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It’s footy finals time!

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Well, I knew this time would come.

The finals in the AFL kick off this week and I am going to have to be uber-disciplined to not get caught up in the anticipation, hype and excitement.

As ‘luck’ would have it (I was doomed from the moment I started this journey on May 23), my Bombers are of course in there, playing off against arch-rival Carlton. My head tells me, that, having finished 8th, we are no shot to make any noise in September, let alone knocking off a team that handed us our ####s a few weeks ago. But, as a great man says, ‘That’s why they play the game’. You never never know.

Cheating?

I have felt somewhat like a cheat lately, being so aware of scores and the general scheme of things. I haven’t been pro-active in searching it out but it’s pretty hard to not know what’s going on. It’s more that I haven’t been so eager to ‘turn my head away’ when pertinent news has reached my ears.

So, I enter this weekend with a plan, and it’s not too pretty, especially considering, as I mentioned in Gambling Woes, that I am currently leading a fantasy betting competition I am in. The competitive instincts have kicked in, so I will still participate there, but it’s the following of scores and information that I intend to scale back.

It’s a busy weekend

A look at this weekend’s schedule – school production, helping my dad move, a baby shower, hosting friends for tea, Sunday lunch + church. Normally, I would be beside myself that such a packed weekend awaits me during AFL Finals. Actually, who am I kidding; in the past, I would never have let it come to this. Fortunately, there will be no solo lamenting, as in the I’m wavering post, where the walls started to crumble just a wee bit. The weekend provides a packed timeline with something on over the course of ev-er-y finals game, so I have a solid base to build my attack from; or my cowardly retreat, whichever way you’re looking at this.

As an aside, I still think that every Australian ‘man’ should lose the title if their wedding comes up on a September Final’s day. I know I’m abstaining at the moment, but allow me to stick up for them; do not deny them this one pleasure! ‘It’s just a game’ – I know, I know, but it’s a really really really important game, unlike all the others where we simply pretend that it’s a really really important game in order to ‘get the night off’. I know September has nicer weather than June and July and yes, technically it’s Spring, and yes, technically, there’s more rainfall in October, but still; it’s September. Just leave it alone! Try successfully navigating a media ban through a wedding … go on, I dare you. It’s harder than pulling Gillard’s popularity numbers up … I do not kid.

1. Here – take my phone…

So, the best way to tackle this challenge is to give the trusted iPhone over to Mrs E. Of course there’s other ways to get a hold of scores – laptop at home, asking mates etc, but taking the all-too-convenient convenience away from my pocket is an excellent starter. It places the onus on me to compromise this journey by actively seeking out information that I have committed to refraining from.

2. Engage with where I’m at

If I’m thinking about football the whole time I am at the other activities I have on, wondering what the scores are etc, I may as well put myself out of my misery and ascertain the scoreline and get on with my day or night.

But that’s not what this is about.

How do you switch off mentally? I’m not too sure but I am going to give it a shot. Fully immerse myself with where I’m at and be completely present. Well, that’s the goal, anyway! You should know by now that failure will see your writer eating humble pie next Tuesday. At least you’ll get honesty.

3. Get some perspective

One of the catalysts for the beginning of this journey was the exhaustion in trying to keep up with everything (you just can’t) and a knowledge that, even when everything goes beautifully and a championship or a premiership does come your way, it’s only a matter of days before a new angle arises – can they repeat, who will take who in the draft, which players and coaches are on the move etc?? An earlier post – The 3 Day Test showed that none of the major sports web sites had any links to the Dallas Mavericks’ NBA Finals’ win over the Heat within 3 days. The world had moved on; so should we.

Even when things go well, we’ll always be wanting more. AFL premiership? I’ll want another. And more Lakers titles in the NBA. And continued domination by Man United in the English Premier League and the Champions League. Let’s not kid ourselves that victory will be met with requited satisfaction. It’ll lead to an amazing day, a top night or 2, great memories, money spent on the corresponding paraphernalia – DVDs and t-shirts, and then a short wait before the desire to hit ‘repeat’ and do it all over again.

And it’s that that I’m stepping off.

——————————————-

This weekend was supposed to be difficult; but the aim is to hit it with an air of enthusiasm and embracing what beckons, not meekly shying away from ‘that other world’.

By the way, if anything awesome does happen, my number is 04… just stop it, Pete, give it up…

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About petek8

Pete Evans has just finished going 12 months without watching any sport. The journey stemmed from a sense that the balance was out-of-whack with my time and my priorities. Everything seemed to revolve around creating enough time and space to fit in the last game, games, recap shows or space to surf the net for the latest numbers and analysis. The cycle never ends - one season leads into another, seasons overlap if you follow various sports and the media's insatiable appetite for a new 'story' means that even the greatest of achievements aren't heralded for more than 3 days. So I stepped away from the machine for awhile and intentionally engaging with the journey by writing about it.

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