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A football free zone for Saturday
A football free zone at the Star Hotel North Fitzroy
I have one irritant - noise. And that is what football is to me. Noise, masses of it. A sports commentator screeching till his voice caves into croakiness and then he screams yet louder spiralling into frenzied delirium.
His frenzy only perforated by a blaring, siren that shatters my ear drums. A fanatical crowd, cheering, swearing and abusing.
The noise invades my thoughtful, quiet world. But I live with others and have no choice beyond, "Would you mind using the earphones." A request that is often met with a mixed reception.
I loathe football on the car radio. If alone I scramble to change stations. I will get out and walk rather than be in someone else's car when it is blaring.
And worst of all I hate Grand Final Day. Because there is no escape. You might go to your usually quiet cafe and then find the game on in the background. Or sit in the backyard and hear the strains from the barbecue party over the fence. Your home is not safe from air-wave invasion. Trains are full of revellers singing football club songs. Even my local fruit shop has a blaring television.
It is not about some form of elitism. I understand the concept of the game, the skill involved and that perfectly intelligent people enjoy their football.
I just cannot overcome my revulsion at all that noise. And I cannot understand why so much is foisted on us. There are more and more games each year. More television shows devoted to the sport. The game now not only dominates the whole of the Herald Sun but the Age front pages as well.
This immersion and the saturation is why I will alert you to the only oasis in Melbourne where your ear drums will be safe.
On September 29th, the North Fitzroy Star Hotel holds its annual Anti-Football league lunch. The event starts around 12:30pm and finishes around 4pm when some people are forced to leave this sanctuary early to beat the football traffic.
There are no TVs in the hotel, so you can enjoy your lunch, drinks and space in the peace your deserve.
You are welcome to take board games enjoy good company and intelligent conversation for a couple of hours while the game is blaring in the outside world. This is your sanctuary, your refuge, your containment for peace and quiet.
Just don't mention the F word or you will find yourself putting coins in the jar as punishment.
There are a few ways to organise your attendance. You can join through a Meetup Board Games group or ring the number below.
This lunch continues the traditions of the Anti-Football League that have been a muffled voice for over 45 years. As long as it stays alive, there is sanity.