Just say No at the MCG

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

1. Smoke

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’?


5 responses to “Just say No at the MCG

  1. Although I barrack for Melbourne, I thought your match was a fantastic game. Only one free kick in front of goal was truly idiotic (when a Richmond defender rushed a StKilda point on purpose in the last quarter) and I suppose that might have made the difference.

    But I am glad for the crowd control mechanisms. We have seen the nightmare of soccer hooligans in Britain, Europe, Central and South America and know perfectly well what HUGE crowds, testosterone, intense games and way too much booze can do. Now I don’t think Australians would ever behave like that, but what mother would let her children go to a footy match and even run the risk?

    • residentjudge

      On one level I agree with you- I very much like the way that there is such strong representation of men, women and children in the crowd, and the good humour of the barracking. In fact, one of the real pleasures of a drawn match is going home in the train afterwards when there’s no gloating on either side- just respect mingled with disappointment. I’ve only ever seen one fight at the football, and I’m glad that it doesn’t have the fug of alcohol that it seemed to have in my memory as a child. And last night I noticed for the first time, the smell of the grass even though we were up on the third tier and I wondered if it was the absence of cigarette smoke.
      That said, though, I just felt badgered and nagged by the reminders on the screen, so often and so negatively. I suppose that it would be patronising to have one that said “Enjoy yourself”.

  2. I went to the MCG once. Holding the game while waiting for tv ads to finish infuriated me. Apart from that I couldn’t follow the play as I am just so used to watching football on tv. Well, that’s me. Footy at the MCG is something very special.

  3. Pingback: Soft and fuzzies at the MCG. | The Resident Judge of Port Phillip

  4. Pingback: And the footy season begins again | The Resident Judge of Port Phillip

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