aerial ping pong | guest post by Nathan

Some facts about my friend Nath;

  • I’ve known him since I was 13-ish
  • We were on the swim team together for 5 years
  • For about 2 weeks in year 10, I had a crush on his twin brother
  • I used to beg him and Grant to dress the same (much to their disgust)
  • He’s a fantastic electrical conductor; he’s a Sparky who’s been seriously electrocuted a couple of times, and
  • He was hit by lightening while out sailing.
  • He once ate raw oysters off a rock with me at dawn
  • He’s quite stubborn
  • He was one of my husband’s groomsmen
  • Last year he ran through the pitch-black jungles in Borneo following a tribe of headhunters
  • Last year he married a wonderful girl named Mandy who has turned out to be one of my good girlfriends
  • He makes a good home brew
And he’s my guest blogger today! Here is his wonderful account of our Melbourne adventure to an AFL match…
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Words by Nathan:
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To the unobservant eye it was just like any other ordinary Saturday, it was June 11th 2011 and it started just like every other, I woke up as I have done each and every Saturday since the day I was born. But that is where the similarities ended.

It was the first morning of our long Victorian weekend and although all participants may not have acknowledged it, as travelling through Paris a visit to the Eiffel tower is a given, when in Melbourne a sporting event at the MCG is a necessity. A few distractions before the big event were inevitable, I had to have a shower and brush my teeth, breakfast and coffee in some cute little cafe, knitting in Federation square, catching trams and cheeky beers at noon. All things to pass the time before the main reason for visiting the southern state of Victoria – Geelong Cats V Hawthorn Hawks at the “ G “ (that’s what Victorians call the Melbourne Cricket Ground)

The evening was always going to be cold so the correct attire was required to ensure maximum comfort and enjoyment. We all purchased new scarfs to support our team. It might have been viewed as an attempt to blend in with the local Victorians and we definitely didn’t let on that our first choice would have been to watch the Rebels or Storm play. I like to believe that Geelong embraced its six newest and relatively uneducated AFL supporters along with a Hawks supporter who took time out from feeding his 10 month old son a greasy McWhopper burger to inform us of the unlimited interchange rule and the confusing time keeping methods.

The first bounce was everything we could have hoped for, cheering supporters, giant pom poms behind goals, soul warming takeaway food, icy cold beer and scantily clad cheerleaders … maybe the cold weather kept them away? It is difficult to understand how the umpires keep their jobs as the extreme number of knock ons, forward passes and offside infringements that were missed was unbelievable.

Putting the umpires deplorable performance aside, the game was played at a fast pace and the athleticism of the players was unquestionable. I’m not sure if this is the correct terminology for the code of football but the MVP for the game was never in doubt after a first half bag of 6 goals from Podsy (he plays for our team the Cats and a goal is when they kick the ball between the two tallest sticks), The Go To Man, target el Podsy. Not wanting to rub salt into the wounds of the Hawks but Podsy was undefendable, be the man 10 foot tall and bullet proof.

The 63 thousand 4 hundred and 76 strong crowd definitely got their money’s worth. From the unquestionably talented busker outside the “ G “ to the short queue for food and beer along with a game of aerial ping pong between two of the great teams in the League a fantastic evening was had by all including the six newest, scarf wearing  Geelong supporters.

To be serious the game was great to watch live and the result was not decided until the final siren with only 5 points the final margin. Watching Buddy Franklin run around only proved he is an amazing talent and although he played on the unsuccessful side that night he stood out not only on stature but in his performance.

The final siren went and with the crowds dispersing and every tram overfull to bursting with people we decided to leg it back into the city and burn off some of the calories we had partaken in that evening. Although walking back to our hotel was not the ideal scenario…

AFL was the winner on the night!
Geelong Cats 13.10.88 v Hawthorn Hawks 13.5.83
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the end
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Nath & Mandy; on the way to the game
Janine & Ian; on the tram to the game
Mel & Jay; on the way to the game
63,476 supporters to be exact!

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*We initially found the points scoring confusing, but once it was explained it was actually pretty cool. Here is the best way I can explain the scoring: 

(My goodness! It’s like an equation!)

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One thought on “aerial ping pong | guest post by Nathan

  1. Excellent write-up Nath!!! Felt like I was back at the ‘G’ freezing my nards off singing ‘We are Geelong!!’

    It was good fun, and something I have always wanted to see live. I’m still astounded at how they manage give you a point for missing the goal, as if to say, ‘good try mate, here’s a point for your efforts. Better luck next time’ and with a playful scruff of the hair, you’re off again to punch on with someone wearing a different colour jersey until the ball comes back your way.

    Good Times!!!

    Jay

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