Williamstown, Victoria, 2019 – a reflection
Here at Scoreboard Pressure we take scoreboards seriously. But also with a bit of whimsy. Our bias is pretty obvious: nostalgia, old scoreboards, remnants, reminders of an era fast fading. Clinging to the past perhaps a little too stubbornly, a little too dreamily.
Though largely unstated, it is fairly clear that contemporary scoreboards do not excite us. But we know that they are the face of change. We know they have their benefits. We know that they are the present, and the future. We know that talented people design and build and maintain them. It’s just that aesthetically, we do not find them appealing.
We resist the temptation to be overly critical of these hi-tech boards, for there is no value in such activity. We use modern technology ourselves – the interweb and other cyberspace things – to continue to record our unofficial national register of scoreboards.
Sometimes, though, one is tempted. Sorely tempted. On a personal level. On an emotional level.
Scoreboard Pressure effectively began the morning in 2008 when I climbed the rusty ladder of the old Williamstown scoreboard, pushed open the squeaky metal door and stepped into the elevated shed that became my castle for about four years.
So it was with some disappointment, to put it mildly, when the castle was demolished and replaced with an electronic scoreboard in 2012. What irked me, though, (apart from the fact that I wasn’t consulted) was that it wasn’t even a very good electronic scoreboard. The word “Williamstown'” had to be shortened to “W’town”. Arch rivals Port Melbourne became “P-Melb”. I operated that scoreboard for two seasons and then knew my time was up.
This year the Seagulls have replaced their 2012 scoreboard. It appears to be an improvement but probably only marginally so. The march of time continues. No country for old men.