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It’s time to trade bets for banter and get back to what sport’s really about

It’s time to trade bets for banter and get back to what sport’s really about

Nothing puts things into perspective quite like these your favourite athlete telling you, kindly, to get a grip.

Going to the footy as a wee child is a rite of passage for many of us.

Bundling up in scarves and beanies, each adorned with your team’s logo (or, if you were still a toddler incapable of voicing coherent thoughts, your family’s team logo).

Slowly drifting off to sleep as the crowd screams at the top of their lungs in 50-second increments, trying your first scolding-hot pie that you’re not allowed to eat right away for reasons unbeknownst to your younger self…

The memories might be cut short if you fell asleep before half-time, but the sheer excitement of simply being there, in the thick of the buzzing bodies and sporadic chants, is burnt into your brain.

As a fully-fledged adult, the adrenaline that rises in your body as you ascend the stands is still as palpable as ever.

Eyeing the best seats that provide full coverage without a six-foot man with a two-foot beanie blocking the view — tucking into a pie without considering the five-minute grace period enforced in younger you and ultimately scorching your taste buds from existence.

It’s still a life highlight, but it’s slightly different.

Now you love a spot of betting, and that adrenaline is mixed with the utter fear of losing dosh that could’ve been reserved for a second tempt of fate with a devil-level pie.

You grit your teeth down to the gums as the footy sails to the left of the two big sticks.

What used to be a euphoric experience has made you slightly jaded but persistent to come out on top.

When’s the last time you went back to your roots and got riled up over the match itself, rather than the ramifications of your team losing said match?

Stay with me for a hot second while I veer into stats territory — on any given day, the average Australian spends $83 betting on sports.

That’s a whole lotta dough that could’ve been put towards something more tangible, like more pies to eradicate those remaining taste buds.

Now, I’m not here to ride in on a fragile glass horse and throw stones, but moderation is key to enjoyment — or so I’ve been told.

It’s pretty telling that The Thunderbirds, Adelaide United, Adelaide Crows, Adelaide 36ers and the Adelaide Giants have all banded together to encourage South Aussies to focus on their performances (shoddy or not) rather than investing a portion of their pay on a flimsy bet.

If you’ve seen the ‘Here For The Game’ campaign floating around, you’ve likely watched some of your idols staring down the camera, telling the viewer to focus on the moment rather than the multis.

Nothing puts things into perspective quite like these your favourite athlete telling you, kindly, to get a grip.

For those who are more into movies than footy, it’s the equivalent of Ian McKellen telling you to stop taking the death of Gandalf so seriously — similar vibes but the Here For The Game campaign is tackling a far more serious topic.

Gambling can become a dicey gambit at lightning speed, so the teams involved with Here For The Game aren’t doing it on a whim.

So, when you or your mate you know, let’s call him Ludwig VonTrappHousen, is gearing up to open that money-sucking app as you saunter into the stadium, take a beat and think back to seven-year-old you, who simply got a kick out of being involved in the intense and fascinating and gut-wrenching (in a good way) world of footy.

Simpler times, baby. Let’s bring them back. And maybe have a friendly chat with Ludwig VonTrappHousen if he’s going a bit too far down the rabbit hole — and remind him to not let betting spoil sport.

Check out the five goalposts of the campaign and some words of wisdom here.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Images

Topics: Gambling, Sport, Mental Health