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The ball doesn’t lie

September 26, 2009

Ah, Grand Final day. The Melbourne Cup may well be the race that stops a nation but Grand Final Day is bigger than Christmas for most Victorians.  Another year gone and over, another football season finished. Two teams left. The two best teams, with their talent and their brilliance. One game and one winner. Passion and heartbreak. A hundred thousand screaming fans.

Or is it?

Are there really a hundred thousand screaming fans? Hell no. Most of the people attending the Grand Final are stiff corporate types and this will be the first footy game they’ve been to this year. On the other hand, the people who have gone to every single game their team has played in will miss out on tickets going to the sponsors and other various posers. How is this fair? The game, like everything, is built on its fans. Without people to support the teams and players AFL wouldn’t exist. And yet, on the biggest day of the year, the AFL gives them nothing.

There are 25,000 tickets going to members of the two clubs playing today. While that’s a jump in last year’s numbers, it’s still only a quarter of the tickets. Add that to the fact that the cheapest seats are $161 and there’s only 15,000 of these (the seats so far away you’d be lucky to see the ball) and it looks like a raw deal for fans.

The rest of the tickets go to various other places, like sponsors and AFL clubs. They frequently add food and entertainment to the tickets and sell them at inflated prices like $2,000. That’s an amount few true football supporters can afford.

It’s not often I agree with Sam Kekovich but these quotes say it all. He considers most people that end up with tickets sit on their “fat posteriors in a marquee and wouldn’t even know the way to the MCG without a tour guide” and that they “wouldn’t even know who was even playing on Saturday”. I couldn’t have put it better myself.

What pisses me off most is the wankers who are so proud that they managed to get Grand Final tickets because of their job or whatever and look so damn pleased with themselves when they’re telling me. I don’t exactly hold back. This is my standard response:

“It’s funny you seem so happy about it. You do realise that you haven’t gone to a footy match all year right? Do you even know how the game is played? Do you even know who is playing? Do you know any rules or players or clubs? You don’t? Huh. Then why do you act like it’s your god-given right to attend the Grand Final? It’s a game of footy, not a social event. By you attending someone misses out. That person is a loyal and passionate supporter who has gone to every game their team has played this year. Thay have screamed at bad umpiring decisions and cried during devestating losses. They have cheered their hearts out at wins. They have read everything about their club in the newspaper. They are the reason these two teams are playing on Saturday. Football is their life and they love this team more than you could possible understand. They miss weddings and their children’s birthdays to attend the football. It is their greatest love and the driving force of their life. And you are taking away from them a moment they will remember forever. This person will shed tears and fury over missing out on Grand Final tickets. What would you miss? Do you feel proud about this? Do you think you deserve these tickets? What have you done for the two teams playing today? You should wipe that smug smirk off your face and be ashamed of youself. You are a complete and total wanker and a disappointment to humanity.”

Needless to say, most people don’t tell me the following year.

I stand by what I say though. I think people who attend the Grand Final who aren’t strong football followers are wankers and should have their arses kicked. These are the kind of people that make the world are worse place for everyone. I don’t normally believe in karma. But it’s amazing how many goals are missed after charity frees. The ball doesn’t lie. And these wankers will get what’s coming to them one day. You step on enough people in life, someone is going to step on you in a big way.

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