Gasp ! shock , horror ,alright I admit it I was away for the month of September and missed the entire 2012 AFL Football Finals Series .
As a self confessed lover of footy , and regular attendee at Finals matches , it did feel a little strange , Â like I was disembodied from the whole spectacle .
I went to the Grand Final , in a grimy , overcrowded pub in Shepherds Bush , London , with an eclectic mix of Aussies , Poms and Kiwis . All were celebrating the match with beer , pies and footy jumpers . Sporadic cheers , rippled through the crowd , especially when Sydney got a goal , and audible sighs , were unleashed when Buddy missed . Â Many AFL Football Jumpers , Jerseys , Guernseys were visible amongst the 4.30 am party mood crowd .
Having been to Â a GF in recent tiems at the MCG it is hard to replicate the crowd , noise , adrenalin and pure enjoyment of watching the spectacle . Many die hard fans tried in Shepherds Bush, with beer the lubricant and a love of the Game as a common bond . Stumbling out into Â the freezing Shepherds bush morning and staggering towards the tube , it all felt a little surreal .
What I did do though was go to an EPL between Westham Â and Sunderland . Â A beautiful sunny day , very helpful staff Â and a sea Â of Â excitable Â fans saw us tube across town to take our Â Seats were third row from the back in the packed Bobby Moore . Upon arrival the Hammers were signing ” I’m forever blowing bubbles ” adding to the electric atmosphere . Sunderland goaled early which resulted in their fans singing and heckling during the entire match Â . Supporting Westham was like following my AFL team St KildaÂ , as they had all the play and attack but kept peppering the goals and missing. Chants of the ref is a wanker , and ” you welsh x#? #” expletive deleted were common .
Finally Westham Â broke through for a goal in the last half with only ten minutes of play left . The stands erupted as ” bubbles ” was roared across the stands and many stood , gesturing Â and shouting ” who are ya ” Â to the rival fans . Â Millions of bubbles , released from machines heralded the end of the Game . Jubilant fans of both teams made an orderly exit to the Tube , under Bobby supervision , with the mood on the train being enhanced by fat hammers fans , drinking , burping , farting and singing their way home .A brilliant day out had by Â all. The Poms love a footy match and can put on a spectacle .