The piece also articulates a disturbing sense of nationalism that seems to be a growing part of footy's rhetoric. "Australian for the Australian" is the slogan and it's not all that far from some fairly right-wing white-Australian notions of what might be appropriate behaviour in this country.
Those who are battling so determinedly for the Australian game in Sydney say that the time is coming when it will be as strong in the favour of the public of the Harbour City as it is in Victoria. It will be a long time, however, but as long as it does find the proper recognition from the Australians right through this glorious continent of ours we shall all be satisfied.
Let us all hope that we shall be in the land of the living when the matches between all the States are as full of importance as are those of the present times between the flower of South Australia and Victoria.
The fight has been carried on in Sydney against a good deal of opposition. Perhaps that was only natural, for those who have the interests of Rugby League at heart were doubtless afraid that once the wonderful Aussie game caught the public fancy the true Australians in N.S.W. would be like the baby in the soap advt.—they would want no other.
I noticed some weeks ago that a counterblast had been tried in Melbourne. Some of the Sydney people were, endeavouring to educate the people of Melbourne in the Rugby League game, but there is not the slightest possibility of weaning away from our own code any of the lads who have once played it, or any of those whose pleasure it has been to attend week after week, in season and out of season, the matches in Victoria. Here the slogan in regard to football is "Australian for the Australians."
So it should be in every other place in Australia. I see that the boys of the village at Canberra are going in for it. Consequently those citizens of the capital city will be able to enjoy themselves in the proper Australian style. Many Pommies who played Rugby or Soccer in Great Britain before coming to Australia, and who are too old to continue football, are regular attendants at our League matches, and they have been heard to declare that "there's nowt beat t' Aussie game as a spectacle, and Ah can tell thee, choom, that ah've seed manny a Coop Fahnal where I coom from."
If a bit more pep were thrown into he management of the Australian game in Sydney the progress of it would probably be more rapid. Federal M.P.'s who are thoroughly Ausralian in principle might be expected to interest themselves more in its welfare and advancement, and the Australasian Football Council might do mnore than it has been doing. It has a good deal of money to its credit, and it would be a more reasonable way of spending it by propaganda business in Sydney than in carnivals in the big capital cities where it is so strongly rooted.
They tell me that the game has never been so well received in Sydney than this year. Good! How are they progressing in play? We have the opportunity of judging for ourselves this afternoon. The Sydney men have to meet a powerful side. Perhaps it is too much to expect them to win, but I earnestly hope that the Victorians will be fairly and squarely beaten. A licking on the merits of the encounter will do a power of good.
This letter below is from the Record in 1965. There's a special prize for the correspondent who finds every one of the 18 things wrong with it!