So if you are getting tired of reading about the Footy Frenzy that has taken over Melbourne, hang on, the Grand Final is tomorrow and then the country moves onto cricket!
The Aussie Today Show, which is usually broadcast from Sydney was in Melbourne this morning as part of the pre-game festivities. I got going a bit earlier than usual and rode my bike to the “G” to watch the weather guy do his portion of the show and then I continued my ride to the CBD where the 2 anchors were doing the show from the banks of the Yarra River on a beautiful morning. People associated with the Today show were giving away souvenir bags filled with things like pens, rulers and magnets and I happily accepted one! I didn’t hang around too long because I wanted to get to yoga.
I love my yoga studio, but it is a very quiet place. Everyone walks in, unrolls their mat, and starts meditation. It does not have the social component that my classes at home have. A couple of months ago one woman said “hi” and we got to talking and we became friends. Well, she got a full-time job recently and today was her last time at the 9:30 AM class so I wanted to be there to say “Good-bye!”
Right after yoga I walked quickly to the train station where I took a train to the CBD for the Footy Parade. The parade started at noon and I arrived at the parade route at 11:15 to find the streets closed off and thousands of people lining the route. I decided I wanted to position myself so that the sun would be at my back so I was lucky to find a single spot right behind the first row of parade goers. By the time the first parade participants came by, the crowd was 10-deep! The parade started on schedule and there were several bands, and both teams traversed the route in the back of white, Toyota pick-up trucks. Interestingly, the parade included the Carlton Beer Clydesdales~just like Budweiser! It is estimated that 100,000 people attend this parade and I can believe it! After the parade the streets were just packed. I guess all the business people who work in the CBD and came out at lunch for the parade, did not go back to work!
The two teams playing in tomorrow’s game are the Hawthorn Hawks (a local team) and the Fremantle Dockers (from a suburb south of Perth). The Hawks have won the Premiership Trophy multiple times in their history and were in last year’s Grand Final, but lost to Sydney. The Dockers are a young team, forming in 1994 and have never been in the Grand Final. It is amazing to see the huge number of Docker fans around Melbourne, proudly wearing their purple, green and red team colors and yelling “Fre-oooooooo” any chance they get! The Hawk fans will probably out-number the Docker fans at the game, but the Docker fans were lots more vocal at the parade today. Groups of fans will spontaneously break into singing their team song no matter where they are! It is such fun!
Jim and I are going back down to the CBD tonight to get a beer and maybe find some dinner. There should be lots of energy with all these fans in town!