A Very Sportress Christmas III

BY DAN

It hasn’t been an easy year for anyone.

All of us enter the stretch run of 2020 with at least a light covering of merde. Even if the coronavirus didn’t impact you directly, it shaped your year (and for those of us in Melbourne, it did more than that). The chaotic destruction it wrought was compounded by the fact that real life just kept trucking along beside it. Tragedy in the outside world doesn’t preclude the normal difficulties of existence from grasping you tight. Then they sit there with you all day as the world you can actually access closes in on you.

And then they took footy away.

Wow. Bit dark hey.

A lot of people have had to deal with real life and coronavirus. Sometimes it’s been work, sometimes it’s been family. And all of us have had to find new and varied ways of processing and dealing with whatever challenges we face. I dealt with it like any well adjusted person would. I wrote. Often. 199 posts this year, 184,000 plus words. Enough for two doctorates by my count. Doctorate of Milkosophy. Handily the Raiders gave us plenty to write about. It wasn’t quite the highs of 2019, but enough to prove that was no fluke, and that good things are ahead. It’s so much more fun the write about a successful team, and it seems people prefer to read about it too. It was hands down our most successful year here.

This year was also made easier because of the wonderful community that is flourishing around the Canberra Raiders. Shouts to boys from the Green Machine Podcast. The GMP had me on twice this year, which was probably a mistake on their behalf. We also loved Blake and Pork over at the Raiders Review with Blake and the Pork, and the football brain of Bourkey’s Top 10. All of these podcasters made our days that bit more bearable. The O.G’s over at the Greenhouse was a place we got to share our work, along with the good people over at We Bleed Green – we are Raiders for life. Merry Christmas to all that put together and make these communities work. It’s unsung work and we appreciate it. Without it we would be nothing.

You (points in the direction of the screen) were the biggest part of it though. It would have all been a bit pointless if it wasn’t for you good folk. You read, you commented, you liked, you shared and you argued. So many of you were individually important to us, and your support will always be treasured. The dopamine flows when people say nice things to us, and some people said incredibly nice things to us. I won’t put you on blast but you know who you are. It’s always a bit humbling when people who know what they are doing say that you are a good read. Some of you we’ve met, some of you we’ll meet one day when the strung-up draw-bridges are released again and we can mingle with each other. I will hug you. It might be awkward. I’m sorry.

And of course, a special place is always saved for Rob. Those of you who know Rob know he’s the kindest person on earth. He kept rumbling, and kept covering up my comically glaring errors despite a small, and wonderful, little human taking more and more of his time (and, more importantly, sleep). He even found time to send a care package to your boy. Rob is the best, and makes these humble pages go. If you ever meet him you should hug him. It won’t be awkward. He’s a good hugger.

And so, our Christmas message. If we’ve learnt anything this year is that’s we should embrace the things we value because they can get taken away very quickly. If you’re with family this year make sure you appreciate it, because there are people who aren’t able to be. If you’re healthy right now be grateful because that virus is a coward and it hides in the darkest places. And if you can, reach outside your orbit, and help others. Be like Sticky and take in people with nowhere to go. Find some cash for people that need it. Help a neighbour just because you can. It’s advice I should take too.

So go out and have a Merry Christmas and a happy new year. Be safe. We’ll be here next year. Hopefully life will be a bit easier then for all of us. Maybe we’ll be together back in god’s country, watching the Milk run around Bruce Stadium on a sunny afternoon. Right now that sounds like heaven.

Merry Christmas.

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