Two lines of buff, good looking men standing with their arms around eachother while two dudes strum guitars and sing an acoustic version of the national anthem. I'm so not at the theatre.
This is football. This is Round 26. This is the Grand Final. This is what makes Melbourne's heart beat.
The only Melbourne folk not watching are those at Melbourne Fringe matinees. Mad folk. How can they miss this?
As an arty creative type, I don't give a rat's tit about footy - but I wouldn't miss an AFL Grand Final.
Not only because my Melbourne citizenship would be re-voked.
Sport is passion. Sport is obsession. Sport is story that no one knows the ending. This match story hasn't been contrived and manipulated by some pale and spotty writer locked in a dark room hoping that their words will make the boy or girl of their dreams fancy them, instead of lusting after fit and pretty boys or girls who play competitive sport.
This story looked like the ending was known about 10 minutes in, but the Saints fought back and there's hope that they may topple the un-toppable Pies.
Saints V Pies. St Kilda V Colliingwood. The last time they met in a final was 1966. St Kilda won by one point. They haven't won a final since. Collingwood last won in 1990. But this is the team that inspired the term collywobbles. Not only do they have a habit of wussing out in finals, they are the team that everyone except Collingwood fans loves to hate.
Everyone in Melbourne has two teams. Their team and whoever is playing against Collingwood. I support Port when they are playing Collingwood. (Adelaide readers will totally understand.) Collingwood fan's only see in black in white; they have no other team.
The stakes are high, the turning points are unexpected, the characters are known but unpredictable and the narrative voice over fills in what we don't understand.
If we could write theatre filled with the complexity and tension of a final...
If we could write the type of stories that ignite a fraction of the passion that a round 1 match evokes in its audience...
Let us watch and learn and maybe 100, 000 tickets will sell out instantly and people will sit outside theatre venues offering their life savings for a chance to see our stories unfold.
But right now, I just want St Kilda to play better.
No one could have written that ending. See you next week!
Photo from The Age, Rebecca Halla