AS A mad Magpie attending his first Collingwood live game since the little princesses were born, I knew it was gonna be a long day when the first person I saw at the ground was Geelong premiership captain Tom Harley.
Maybe, just maybe, if the next person I saw was Collingwood premiership captain Nick Maxwell things might be alright, I thought. I turned the corner … and there was Joffa – Collingwood’s comic-like cheer squad leader. Crap.
Earlier in the afternoon I’d left Princess Kel and the li’l princesses after a long day of shopping to make their way back to the Medina Grand, while I jumped onto a tram on Flinders St to get to the MCG.
It was a bitterly cold evening and Kel was concerned I did not have a jacket, despite shopping for one all afternoon. In stark contrast to how it normally works (I’m the shopper of the family), Kel had seemingly bought half of Melbourne and I’d bought nothing.
“Julian, you’ll freeze,’’ was Kel’s parting comment as I kissed her, assuring her I’d be OK. It was on arrival at the MCG I spotted the merchandise stand. “Got any Collingwood jackets?’’ I enquired, as the lady proceeded to unveil a sparkling new Magpie waterproof, lined polar fleece jacket.
I rang Kel: “Want the good news or the bad news?’’
“What?’’ she replied, suspiciously.
“Well, I’m not gonna freeze anymore … I bought a Collingwood jacket and it only cost me $100 … Hello? Kel? … Are you still there?’’ Bonus.
Princess Kel bought me the ticket to the game as a Christmas present (actually she didn’t buy the ticket, she just said I could go). I organised the ticket, which looked on paper a bloody good seat, through an equally mad Magpie workmate. With much excitement, I raced to my seat to check the view only to discover it was right on the fringe of the Geelong cheer squad. Sent a scathing text message to my workmate. Double crap.
Oh well, best enjoy the night anyway. To my surprise I found the surrounding Geelong supporters bloody nice people (thus disproving my previously held theory about Cat supporters). I enjoyed the game and had a ball despite the eventual Magpie loss, roaring myself hoarse (which Kel would have been most embarrassed about had she been there).
My beloved Pies were pretty ordinary on the night but, had Geelong lost, their supporters could have felt more ripped off than the MCG patrons who pay $8 for a mid strength beer. I raced home, still buzzing from the experience, to the comfort of our hotel room and the li’l princesses sound asleep. Magic.
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