Footy Finals are back, babay.
While the overwhelming majority of Aussies missed out on a year’s worth of spectating in the stands, we’ve been given the green(ish) light to rock up to stadiums and resume our enthusiastic shouting at people who are so far away they resemble ants in slightly different coloured guernseys.
As AFLW gears up for the finals (which, might I add, are currently selling tickets for a mere $10), now’s the perfect time to dust off your scarves and get your butts back in the seats – watching footy at home is fun and all, but nothing quite compares to the thrill of your team taking the win while surrounded by angsty opposition supporters.
So, in honour of the AFLW finals, here are just a few parts of live footy that we’ve sorely, sorely missed.
The occasionally dodgy, always delightful food
No one’s arguing that food at the footy is Michelin Star but fark me, the guilty pleasure you experience when you’re smashing a scorching pie with sauce running down your arms and chin is unparalleled.
If I had to choose between a three-hour sit-down dinner and a five-minute solo hot dog eating contest, I’d choose the latter nine times out of ten.
Of course, depending on the venue, there’s also the relatively new introduction of a-grade food trucks and fancy, schmancy drinks, so you still get a balance of sorts.
Watching one player for a few minutes to see what they get up to
This may be a tad niche, but when I’m actually at a footy match, I get a kick out of choosing one player to watch for a short period of time, just to see what they get up to.
It can be quite humorous to see how players handle themselves when they’re not near the action, so if you play your cards right you might see a minor eye-roll, or perhaps some banter.
It’s a people-watching goldmine.
While I don’t think Australia’s at the UK-level of intense sports fandom (football over there has ended in genuine riots more times than one can count), I still think we have a solid level of overwhelming enthusiasm.
As long as people don’t start getting too personal by bringing up my drunken escapades from days yonder (I dunno how they’d even find out about them but you can’t too careful), I’m all for a bit of harmless banter.
The high stakes
Whether you walk away from a match with your spirits higher than a feline on catnip, or you’re so down in the dumps the garbo trucks mistake you for rubbish, the pure rush involved with any footy match is worth it.
Sure, not everyone’s going to come out of this walking on sunshine but that’s just part of the fun.
There will always be a place in my heart for watching footy on TV, but going to see the action in person is an entirely different experience. So head here to suss out those $10 tickets to the AFLW finals, and if you miss out on those, the AFL isn’t that far behind, either.Image: iStock / pixdeluxe