Contributed by: Wesley Hull Tuesday, March 24 2020 @ 02:24 pm ACDT
It was the sort of meeting you read about, hear about or see in those emotionally engaging love story-type movies. It is the story of a brief encounter where love blossomed, then just as quickly is cruelly taken away.
America fell in love with Australian Football. It wasn’t a one-night stand. It was at least a weekend. In fact, the two knew each other with a small amount of fans and teams within leagues across the United States. However, last weekend, that simmering romance took off.
The two – AFL and American audiences – spent the weekend wining, dining, marvelling at each other’s attributes. They made plans to spend the rest of their lives together, going out each weekend – just the two of them (problematic, really) enjoying one weekend and looking forward to the next with quivering anticipation and, possibly, desire.
From a spark to a flame, one brief period could lead to a marriage made in heaven.
And then things changed, dramatically and cruelly.
COVID-19 spread its hideous tentacles further and wider and the AFL announced a full shutdown. Just as the American television audiences believed they had found “the one”, their new passion, their new love, was torn from their grasp.
We can only assume there were tears and broken hearts. Americans, already suffering from their broken hearts when their own sports shut down, almost collapsed in fits of despair when their new love – a love born from a solitary weekend of unadulterated joy – was gone.
Now they stand, on a wind-blown shoreline, looking with longing across the Pacific (or for a higher degree of difficulty the Atlantic/Africa and the Indian Ocean) asking quietly into the breeze, “will you ever come back?”
The answer, in short, is yes. The two will be reunited in time. The question is whether or not the same sense of longing and passion remains. Will you still love me tomorrow?
Australian Football can keep the embers of love burning. They can continue to send flowers, chocolates, letters – condoms, if deemed absolutely necessary – and try and rekindle those same emotions that were so real and so deep just last weekend.
With any sort of luck, American audiences, so devastated at the loss of their partner, turn to replays of matches to keep alive their memories, recalling the wonderful times they shared for an all too brief moment. Local football competitions across the United States will do their best to help the national come to terms with the loss and encourage the country to “never stop believing”.
How do you mend a broken heart? Replay the 2019 Grand Final. Or better still, the 1989 Hawks v Cats premiership decider. Watching Ablett almost single-handedly bring down the Hawks is some sort of aphrodisiac.
We cannot wait for the day where the two reunite. Standing 1.5 metres apart and staring into each other’s eyes, tears rolling down their cheeks.
Coming together again and embracing. Never letting go. We were separated once – it won’t happen again.
And then, like on The Truman Show, someone changes the channel.