This week there’s actually something worth lining up for – AFL Grand Final tickets.
Last week there was that new iPhone rubbish. If you lined up for that, you need to buy a new mirror.
Then go home and have a good hard look at yourself. Because there’s something very wrong with you.
You know what’s more important than football?
It’s not an iPhone, not an election and it’s not breathing. It’s nothing. There’s nothing more important than football.
This Saturday September 28 it’s Xmas, New Year and every other holiday rolled into one. It’s AFL Grand Final Day – Australian Xmas.
If you barrack for Hawthorn or Fremantle it’s like four birthdays in one. Or just one if you’re born on February 29.
I once dated a girl born on February 29. We had to break up because if we did anything, it would’ve been technically illegal. Although she’d been on this earth for twenty years, she was still only five.
You know who else has been on this earth for twenty years? Fremantle, and this Saturday is their first ever Grand Final. Ross Lyon might destroy football with his excruciating defensive press, but everyone knows that when it comes to Grand Finals, it doesn’t matter how you play the game. All that matters is winning.
An iPhone is a product that will be forgotten and discarded as soon as the next one comes along. Who remembers lining up for the Nokia 2210? Nobody. Well nobody who’ll admit to it, but people did.
Who remembers the time they were at an AFL Grand Final and their team won? Every single person who was there. And they’ll remember that experience forever.
So if you’re a Hawthorn of Fremantle member wake up early, sleep out, and do whatever it takes to get a Grand Final ticket.
Actually, don’t bother because you know what you can’t line up for this year if you’re a club member? Grand Final tickets.
There’s some ballot system, which randomly distributes the meagre amount of tickets allocated to club members. If you even remembered to register.
I think this is one of the biggest outrages in the history of the world. If you ignore all history that isn’t AFL.
The AFL know they have a product that everyone wants. They’re exactly like the hot girl at a nightclub. There’s usually only one, and she gets to act like a bitch, because she knows that she’ll still get attention.
AFL supporters aren’t going anywhere. So although the sponsors, the players, the clubs, the broadcasters and the AFL depend on them for survival, they take them for granted.
You know what we value in Australia above just about everything else? Fairness.
So what I want is a fair go for football club members.
If you buy a membership, you should get first go at an Grand Final ticket. Stuff the sponsors, the corporates and the clubs that didn’t make it. If you’ve been to over half of your team’s games in a year, then you should get a ticket.
The MCG holds almost exactly 100,000 people.
This year Fremantle has a membership of 43,638.
While Hawthorn has a membership of 63,353.
However there are a maximum of 35,000 tickets for both club’s members.
This is bullshit.
I’m sick and tired of Preliminary Finals that have a far better atmosphere than the Grand Final.
Where the roar is replaced with disinterested and sporadic applause from idiots in suits who spend the first half trying to understand the rules, and the second half in the bar.
True fans are people who have made sacrifices. Who’ve chosen football over spending time with their spouses and their children. Who’ve chosen not to spend their money on non-essentials like food and clothing, and bought a membership instead.
As every true fan knows that football is the only true essential.
Corporates whinge and whine if they don’t get a ticket, but they don’t really care. Tell them that they’re at the game, and shove them in front of a big screen with unlimited boutique beer and food so fancy it’s unidentifiable and inedible, and they won’t know the difference.
The way Grand Final tickets are allocated, it’s like you’re getting married. However, instead of inviting all your friends and family, and all the people that have supported you through your life, you just invite those who own the reception centre, your boss from work, the bloke who owns the catering company, and some catholic priests.
You know what that wedding would be? Really boring.
More importantly, this is far more important than any wedding, because it’s football.
Also, you know who gets married on Grand Final Day? Only idiots.
By the way, this is never a problem that I’ve had. As a North Melbourne member, for the 1996, 1998 and 1999 Grand Finals, it was possible to get tickets at the gate.
Actually no it wasn’t. I lined up overnight, and it was well worth it. Back in 1996 was the first time I’d ever stayed up all night surrounded by strangers who quickly became friends, and it set me up for a life where all nighters like that have become the norm.
Anyway, no matter who’s playing, the AFL Grand Final will always sell out. This isn’t the NRL. The only time you have to line up for NRL tickets is when they play the State of Origin. In Melbourne.
So what do we need? More tickets for AFL club members.
When do we need them? NOW!
Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian. (www.xaviertoby.com)
Catch Xavier at the Melbourne Fringe from Sep 20 to Oct 5.
Performing his comedy walking tour, ‘2013 – When We Were Idiots’.