Friday, May 23, 2008

AFL Footy: Cats v Pies

Wow, did that suck. But I'll get to what happened on the pitch in a moment. Inky and I took a tram from St. Kilda up to Federation Square last night and then walked over to the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). As soon as you cross the Yarra river you can see the MCG's lights all blazing down on the pitch, which served as our signal to get ready for the Footy.

The students became the teachers, as we walked with two girls from New Zealand who thought we were Expat Yankees living in Oz, and were asking us all about the game. We told them about how fast and exciting the pace of footy is, and also told them that the Cats are one of the best teams in the comp, and that they should have the Magpies for dinner. Oh well, but again, I'm rushing.

Our seats were again right behind the goals, just like the game we went to in Tasmania last week. After settling in for a moment, we used our "pass out" to go out to the area surrounding the MCG where all the food stands are. We got two burgers and split a drink and "chips" all of which only set us back $20, which was fine since the burgers were huge. We had planned on getting some meat pies, but couldn't find the stand, so we went with what was close.

Seeing a game at the MCG is amazing to say the least. I've been to Fedex Field in Landover with 100,000 other screaming Skins fans, but there is something about the shape of a Cricket Oval that makes it look 10 times bigger. The MCG holds just over 98,000 sports mad fans, but you would have thought it was twice that many. They watch the game intently, and almost seem to rise as one in approval or in scorn. Even a small perceived oversight by a ref leads to a collective murmur that sounds like a roar.

I would have loved if my first trip to "the G" had been to see a famous victory for the Cats, but it was not. Inky, decked out in her Cats scarf and I in my Geelong Hoodie sat and watched as the boys from Collingwood had their way with the defending champs. The Maggies won 20.14 (134) to 7.6 (48) a complete victory to say the least. And so it was that my team, who were 8-0 this year, and 27 for their last 28 including a championship won by well over 100 points, fell in front of my eyes.

It wasn't all bad, however. as we met some amazingly nice people. The family in front of us were all Collingwood supporters, but they we're very engaging with us and even gave Inky a Tim Tam. We talked about Footy and NFL Football, and the players that have bridged the gap, ironically one from Collingwood (Sav Rocca) and one from Geelong (Ben Graham). Even though the Cats got their assholes pushed in by one of their arch rivals I loved every moment of our time at the football last night!

***Note: This post originally appeared on the now defunct blog "Inky and the Sports Guys" and has been imported to TGWOOfY for continuity purposes.***

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