|See Stones of Melbourne for more local memoria||The Greeks did not fear the Underworld as much as the oblivion before you arrive. To
reach Hades it was necessary to cross the River Styx, and this was at the discretion of
the boatman, Charon. So a coin is left under the tongue of the corpse, to pay the
Economic rationalism has take its toll on institutions whose role has been more symbolic than financial. The Australian Football League has been trying to push the sport away from its origins in tribal loyalties to the new consumer markets of interstate television. Its policy has been to tempt clubs to move or merge with others. South Melbourne swallowed the money and moved to Sydney. It was the death of a football team, but a kind of reincarnation - fans could now watch their team at home rather than go the local ground.
Refusing to believe the end, Fitzroy knocked back any offer of money and now finds itself bereft on the banks of the Styx. No chance of reincarnation, Fitzroy will remain a lost soul, an empty memory. Soon it will be the Atlantis of Australian sport - as weird to future generations as the Berlin Wall.
|I went to their last game against Geelong at the Whitten Oval, Footscray. We arrived
at half time. My companions were Cats supporters carrying their four month old baby to his
first game and certainly his last chance ever to see Fitzroy play (he was conceived in
Fitzroy, born in Fitzroy and now lives in Fitzroy Street, Fitzroy).
Not one goal was scored by Fitzroy during that second half. In the last quarter, when Fitzroy were losing by 108 points, they had one of their rare forays into the forward line where the ball dribbled through for an even rarer point. A supporter nearby sighed, `Closing the gap, Roys'.
Leaving the game we found a five year old boy in a Fitzroy jumper. His eyes were swollen with tears. Various people tried to help him, but he was terrified. A lost child, filled with tales of abduction and a nasty world. Eventually, the baby-bearing friend won his confidence and found his mother who had been waiting for him in the stand. Mother and son had been coming to see Fitzroy regularly, parking in the same street and sitting in the same place. As she cajoled her hysterical child, it seemed clear that the boy was feeling the moment. A team, a tradition and a fight is over. He was found, but was still lost.