Happy Birthday to our lovely, wonderful friend Westy!
Alicia’s note: For anyone who, like me, isn’t familiar with Australian Rules Football, Andrea has helpfully provided some explanation so you’ll know what on Earth is going on. (Although on the basis of that second pic down alone, I’m considering getting into it. Also, I have had this song stuck in my head for two weeks and now know it by heart, so I feel like I’ve made some kind of down payment on fandom already.)
The song, Up there Cazaly, is something of a football anthem in Australia. And by football, we mean Australian Rules Football (as if there is any other kind, we hear Westy and Infant say!). The song was first recorded in 1979 as part of the promotions for coverage of that season’s football matches although it was a football catchphrase long before then.
What IS a Cazaly? It is a ‘who’ not a ‘what’, actually – Roy Cazaly. Cazaly (1893-1963) is a legendary AFL player famous for his high marks. A mark is a skill particular to AFL where a player catches the ball cleanly (controlling the ball) after it has travelled more than 15 metres without having hit the ground or touched another player’s hands. Taking a mark rewards you with an unimpeded kick of the ball. Now, if you are not a footy fan, you may be yawning by now but taking a mark is quite spectacular to watch, especially if players jump up really high, as they are prone to do. In fact, there is an award each season for Mark of the Year. So there you go.
Here’s an example:
Also, and totally for our viewing pleasure, AFL players usually have rather nice guns 🙂
(See what we mean about the guns? Apologies to Westy and Infant, though, for including a picture of a Collingwood player but the guns were too good to pass up.)
Roy Cazaly had a hugely successful playing career, beginning in 1909 with the St Kilda Football Club and then with South Melbourne, and later as a coach. Cazaly honed his high mark skills by jumping up for a ball hanging from the roof of his garden shed. His team mate at South Melbourne, ‘Skeeter’ Fleiter, began calling out ‘up there Cazaly’ during games and the crowds embraced the catchphrase. It became an Australian idiom and troops in WW2 began using it as a way of fostering team spirit and gearing up to fight the enemy.
This is Cazaly taking a mark:
So Westy LOVES AFL. The team she supports is the West Coast Eagles, three time AFL premiers:
(This is the WCE mascot.
Don’t get too excited. It’s an eagle, not a chicken.)
Have a wonderful day, Westy! Love from Andrea and Alicia xxx
Thank you to the ever-wonderful @neropatti for the knife-throwing clip 🙂
(in case the embedded link isn’t working, which it isn’t for me for some reason *scratches head* here’s the other one – just take out the ‘.’ in ‘youtu.be’ 🙂 http://www.youtu.be.com/watch?v=fnUog6zY5YM)