The Grand Final
- Shao

In Victoria, every year there is a very big Aussie football game which is called the Grand Final. It is a sport and is a part of traditional Australian culture. Also, it is very important to most Aussies in other ways. In Melbourne the Grand Final is the most important news reported by the media for many days before the big game begins.

On the Grand Final eve afternoon, the two qualifying footy teams who participate in a traditional Grand Final parade in the streets of Melbourne. There is a very big crowd in the streets and many fans go there to have a look at their favourite. The fans wear their hats and scarves which are marked with the symbols of the teams. While the players are present, the fans cheer for their heroes and the final stars wave back at the fans. Some of fans try to take photos of them and ask their heroes to sign autographs as a memento. Also, the parade is always reported on the T.V news in the evening.

At night, devotees and fans for the celebration hold a party on Grand Final Eve. There are some special food at the party, cakes and pastas etc. This year the pastas were made with the colours of the footy teams. For example this year, there were black and white colours which represented the Collingwood team and maroon and yellow for the Brisbane Lions. Before the Grand Final, at MCG, chefs were so busy preparing food. It was reported that they had prepared more than 20,000 pies, 10,000 buckets of chips, 5,000 hamburgers and more than 1,000 litres of tomato sauce and 85,000 beers and of course the traditional footy fare Four’N Twenty meat pies. It was a big day for the Aussies.

On Grand Final day, nearly 100,000 people who had bought finals tickets were so pleased and excited to come to MCG stadium to watch the final combat. However, many devotees felt disappointed because they couldn’t buy tickets, even though, weeks before they had tried and queued up for many hours. As the tickets were sold out, some of them were very emotional. They were very sad and cried as they had lost the chance to go into the MCG to watch the Grand Final, although they could watch it on Channel 10’s telecast.

Before the Grand Final began, performers sang the Australian National anthem first. Then one after another, the players sang their team songs. After the performance, the excited and intense competition started. The teams endeavoured to play their best and really wanted to win the match. While their heroes scored, the fans were so cheerful and were yelling and shouting. They applauded and acclaimed. It was a really exciting match.

After the struggling battle the Brisbane Lions won the cup at last, so the players of the team, their coach Leigh Mathews, and their fans were extremely happy and cheerful. Opposite to it, the losing team Collingwood’s fans were so sad and gloomy. At that time, the captain Nathan Buckley of the team had tears in his eyes and Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse was crying too. These showed that footy is so important to the Aussies and the winners of course celebrated for a few days, after they felt so proud and pleased.

I think immigrants who live in Australia, should try to learn more about Australian culture and customs because if we can learn more about Australia, we may more easily be accepted into the main society and may feel more comfortably settled here.
I didn’t understand all the rules of game but I did enjoy watching Australian people having a good time.