My husband wrote an email to his workmates and since it's a new voice I thought I'd share it as a guest post:
G’day all. Greeting from Bulldogs central at my place.
Huge weekend just passed with driving up to Sydney to watch the Prelim. After packing the Ute/Van, didn’t end up taking it up in the end as I’d had a crap night’s sleep the Thursday night and didn’t feel the best. M got up early and by 6.30am she had a Motel booked about 30 minutes from the ground. . Got as far as Goulburn and had had enough. Camped there for the night and then heading on to Sydney in the morning.
Got to the ground early and thought there was a mistake with our seats. The guys pointing us in the direction of the front row. So there we were with front row seats at the 50 metre arc. Sat next to a nice old man who’d driven all the way with his daughter. She was too nervous to actually buy a ticket and elected to sit outside the ground. An unbelievable atmosphere ensued. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a Doggies crowd so animated/loud with the crowd being 50% Dog fans. We were out of our seats most of the time. I lost my voice but still managed to give Heath Shaw a nice old spray at one point and in earshot which I never usually do (he deserved it too).
A work colleague is sending me regular texts explaining what’s happening and letting me know how long to go. I put my phone down as I want to enjoy the moment. Amazing scenes when the siren sounded. I was speechless by this point. M was crying, N stunned. We were just so blown away that we had got there. The team given nothing, had beaten the team given everything. People were ecstatic afterwards. Strangers hugging each other. High fives including the players as they traversed the boundary. Spontaneous singing of the club song all around the ground and outside of it, local bars overflowing with Dogs fans. No one wanted to leave.
The drive home Sunday was an event in itself. There were cars with scarves protruding out of every window. People waving out of cars when they recognised you were one of them. Red, white and blue everywhere. You’d pull in somewhere to fuel/food up and bump into more of “The pack” so more talk, more smiles from people that you don’t know, but in a sense you do. More “Go Doggies”.
Watched the Brownlow Monday with great interest to see how the boys would do. I don’t follow the Red Carpet stuff too much, but it was great to see Annie Nolan (Liam Picken’s wife) in the ladies tuxedo. Was a great message she sent in doing that.
Went into the ballot with not much hope of getting a ticket, particularly as we requested 4. You pay $5 each entry fee to go in but thought $20 was a reasonable investment to try. As a backup, a mate had lined up another mate who has options to get tickets (I’m not sure how or why). I thought about it for a second and thought no, if I’m going to watch it I want to share it with people that mean something. So as generous as mate of a mate's offer was, I would have likely declined and opted to be with my nearest and dearest.
So, Monday comes around and my credit card get charged $666 and I’m thinking shxx, I might have tickets! M says “Are you doing anything Saturday?” The email has come through, we have tickets! They are nose bleed section (top tier), Punt Road end but we’re going to the GF Saturday.
So this week has not necessarily gone as I thought. I was going to be painting but that can wait. Stuff it. Am going to the GF parade. I’ve not been before, so this is part of the experience. Will leave early Saturday by Public Transport to get to the ground and enjoy the whole experience.
The house has been decorated so the neighbours know where we stand. In Geelong, they’re used to seeing Cats stuff everywhere. Seeing Dogs stuff for them must be like some kind of alternate reality. For once though I think another team has edged out the Geelong Football Club from the local Geelong Advertiser. Mind you they still dedicated 4 whole pages to GFC Mad Monday/Whacky Wednesday.
Am I excited, tick, nervous tick, all of the above. If we win it I’m not sure what space I’ll be in. Next to getting married and having kids this could be a major event. Forgive me if on Monday I’m tired, emotional, voiceless, on a bender, missing in action or locked up. I’ve been crook this week with that cold/sore throat everyone’s had, but I’m on a high.
This means a lot for someone who’s followed a team their whole life and never seen them in a GF let alone win a cup. Regardless I’ll be proud of my team.
Hope you’re all well and spare a thought for us sitting in the stands Saturday.