ADAM Goodes and the other professional gladiators on the field are not the only warriors at the ground.
The stands are full of “weekend-warriors”, forever faithful to their teams.
Adam Goodes, with two Brownlows tucked under one massive wing and a couple of premierships under the other, is an absolute champion football player – we all know that.
Many an Eagles’ and Dockers’ supporter have watched helplessly as he, out-thinking his opposite number, has stormed down the ground with the speed of a leopard and the grace of a gazelle, to drill another game-winning goal with power and steely precision.
Again, your own professional warriors, who last week were seemingly invincible, have failed to stop him. He made them look like graduates from the little league.
So, what can you do from the stands? You are just another frustrated, “would-be warrior”.
Therefore, you armed with your long-suffering mates – who have also feigned cheerfulness while enduring another long week of pent up frustration in their thankless jobs – must stand up.
Your gladiators, your wounded comrades-at-arms, they need you, and you feel their desperation.
Do you hold it in, road-rage on the way home, snarl at your neighbour, abuse your family, kick the dog and chuck your job? No.
That’s why you are here, at the game – to release safely all that pent-up rage and frustration in a cathartic roar (a full-throated boo), which you hope, apart from the personal therapeutic benefits, might just put that champion off his game for one second.
It is not disrespect; it is not even poor sportsmanship. You are just acknowledging he is too good – you would happily trade your first-born to get him into your team.
Moreover, as for racism, he won that race a long time ago.
We all know we will never catch him, but it would be a sorry old race without him.