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‘Football is a Fever Disease Like Recurrent Malaria and Evidently Incurable’: Passion, Place and the Emergence of an Australian Anti-Football League

Klugman, Matthew (2011) ‘Football is a Fever Disease Like Recurrent Malaria and Evidently Incurable’: Passion, Place and the Emergence of an Australian Anti-Football League. The International Journal of the History of Sport , 28 (10). pp. 1426-1446. ISSN 0952-3367 (print) 1743-9035 (online)

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Abstract

This paper traces the emergence of an Anti-Football League in Melbourne in the late 1960s. In so doing it charts the way the extremely rapid transformation of Melbourne in the 1850s from a frontier town to a major metropolis set the scene for the emergence of a new form of football whose ensuing popularity was all the more noteworthy for the way it transcended (at least partially) traditional barriers of class and gender. The result was that all of Melbourne's inhabitants were presumed to share the general fascination with Australian Rules football. Yet while this may have made Australian Rules the envy of many other sporting codes, it caused significant suffering for those who did not share the fascination with football. At issue were problems of inclusion and community, but not as they have generally been examined in studies of sport history. For the members of the Anti-Football League did not want to be included in all the talk and community rituals surrounding Australian Rules football in Melbourne. However once founded, the anti-football group developed an uncanny resemblance to the community of football followers who had caused it such pain, finding joy in inverting the calendar and rituals of Australian Rules football and the (somewhat) mock battle between ‘us’ and ‘them’ that ensued.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ResPubID23895, Australian Rules football, Anti-Football League, anti-sport, community, Melbourne
Subjects: Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL)
FOR Classification > 2103 Historical Studies
SEO Classification > 9501 Arts and Leisure
Depositing User: VUIR
Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2012 04:40
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2014 03:14
URI: http://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/9246
DOI: 10.1080/09523367.2011.577637
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Citations in Scopus: 0 - View on Scopus

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