So last week was the biggest day on anyone's AFL footy calendar. Especially if your team dominated the season enough to get through the finals and get their shot at premiership glory. This year the Hawks were pitted agains Fremantle. Hawthorn against Perth. Brown and yellow against the purple army that flooded into the most liveable city in the world.
Being a Richmond supporter at the root of it all I was shattered when Carlton wiped us off the board back in the qualifying finals. You might not think I would be too fussed on the outcome of the grand final.
But as I sat in fed square watching on the big screen I was definitely a little more than vaguely invested in the birds taking out the title. The week before when they scraped through a close struggle with Geelong you may have enjoyed seeing me jump around and do a little dance when the final siren confirmed the hawks chance of contention the following week.
But with Hawthorn as a very close second team (and as I say this I hold up my thumb and index finger to show you just how close a second they are) I swapped my black for brown and donned a hawthorn jersey and scarf borrowed from my cousin to support the boys. And it makes me think how connected we are by the design of this. Whether its an official jersey or you've knitted your own scarf of your teams colours, we paint ourselves with this coding system that defines your interest. Instantly as you pass a total stranger the fact they are wearing the same colours almost invites a friendship, even if only momentarily. Side by side you cheer on your team, united in supporting your favourite side to a victory and when they do fall, commiseration together commences. And it's just such fun. To be united as strangers by a few stripes of colour.
Anyway, it was certainly an exciting occasion and an experience to be had in amongst the excitement of it all. Fed square was full of committed and passing by onlookers. i even manage to make friends with a cute little family that generously shared their umbrellas when it got a little drizzly. We were all very excited and relieved when the siren finally went with the hawks on top abd we rushed down to the MCG to go into the ground and soak up some of the atmosphere passing a flood of purple people as we made our way. The atmosphere was amazing!
This year is the closest I've ever followed the AFL and I'm already missing the fact that there was no footy to watch this weekend! It's going to be a long off season!