AFL game for grannies
But as an AFL journalist attending his first Melbourne derby, the 3-0 result was only part of the theatre on a night that had everything.
Marriage proposals at halftime (Natalie said yes to Diego, she cried as the cameras rolled).
A riot of colour and movement and activity and energy, as the controversial Victory fans on the North Terrace started chanting half an hour before kick-off and literally did not stop for 150 minutes.
Let’s be honest, it was a fan experience with so much more vibrancy and atmosphere than what the AFL stumped up last year.
Beach balls flitted across the heads of fans, 70s-style flags and crepe paper flew in the stands and the chanting and singing and banner-waving just kept rolling on.
AFL football is officially chasing the world game’s tail, at least from a fan engagement perspective.
This week alone Essendon cut its cheer squad in half to provide room for an “Active Area” that will coordinate chants and generally spice up the atmosphere.
Geelong can’t even get some of its Simonds Stadium fans to take the knitted blankets off their knees, let alone stand and chant and roar for an entire game.