Issue 8 - TeamFriends > Teammates

Your Weekly Dose of Fun and Friendship

In this week’s newsletter:

🏉 Team Friends
Just like teammates, but you mean it.

🧇 A Wednesday Worth Remembering
It’s not a day, but something I gave years to.

👕 A Hard Sell
A picture sells a thousand shirts.

🏉 Just Like Teammates, But You Mean It

With an Aurora Australis taking place and incredible footage of the southern lights shimmering across the sky breaking the internet, few imagined there’d be an even rarer spectacle to follow. But then I went and made my return to the football field after seven years on the sidelines and it was beautiful.

It’s good, but have you seen a forty year play football badly

No, this wasn’t a classic case of the old washed up bloke getting itchy feet and forgetting that he’s past it. The mind isn’t willing, nor the body able. The considerable limp I’m walking with today punctuates the latter point. But an opportunity arose that I simply couldn’t turn down - the chance to play with one of my TeamFriends one last time.

I say teamfriend as teammate doesn’t cut it, with that term now bastardised by society and having become a catch all for any person you’re forced to co-exist with. (Think an annoying colleague, or person you really wish you weren’t doing that group assignment with). Those people are actually just fellow team members, but this guy he’s more than that.

Sign my petition to remove jumper number 69 from circulation

Benny’s a veteran of the Natte Bealiba football club. A guy that’s won games off his own boot and played in premierships for the senior side. He is also a fella that’s just as content running around in the reserves with his friends. At just 30 years of age, having made 300+ appearances, he should have many more games ahead of him, but unlike me, he hasn’t been given the opportunity to hang the boots up of his own accord.

Dealt the cruelest hand of cards imaginable, Benny has been forced into retirement and that is why we got the gang back for one more game of footy together in the crisp Central Goldfields air.

Many of his closest friends and some lucky ex teamfriends were involved in the match. An experience I will never forget. Benny kicked three goals, showing he’s still got it, even if I don’t, and our makeshift team of old has-beens even got the victory. But none of that mattered as we were already big winners having gotten to share the field with this great man one more time. He retires a legend of the game and one of the great clubmen I’ve come across.

Here’s hoping whoever is up there making magic happen in the sky recognises this man has more to offer down here than with them.


Drinking winners… electrolytes

🧇 A Wednesday Worth Remembering

Kicking off our It’s Wednesday segment, where I look back at some of the memorable Wednesdays throughout history, I’ve gone with one dear to my childhood heart, Christina Ricci, the original (in my lifetime) Wednesday Addams from the Addams Family and Addams Family Values movies.

Is Ricci the GOAT Wednesday Addams?

Ricci has lived an interesting life, having experienced the strangeness that comes with being a child star, the woe of being a young woman in Hollywood, and an upbringing that included returning home from school to the sound of people bellowing and bawling thanks to her Dad, a Primal Scream Therapist, seeing clients in their living room.

But if you think that’s weird, wait until you hear about my relationship to this week’s Wednesday. For many years, Christina Ricci was at the center of one of my obsessive compulsive disorder rituals.

OCD - Only for Cool Dudes

The OCD started when I was a small child. I’d count things. Hold my breath. Flick lights on and off. Leave and re-enter the house on a loop. Step over cracks in the footpath. Jump in and out of bed. Spin around. All the (really not) normal stuff… and I thought I was getting away with it. That was until a trip overseas in my mid-twenties. 

I went to the USA with a couple of primary school friends, and one that I’d known a little less time, who was probably more periphery. I was obviously up to my old OCD tricks somewhere along our travels, when this newer pal said “oh is this one of those weird things you do people talk about”. It turns out my OCD lifestyle wasn’t so clandestine afterall. But funnily enough this did not deter me.

In my mind, these things were costing me a few short minutes a day (but was realistically probably much more) and was the sole reason my friends, family and I were kept safe. That’s the irrational mindset of someone suffering this disorder. (It’s also often a symptom of trying to control things that are not actually able to be controlled – like health, mortality, etc.)

My OCD rituals were not limited to the typical though. They extended into all facets of my life and for whatever reason, somewhere in my early twenties, I decided I should write “Wallace” a tribute to Detriot Piston Ben Wallace, in the steam on the showerscreen every single day for two years. But that wasn’t the longest active streak of my OCD career. That’s where our honorary Wednesday comes into this.

In my late twenties, I kept the Christina Ricci Wikipedia page open on my phone for much longer than that. I don’t know how that started, and don’t know how it ended. It was sitting there, anytime I’d open an internet window, for a good few years though.

An artist’s recreation (I haven’t relapsed)

Thanks to some much needed therapy in my thirties, the professional psychologist kind, and not that of a primal scream practitioner, I was able to close this tab, and chapter of my life, and now over ninety five percent of my OCD rituals are no more.

As for Ricci, and her unconventional childhood, she has said that one of the great things about getting older is you get to create another family for yourself. I believe this is something at the heart of The Wednesday Waffle. The idea that friends are the family we choose.

Thank you for being a part of this community of people that love maintaining connections with those they’re closest to. I know it has brought far more comfort to me than stepping over cracks, or catching a glimpse of Christina’s Wikipedia page numerous times every day.

You can listen to an interesting conversation with this week’s honorary Wednesday, Christina Ricci, on the WTF podcast here.

👕 A Picture Sells A Thousand Shirts

My Wednesday Waffle clothing arrived just in time to keep me warm, and looking debonair, all throughout the autumn and winter months of Melbourne.

It’s called fashun baby, look it up

So now, having got my hands on the merchandise, I can resume my modelling career confidently say the quality is damn fine, with this particular jumper (that’s sweater for you American folk) printed on a premium Gildan blank. So if you’re looking for some threads that will tell the world you waffle, get some now. 

🎞️ The End Credits

Thank you to everyone that has made it this far… no small feat.

Shoutout to everyone at The Natte Bealiba football club for making Saturday happen - it was one of the most memorable football matches I’ve been a part of.

Finally, a special mention must go to those of you that continue to spread The Wednesday Waffle concept to your friends, either by sending them a short video, or by signing them up to this email here. You’re literally doing God’s my work.

Until next Wednesday, keep waffling :)