Fox Football Fix: Sydney Derby


We need a reminder.

Not been easy of late. Politics has dragged on, as politics does. Scramble for power is ugly, which is a shame. Anyway, I always thought politics was for competitive people who can’t play sport. Lines are blurred these days and no better example than football.

We need a reminder.

The VAR has frustrated, but it’s a trial. Australia willingly put its hand up to lead the trial. Others have followed. It’s here until March at least so energy used getting all Balinese volcano about it is energy wasted.

We need a reminder.

Even the thought of having a bit of fun this weekend, perhaps raising to the profile of the Hyundai  A-League by tying in Star Wars was met by pockets of discontent. “The beautiful game doesn’t need…” the pockets claimed, all the while wondering how we get more kids to the game. One weekend of Darth Vader might help, but if you think it will hurt, have a lie down and I’ll get you a nice cup of tea.

So yeah, we need a reminder.

A reminder why we actually love football in the first place.

This is the 17th version of this Derby and we all know how good it has become so quickly. Anyone who doubts the atmosphere or questions the intensity of the rivalry hasn’t been. And if they have attended and still question – there is little hope for them in life.

The buzz you get before a game like this walking into the ground, knowing the opponent want nothing more than a win to shut you up; and in turn you want exactly the same, exists few places else.

There is little else like that rush or feeling of crush you get when your side either smashes the other or gets smashed, like Round 1 last season in Sydney’s favor, or like when Brendan Santalab was the coolest man at this stadium last February when chaos reigned all around.

There is little to stop you feeling three parts unhinged at the sight of a player in an opposition’s shirt, who is automatically the worst person in the world, even though in his spare time he’s great with kids, raises money for charity and helps old ladies cross the road.

Stuff him, he’s them.

It’s why those playing on Saturday night actually starting playing in the first place. To one day kick a ball on the big stage with bright lights. Every 5 or 6 year-old who is half serious about the game dreams of it. For most those dreams fade when the rest of life gets in the road, and what’s left are ones like the lucky hard-working few we’ll see Saturday night.

Everything else around the game; the marketing exercises, the political posturing, they all get put in their rightful place when it starts on a night like this.

When we’ll get our reminder.