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FOOTBALL IN MELBOURNE

News was received hero • few day a ago of a dls^rao^fql fracas upjn the football field m Tasmania, wutro high words acd blcwa we*e exohanged between a Melboorne player and the umpire fir the opposing teßm. Thla la nothing at all surprising, bat it provokes ma to say a few words about football and tho scourge into whfoh it has develooed In Me'bourne. Ten years »go the Victorian gtma w&8 a keenly relished Bport, -nd was pursued as a Bport ought to be. There were a fa* cluba, the personnel of which w?a generally good, aud the pubUo At large took, a legit'mita amount of in'erest In tho game, To-day the footballer Is Dot wh»t be was. He is for the most part a roaring rowdy with soma of tha worst eSementa of tha London rough and the oolonl»l larrikin la bla o mposl* tlon • unhappily, moreover, be is In overwhelming numbers aud his iron heal is upon the neok of his follow cltzns. Thta la la uo sense an exiggoration. It Is not too mnoh to say that m the whole of Melbourne fCiro?.'y a hsndful of gonUemen would be found who now play football. Yet football, and nothing elae is the. od« staple of conversation, the one foous of attraction for the great mass of people m these winter months. Me. bourne distributes Itself over the various grounds npon a Saturday Aftornoon, an enormous amount of betttrg takes plaoe apon the club matches, urobioa and greyheaded men a.?o alike re»dy to take or give tho odds, and the grounds are a eeetbiog tumult of exoltem. Nt and foul language. 0 .ntinaally magistrates remark that the language upon the football fii'd la ♦' oofc what it ahou'd be." No It cc tainly la not—not qiUe, The fact is that football here has boea degraded fr m a pas'imo Into a profession. All ihe olob mitohea In whlob maoh Interest is taken are simply hage g»t<i money ojßcerna. The most proraluant p'.aye. a are fellows who will hang about the grt u,ad »ll the woek training for tho one occupation : f h, Ir lives, and get, porhapa, a couple of galnean for playing for their oloba on a Sa-orday. And singular to ssy the great mpJMrlty of tbe grounds oq which thea » o : ab matches are played and adtnlaaion obargod For are sotually pablia roa^rvaa, and the people aro illegally weak after week deprived of theit right of rciseaß to them Why Is this tolera^rd, it nuy bo atkod. We.l, es regards muololp.»lii.ies, and tr^e general Lee's'atora It must not be forgotten th»t th ire h»a o )rno to b<.i a Bflid fo.tbail vote wh'oh baa to bn pretty oa efully looked aftop by candidates, anoh 13 the great number of votarioa of the game. When tha tyranny beoomos absolutely anendarablo, as it vf-ry nearly Is, perhaps a ;mo oouoertei iflf^rt will be made by tha Melb urne paop/e to raUaie thaoQse'.ves from the thraldom ia which they are held by "funrful football. "~M«lboarnß correspo. d.'Ut,

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FOOTBALL IN MELBOURNE Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2186, 30 July 1889

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