Melbourne is the home of AFL with more teams based in Victoria alone and several other teams having originated from Melbourne. There was once a time when every suburb had its own team. Crazy when you think how small and close together each team would have been. These days some of those teams have been moved to Sydney and the Gold Coast.
When I first arrived in Melbourne the fottie season had yet to start, since then I have witnessed this city go mad for the sport. With everyone dressing up in their teams colours come game day. Even at work in the restaurant come the last five minutes of the fourth quarter and everyone will stop and stare at the tv, shouting and screaming till the siren goes and the game is over.
With the end of our time in Melbourne looming I knew I needed to get to a game. With most matches on a Friday or Saturday it’s not easy to get the time off work. When I realised there were only three games left at the MCG before we leave I knew this was my last chance. On Sunday we headed over to the MCG to catch the tigers and saints in action or for those of you who don’t know anything about AFL the Melbourne teams of Richmond and St Kilda. The rules of this game baffle me; you can kick the ball, run with it, throw it and catch it. None of it makes any sense but I love how fast the game is and am constantly mesmerised by the fact the pitch is an OVAL. By the end of the game I started to understand how the goal scoring worked but that was about it. This is a much friendlier game than football in the UK, with fans all sitting together much like rugby.
Whilst at the game we made friends with the guy and his family sitting next to us. This helped us to understand some of the game, chat about the effect AFL has on Melbourne and how all the fans sit among each other and respect each other unlike what they have heard about the ‘soccer’ fans in the UK. It was nice to have someone explaining the game and just to generally chat to. It just goes to show how friendly Aussies are yet again.
We purchased general admission tickets from the ticketex office at the Crown Casino a day before the match and I’m so glad we did. The queues at the ticket office outside the MCG were insane! Watching an AFL game in Melbourne even if you don’t understand the rules is certainly a must from me, just remember to wrap up warm.