First bounce

Footy starts tonight. It gets to about this time of year and you’re cherry ripe for it. It’s a long off season and the pretend games leading up to the season proper don’t do much more than pique the interest. I watched my team in the JLT series, but no other games, and, quite unfashionably, took little interest in the newly created women’s league. It’s great they now have a league of their own, but as yet I find it hard to watch.

I’ll be watching the game tonight though, even if my team isn’t playing. I just look forward to the siren going and the roar of the crowd and the first bounce of the ball as the season gets underway. There’s a lot of chat about it in the office and on the street, and as always TV and the newspapers are all over it. Melbourne is a cosmopolitan, eclectic, sophisticated city, but gee it loves its footy.

My team play Saturday in what will be a true grudge match against an arch-rival. It will be a big day, not just for the opening of the season, but much more so for the return of the so-called ‘banned’ players. This has been a long awaited moment and it’s an occasion ripe with emotion, for fans and players alike. There’ll be big crowd Saturday night, and to mark the occasion there’ll be a march to the ‘G from Fed Square of Essendon supporters. I’m not sure how many will join the march, but reckon it will be in the tens of thousands. I’ll be there – wouldn’t miss it for all the tea in China – and with me will be my Bombers loving nephew.

Can’t wait.

Oh, and there’s a Grand Prix on this weekend.

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