Friday, July 28, 2006

Home Sweet Stadium Lights

Ahh, stadium lights. You don't realize how much you miss them until you are sitting in the seats, looking out at the crowd. Footy last night was fantastic, even though the Hawks lost to the Magpies by more than 50 points. Yikes. They actually spent the whole first quarter with only one point. That's really hard to do when a kick through the center posts (a goal) is worth 6 points and a kick through the outer posts (a behind) is worth one.

Anyway, some info about the experience. The game was at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, MCG, or G, whichever you'd like to call it. It can seat around 100,000 fans and this night we had 53,400 other fans in attendance. The game of footy came about because they wanted to find a use for the cricket ground in winter when there was no cricket to watch. So, the game is played on an oval. Not every oval is the same size. Kind of like how it's easier to hit a home run in PacBell Park (is it still PacBell Park?) because the back wall is so close and it drops off into the ocean. I found the different oval sizes strange, because even in San Francisco, the distance between the bases are the same.

OK, moving on. The team has a mascot that runs around and works up the crowd (same as football). The run through a banner at the beginning of the game (same as football). They have a "theme song" that everyone sings (same as football, but don't be calling it a fight song, or you'll get a strange look.)

The cheap seats are still at the top, and if you are a "Member" of the footy club (which is something so prestigious, they get willed to children) you can come on game day without a ticket and watch the game for free. Members are also the ones in charge of the creating of the crepe-paper/packing tape banner that the players run through and the waving of humongous pom-poms behind the goals in order to distract the other team's kick/cheer on a goal.

There are 18 players for each team on the pitch at once, 7 referees, a "runner" for each team that comes out with advice/encouraging pats on the butt, and various trainers that fix broken fingers in the middle of the field or run around after the players with bottles of water. Lots of people to keep track of.

The game was a blast, and Penny, Drew and I got there early enough to be sitting in the first row of the nose-bleeds. We were joined in the second quarter by a teenager and his girlfriend, who sat right behind us and shouted things like "Go son!", "C'mon", "Lovely!", "Go stuff yourself!", and the occasional "Go pies!". Ahh, the ambiance. I hope his girlfriend was impressed.

I am very much looking forward to next week's game with work at the Telstra Dome. It has a roof.

1 comment:

grahamanda said...

Sounds like fun. Did it have mystery beer?