Off to the MCG last night with my son, a long-time and long-suffering Tigers supporter to watch Richmond v St Kilda. A draw- hah! I say. At least a draw in Aussie Rules is not one of those dour nil-all matches in the other codes, and everyone, whether black/yellow or black/red/white left saying “That was a good game!”
Now, I don’t think that I’m turning into a gun-toting libertarian (yet) and perhaps it’s just my Grumpy Old Lady stirring, but one comes away from the MCG feeling put-upon and nagged. Apart from the live-betting scores that flash up on the screen to enrage me at the ubiquity of corporatized gambling, there is also a string of prohibitions and admonitions all aimed, no doubt, at lessening the MCG’s public liability and protecting their assets. Here, according to the messages on the scoreboard, is what you can’t do at the MCG
2. Run onto the ground during a match
3. Go onto the ground after the game for a bit of kick to kick (a time-honoured tradition and the only way that a lot of us would ever get onto the MCG turf)
4. Take alcohol out of the stadium (or bring it in for that matter. Or drink full strength beer)
5. Stand on the seats
6. Put up an umbrella (flashed onto the screen the very minute a gust of virga eddied onto the MCG in its own little micro-climate)
7. Fall on the steps because it’s wet (ditto)
8. Be anti-social, and they gave a handy dob-a-hoon SMS number so that you could report them – quite a good idea actually.
I’m sure that there were more, and I’ll add them as I think of them (and you suggest them). I was surprised that there wasn’t one about racial vilification and they’ve obviously given up on people photographing, filming etc. But my goodness, do we really need to be harangued and nagged the whole way through a match? Do I dare say the words ‘nanny state’?