I heard something on the AM radio yesterday morning that made my neck tense.
It wasn’t another erectile dysfunction ad or a pre-paid funeral plan. Instead, this old mate announcer sighed and said:
“There’s no AFL on in Melbourne this weekend.”
Catch up, mate. Because not only was there an AFL game, but there was a history-making one, broadcast live on Channel Seven, across the ABC and on Triple M. A game that subsequently smashed the TV ratings. And a game that I went and saw in the flesh because I had to see it for myself.
The AFL Women’s All-Star match.
The best female players from across the country, divided into two teams: the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne Demons. In 2017 there will be a league of eight clubs (but there are no fully-formed teams yet as the player draft is in October). So this blockbuster was a taste of what we will see from the first actual women’s league next year.
It was in an atmosphere that rippled with so much excitement that I had to whip out the phone and live stream what I was seeing.
ICYMI, there were mascots and those giant crepe banners they run through and the smell of hot chips in the air and it was everything football should be. But the question on everyone’s lips was: will the people come?
Oh yes. The people came.
Over 6000 people, actually. And it was little girls, little girls everywhere I looked.
I could see them. They sat on the hill in the drizzle and cheered and clapped. They nestled into the stands with banners and streamers, screaming the players’ names. They hung off the fence – some wearing jerseys over dresses – so close to the players that they could almost touch them. Young families and couples, weather-worn oldies, even a few famous footballing faces in there among the fans.
— jocelyn pies (@jocelynseip) September 3, 2016