Fan the flames for your tribe

It is easy to dis­cover why footy is more than a game with a visit to the hal­lowed turf of the MCG, writes Peter Sp­ida’ Everitt

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - Escape - - FOOTBALL MELBOURNE -

AT LEAST once each sea­son, if you are able, it’s nice to fly the flag for your footy club at the home of the Aus­tralian Foot­ball League, the MCG.

If it is in your blood and you are a diehard, see­ing a game at the G is some­thing you sim­ply need to do.

I sug­gest you ar­rive in Mel­bourne a day or two be­fore the bounce to get some rhythm, ab­sorb the at­mos­phere be­come brighter. Then it’s a two-hour roller-coaster ride.

From my 17 years play­ing AFL, there is noth­ing bet­ter than run­ning out of the tun­nel and look­ing up at the crowd, soak­ing up the ex­cite­ment and en­thu­si­asm. It’s what pumped me up and I would look for­ward to that feel­ing ev­ery sin­gle week. It was con­ta­gious.

As you leave the ground, the party is only start­ing.

If you are in the colours of the losers, many will of­fer you their con­do­lences sar­cas­ti­cally, but in fun. They’ll re­mind you that there’s al­ways next week.

And if you win, you’ll have even more new friends, many of whom have de­vel­oped by this stage of pro­ceed­ings into fine singers. Don’t be shy, this is your time to shine.

Top off the day with a feed on Chapel St, Ly­gon St or Fitzroy St.

Force your­self to get up early the next day and take a stroll along St Kilda beach, where many teams do their re­cov­ery the morn­ing af­ter the game, nor­mally be­tween eight and nine.

Ex­pect to see play­ers from St Kilda, North Mel­bourne Kan­ga­roos, Colling­wood or Essendon.

GO­ING OFF: There’s plenty to do be­fore and af­ter the game.

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