A finals bromance
The impending footballing weekend is all about “bromance”, that modern term which refers to the state of male bonding when mateship goes all misty-eyed and meaningful.
In the real world, men shake hands firmly, then brusquely ask “how’s it goin’ champ?”. Sport is different. When sportsmen step over that white line, they enter a beautiful parallel universe. They pat each other on the arse and tell each other “I love you like a brother”. And they mean it.
Male team sport was made for man love. Not the Brokeback Mountain kind of love, (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but a special form of mutual admiration.
This weekend, it’ll pay to keep a wheelie bin’s worth of man-sized tissues handy, as two of sport’s greatest bromances burst forth into brilliant bloom in the exquisitely fragrant spring air.
In the NRL, perennial “It” couple Darren Lockyer and Wayne Bennett go face to face, in a showdown which will see one of them eliminated.
Once, this match-up would have been as unthinkable as Storm Boy facing Mr Percival in a pistol duel, or Sonny vs Skippy over 12 rounds.
Yet here they are, the Broncos legend in that familar maroon and yellow jumper which compliments his complexion so perfectly, and his former mentor who has since moved to the Dragons, claiming yet another inevitable premiership.
The duo have both been interviewed at length this week. We could dig up the quotes but there’s no need, as it pretty much went like this.
“I love him.”
“No, no. I love him more. For lo, he is more beautiful than tulips and baby rabbits.”
“That would be very, very hard, as my love for him is as eternal as the moon’s orbit around the sun…” *
And so on.
Whatever happens in the football game which may yet break out between fits of aching longing, one man will be closer to grand final glory.
And that means, he’ll still have the chance to lift the ultimate bromance trophy in any sport, anywhere.
In the AFL, while players agitate for pay increases up to 7 per cent (which is way more than most of us ever get), the greed is thankfully playing second fiddle to an even greater tale of bromance.
This one is all about Sydney Swans legend Adam Goodes, who tonight plays his 300th game, a milestone just 63 others have reached, including Goodes’ great bromance buddy, Michael O’Loughlin.
In their heyday at the Swans, their was no greater bromance than Goodesy and Mickey O. On and off the field, their togetherness was as delicious as a Bruce McAvaney analogy.
But in a sense, every man who follows the sport of AFL has his own personal bromance with Goodes, even if most of us have never met him, and the bromance is all in our heads.
Goodes’s every small touch of the footy is so bedazzlingly smooth, what man doesn’t wish they could hang out at Bunnings with him on long weekends? There are even some men in that AFL wasteland called Sydney who have heard of him.
Perhaps you find all this a little over the top. To you, I say sport is beautiful. Men are beautiful. And this weekend will be as beautiful and poignant as a raindrop on a rose, or the volleyball scene in Top Gun.
The question is, are you beautiful enough on the inside to embrace it?
*Footballers and journalists get stuff like this wrong all the time
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