Each year on the night before Mother’s Day, the MCG hosts the Pink Lady Match. The aim is to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research. The Melbourne Football Club hosts this event that over the years has raised millions of dollars. This year my team, the Sydney Swans, played Melbourne. It’s the first time we have played in this game so my first opportunity to experience the night. I’ve only watched it on tv before.
As I walked towards the MCG from the train station I noticed the exterior of the ground was lit up pink. It looked really good lit up in the dark. Not knowing what to expect, I got to my seat and sat down to watch the players warm up before the game. Once the players left the ground I realised the light towers had been switched off. Soon after the lighting within the ground was also switched off, plunging the ground and stands into darkness.
On the way in we were given free torches that shone pink light. Once the ground lights were switched off we were all asked to point our torches on to the ground. It created the effect you see below. During this part everyone stood for one minutes silence as a mark of respect for all those that have died from, or receiving treatment for, breast cancer.
Today is arguably the biggest day on the Aussie sporting calendar. Aussie Rules Football is Australia’s own indigenous sport, having begun in Melbourne in 1859.
Grand Final Day is the culmination of a season that began on March 22nd. After 206 games of the season and finals there are only two teams left to battle it out for the premiership: Hawthorn (from Melbourne) and Fremantle (from Perth).
It’s a bit of a fairytale story for Fremantle. This is their first Grand Final since they entered the competition in 19 years ago.
The game is just about to start so I’m off to watch it. I’m tipping Hawthorn by 16 points but don’t really mind who wins. I’m just going to enjoy the game. Last time my team won the Grand Final and it’s only when your team isn’t in this game that you realise how nervous you were for the whole week before last year.
Once we got on the shuttle bus to the SCG (Sydney Cricket Ground) we were able to relax somewhat. Not knowing the terrain between the CBD and the SCG we had originally planned to walk to the ground. When we were on the bus we were extremely glad we didn’t have time because the terrain was very steep and would have taken longer than planned. We were still worried we wouldn’t get to the ground in time to see the Grand Final flag being handed over and raised. All I wanted was to get in the ground. Once inside I knew I would be able to see what I wanted no matter what my vantage point. As luck had it we were able to get in, walk around to the opposite side of the ground and sit down about one minute before the the ceremony started.
After the ceremony the Cup and Flag were paraded around the ground. There were different groups of people who carried it around the ground, representing supporters and other groups. From our seats on level 2 we were able to get some great photos.
Once the game started the Gold Coast made us work for the win. The team kept Gary Ablett quiet which is the key to containing the Gold Coast. The atmosphere in the crowd was so quiet though. When the Gold Coast got a goal it was deathly quiet but when we scored it wasn’t a lot better. I’m used to really noisy crowds in Melbourne.
After the game I went outside the ground to the merchandise van and bought some more merchandise then we queued up to get the shuttle bus back to Central Station. While waiting for the bus I bumped into a friend from work who had also flown up for the day.
We stil had some time to fill in before heading back to the airport so we decided to look for somewhere to have an early dinner. We found an Irish pub called Maloney’s and had a nice meal. After that we caught the train back to the airport and flew home.
It had been a fantastic 30 hours by the time I got home but boy was I tired. I’d been able to see two of my favourite sporting teams win in different footy codes. I will definitely consider flying up to Sydney for the day in future because it’s so easy to do. Not the cheapest day out but definitely fun.
Months ago, when the AFL fixture was released, I was forced to make a difficult decision. My beloved Swans were schedule to play St Kilda in a second round NAB Cup match at the same time as Melbourne Victory were to be playing at AAMI Park. Even then (in October) I knew that I would end up going to the footy because I would have seen all Melbourne Victory home games by this time. I was really annoyed that both games were scheduled at the same time. It would have been great if the soccer had been on a different day or even earlier in the day so I could have hopped on the train to Etihad Stadium.
It was a beautiful, warm day, so I went into the city early so I could go to Myer then walked around the city, finally ending up at Etihad Stadium on the city’s western side.
The Swans came out firing in the first quarter and continued on until the Saints turned the tables and ran away to win by 23 points. It was a good chance to watch some of the players for my fantasy footy sides first hand. Most of all it was great to be able to say that footy is back!!!
My footy team the Sydney Swans, won the 2012 AFL premiership. I was so excited. In fact I still get goosebumps when I think about it and love watching the game over and over.
I live in Melbourne which used to be the home of South Melbourne before they moved to Sydney and became the Sydney Swans. After a rough start for the first few years I never thought they would win a premiership. However I have seen them win two; one in 2005 and now 2012.
Because the club is based in Sydney, the premiership cup is also based in Sydney. However fans all across the country want to see it so they are taking it on the road over the next few months. Yesterday it was Melbourne’s turn. I was so glad it was after work so I didn’t have to take time off work. Which I would have done in a heartbeat.