My first footie match. I reckon you can't live in Melbourne and not go to a footie match. At least once. AFL is a religion here with babies being signed up to club memberships while still in the womb. It's hard to escape. Especially if you stupidly try and go from south to north on Punt Road on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon in footie season. Which seems to last almost all year if you ask me.
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. When asked who I barrack for, and let's face it, you will ALWAYS be asked this question in Melbourne, I say Carlton. It's for family-in-law affiliation reasons and also because I like blue. But I have been looked at disdainfully for this on more than one occasion. It's not as though it's Collingwood. Or Melbourne, whose supporters seem to have some sort of collective Baltic stoicism...we may always lose, but let's celebrate the fact that we are still together as a club...
Yesterday I was backing Hawthorn. As my 5 year old nephew sagely said (and he comes from the aforementioned Carlton stock), the Hawks always win. It's good to back winners. Unfortunately, yesterday, the Hawks weren't so good at maintaining this reputation and lost very dramatically to Richmond. It's exciting play. I mostly understand what is going on, which is more than I can say for my own country's passion...knock ons and suchlike...?? And the atmosphere of the big crowd wearing their own club's colours. The fact that there are a whole lot of very fit men running around on the very large field doesn't hurt either.
I loved it. Until half time when the rain clouds gathered.
Fair weather fan.