In 1997 when riding back from Perth to Brisbane (yes Jeremy bike riders actually do go on longer trips than down to the coffee shop every Sunday)……anyway, as my wife hadn’t been to Melbourne we stayed at a caravan park in Geelong for a week – making daily trips to the city, Ballarat and the Great Ocean Road (yawn). (And yes Cynthia – some women actually do pillion longer than it takes you to slap on your makeup. We happened to be there when the AFL grand final between St Kilda and the Adelaide Crows was being played. It had degenerated into a ‘state vs state’ debacle with the Victorians being urged to get behind the Saints. Some pretty nasty things were being said in the local papers. In the caravan park on the day, there were little Grand Final parties everywhere, and I told the missus that we would be able to monitor the progress of the match by the noise made by our neighbours. We have no interest in AFL so spent the afternoon reading. After an hour or so I noticed that the park was unusually quiet, and being curious, turned on the TV to catch the last few minutes of the game. The Crows were kicking Saintly bum! Not a peep from our caravanning neighbours! The next day we went into the city (Victoria markets etc) and the place was awash with Adelaide colours. Not a St Kilda fan in sight. The Adelaide mob were everywhere, watching the replays on café televisions and generally living it up. The reviews in the local papers were scathing. I was disgusted with the vitriol and spite they spewed out. Just a big ‘we wuz robbed’ theme. One lady reporter in particular, was over the top, really heaping crap on the winners’ heads. Too much for me. I sat down and wrote her a letter. Can’t remember all of it, but the following was in it – and is absolutely true. “I’ve travelled all over Australia by every form of transport barring camel and horse. I’ve met hundreds of fellow Australians and, like all Australians we took the mickey out of each other’s state. The WA ‘Sandgropers’ called us Queenslanders ‘Banana benders’ and we made slightly off remarks to the Tasmanians about their extra heads etc. It was all said with affectionate humour and no harm was intended. Except when it came to the subject of Victorians. To a man they all hated them. Not a kind word. True as I stand here”. The only two good things to come out of Victoria are the road north and Graham Kennedy. Didn’t you Victorians ever wonder why when he retired, he went to NSW? Even he couldn’t bear to be here. The motto on the Victorian rego plates reads, ‘Victoria – the place to be’. If that’s true why are so many of you deserting the place for a better life. Oh – of course, just answered my own question.