29.09.2013 - 29.09.2013 19 °C
The excitement that ripples through all of Melbourne for AFL Grand Final weekend is undeniably infectious and you'd have to have your head in the sand for all of the weeks leading up to it not to notice that its a big deal in these parts.
The two teams that would be taking the field to battle it out would be locals to Melbourne Hawthorn and Western Australian based team Fremantle, simply nicknamed Freo. The event is such a big deal that thousands of supporters from Fremantle flew or coached it over for the weekend to bask in the potiential glory. It meant that Melbourne changed its colours to purple as Freo supporters flooded the streets and bars. It reminded me of when the British Lions came to town and flooded the Southbank bars.
Amongst the Freo supporters coming to Melbourne we also had the pleasure of meeting Broomy's brother, Mike, his brother-in-law MJ and their mates Dan and Jeff. They would be staying with us from Wednesday and the AFL final was on the Sunday so you can imagine how big of a weekend it is as these guys were out for most of it!
As much as I love a good sporting event it was highly unlikely that we would be able to get a ticket to join these guys and so we reverted to what most of Australia does on this day....have a Bar-b!!!
We put a word out for people to join us and enjoy the bar-b whilst watching the game on TV, and so our new friends Andy, Noreen and Phil came over. We watched the pre-game build up as the meat was cooking and Andy tried out our new camping chairs that are like thrones which we would be using for our roadtrip to Perth.
We could almost hear the anticipation of the fans in the distance from our balcony.
The colours of Freo and Hawthorn littered the stadium on the screen.
And we tucked in to our food and drinks...Sunday sport doesn't get better than this.
Phil even made a chocolate cake which was delicious!!
It was a ripper of a game and at one point in the third quarter Freo looked like they might claw back the deficit that had left them chasing Hawthorn, but it was the Hawks that came through as deserved champions capping of a great season for them.
I can't say that I have got into footy as much as I thought I might, and maybe if I stayed longer in Australia and followed It more I would get more involved in the knowing the players and the ups and downs. That being said, I loved the excitement that the Aussies whip up when a sporting occasion comes round and to have experienced it whilst living here was a cool thing to say you have witnessed.
On a side note, quite out of the blue I was allowed to have a go at lifting The Cup at my work because Bupa sponsor the winners Hawthorn. So I kind of got a chance to feel really part of it, even though I was routing for Freo.
After the game it was only a matter of time before all the food and beer would win and colapsing on the couch would be inevitable, but not before I got the chance to witness another special event.
One of my good friends Liam 'Lion' Sturt married Janine over that weekend and through the wonders of technology Sarah and I were able to be there using Apple's FaceTime and it worked a treat. Congratulations to you both , you looked so happy together and Sarah and I wish you many happy years together.
Liam had asked me to send him some head shots of Sarah and I and I thought it was to photoshop us in on a group photo but to my surprise it was something better..
My mate Reefa perhaps showed he was missing me a bit too much ...
Look forward to actually being there for the next big event guys.
Stay tuned for more tales.