Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Grand Final Day: Hawthorn Premiers 2008

Amazingly, we actually managed to be drawn out of the member's ballot and got our tickets to the Grand Final! Having gotten ourselves into all sorts about tickets, and whether Jessie would fly home for the match (I would have!!), we ended up with more tickets than needed, and had a stressful time sorting all that out all week.

But Saturday morning finally arrived, after such a long and exciting week, and Mum and I made it into town to meet Melissa for our own Grand Final Breakfast at Mess Hall. A maximum dose of spinach for me, given it's high Vitamin K content and the idea that I may want a beer or two later in the day, we took in the nervousness amongst us, and some fellow Hawks.

Having standing room tickets, we made our way to the MCG to claim our step in Bay M8, with the other nervous Hawk fans, at about 11am. Thinking that the day would take ages to get to the main event, we were soon joined by Hemant and Rick, while the second match of the day played out on the ground.

A group of lads joined our bay soon after us, and their story of how they managed to be there was soon shared. They had all arrived at the ground keen to be part of the day, but without a ticket - and all 6 or so of them, managed to buy a ticket off someone outside the ground. It happens! They were very, very excited to have gotten in!

Before we knew it, and after first beers for the others (I had a sip here and there for a taste, and the idea of calming the nerves!), Powderfinger were in the middle of the 'G, belting out (Baby I've Got You) On My Mind. The retirees of the year circled the ground in their cars, and there were some acrobatics in high air baubles...not sure what that was about!

Then the teams emerged, Hawthorn first, to a massive roar. The banner was huge, with words like Courage and Mateship, which has been what this team has been about all year. The Hawk boys linked up in their line up for the anthem, as they always do for finals. I didn't hear the anthem sung by the cast of Winked at all - but the very Aussie lad version, belted out by our Bay, in full gusto!

The nerves and tension were incredible. A couple of the boys, Roughead in particular, broke the line first, and sent a ripple of nerves and anticipation into the throngs of brown and yellow in the stands...

The toss, and the final warm up, and suddenly, it was game on. All so fast! I held my breath for the start, with memories of the opening of the 1989 Grand Final against Geelong also...and also knowing that several of the Hawk lads could be targets, given bumps taken into the game. But there was none of that, thankfully, just fast, hard and shaky footy to begin the match. The scoreboard managed to read that Geelong were just a point up at Quarter Time, with 5 goals a piece - a massive quarter!

The Second Quarter saw Croad hobble off the crowd, a sickening sight for Hawks fans. In a gallant, kamakazi mission, he laid a heavy bump on his way off. A massive goal from the Super Goal King, Young, sees the Hawks in front at half time, by just three points.

The Third Quarter was a Hawthorn dream! Brilliance from Rioli, and then two awesome goals from Dew, saw us leap ahead, and the siren saw us 17 points up! M8 standing room was erupting, mosh pit style as each goal sailed through. At one point, Melissa turned to the lads behind to warn them - DVT and all that, that I shouldn't be knocked about. I mean, we were all doing it. Poor Melissa, says I am a liability! The solo, and very down-trodden Cats fan in their group shielded me from then on. Surely unnecessary!

The Final Quarter, we all dared to dream...but really held our breath till it was certain - that the Hawks were the Premiers! The song started among the Hawthorn bays. The MCG went crazy, as the boys embraced. All focus was on Crawford - we had done it for him, capping off his career with the one accolade he was missing.

The presentation of medals, including Campbell giving the kid handing him his medal a cuddle (bless!), and Crawford yelling into the mike 'That's what I'm talking about', we finally watched Mitchell and Clarkson hold up the cup. We did it!!!! So proud, so happy! Was the greatest!

After soaking in the lap of honour, and coming to terms with our disbelief that we really won, we tricked out of the 'G and headed to the Phoenix bar for some much needed celebratory beers.

We also went across to Federation Square, where the Hawthorn boys came across, many wearing their premiership jumpers under their suits, to be presented to an adoring crowd. Each player individually presented, and then Crawford led the team and crowd to sing 'We're A Happy Team At Hawthorn....'


  1. Hi Tash, thanks for coming by WTBAY (Where the blog are you), It's GREAT to meet you! Hope you will be joining in the fun over there and perhaps I can feature your blog at some point? You can email your fave three posts to thebloggingaussie{at}gmail{dot}com
    Cheers, Louisa

  2. Hi Tash! Great to meet you. :)

    How's your day going down there? I'm doing masses of testing and marking up here at school in Canberra. Not a lot of fun. :)


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