A finals atmosphere

This morning I rode to work at 4:30am in the dark, and already the barricades were lining Collins and Swanston streets for a kilometre or two. There’s a big players parade taking place at noon, and I imagine the coaches and captains get given the temporary keys to the city or something before the big event tomorrow. What a weird symbolic concept for the modern age. I feel detached and hollow about the AFL Grand Final this year – exactly what I felt last year too, and maybe even the year before that. The same two teams, both from interstate, both boring and unhateable. The streets are littered with scarfed out-of-towners (mostly West Coast fans I’ve noticed) with too much time on their hands and goofy country-folk looks. Regardless of the lack of passion in the Melbourne media and amongst the work crowd, it never ceases to amaze me how the basic love of the game, and the event stirs ordinary people and institutions to do something special. I had to stop at the side of the road last night in the city, get off my bike and take a snap of a church getting in on the act. I’m not talking about a modern-day evangelical outfit who wants to appear modern and in touch with the population, I’m talking about the seemingly orthodox clergy of a traditional 120 year old bluestoned cathedral getting excited about something. I’m intrigued by the sermon topic “Beating the Tribunal” because it doesn’t seem obvious how a church can tap into a theme like that unless it’s turned into a “you can lie to people but God sees all” thing. footy.jpg
I wonder who turned up? And what songs they sang.