-A-Riso. But I am digressing. For not the first, and not remotely the last, time).
On one occasion as Mum forlornly steered the family car up the driveway after the last match of the season - another loss by the red, white and blue - my father was waiting for us on the front porch, cheerfully brandishing a wooden spoon. I had only a vague understanding, though this became clearer from my mother's reaction to his "humour", that the fact that the Dogs had just collected this spoon (do other sporting competitions call them this, I wonder?) was most emphatically not a good thing.
About the Bulldog Tragician
The Tragician blog began in 2013 as a way of recording what it is like to barrack for a perennially unsuccessful team - the AFL team, the Western Bulldogs.