News, Culture & Society

AFL grand final 2022: First fan to arrive posts photo of empty MCG Geelong Cats Sydney Swans

First fan at the AFL grand final? Footy diehard posts a shot of his view at a practically empty MCG as he takes his seat SIX HOURS before kickoff

  • Staunch footy fan posted a shot as he took his seat at 8.30 on Saturday morning 
  • Kangaroos supporter arrived early to celebrate big game’s return to Melbourne   
  • Shortly afterwards, huge queues had developed outside the MCG 

An extremely keen footy fan who doesn’t even support either of the sides in this year’s AFL grand final has taken his seat at the Melbourne Cricket Ground while millions of Swans and Cats fans are still fast asleep.

Twitter user tmmisson posted a photo as he sat in a practically deserted MCG just after 8.30 on Saturday morning, when the only other people to be seen in the famous stadium were ground staff.

He captioned the post: ‘I’m in. Don’t care who wins. I guess if pushed I’ll support John Longmire. I jumped want to celebrate that our city is back.’

Judging by his profile photo, tmmisson is a North Melbourne supporter, which would explain his fondness for Sydney coach Longmire, who played a leading role in helping the Kangaroos to two premierships as he played 200 games for the club from 1988 to 1999.

His reference to the city of Melbourne staging a comeback refers to the Victorian capital losing the grand final to Brisbane in 2020 and Perth last year as Covid restrictions wreaked havoc with the scheduling of the year’s biggest game.

Pretty short queue for a beer and a pie: A staunch AFL fan posted this shot of a practically empty MCG as he found his seat a full six hours before kickoff

Footy fans have reacted by making the game a sellout with a crowd of 100,000 expected for the clash.

Long queues had formed outside the MCG by 9.30am, with thousands of fans filing into the ground, funnelled towards the gates in lines divided by metal fences.

They can look forward to pre-game entertainment from music superstar Robbie Williams and Mike Brady, with Katie Noonan to sing the national anthem.

Soon after he posted the shot, long lines were seen outside the MCG, which is sold out with 100,000 fans expected to pack the famous ground

Soon after he posted the shot, long lines were seen outside the MCG, which is sold out with 100,000 fans expected to pack the famous ground

Melbourne is holding the season's biggest game for the first time in two years, with the decider going to Brisbane in 2020 and Perth in 2021 due to Covid restrictions - and fans were keen to make up for lost time outside the stadium bright and early on Saturday (pictured)

Melbourne is holding the season’s biggest game for the first time in two years, with the decider going to Brisbane in 2020 and Perth in 2021 due to Covid restrictions – and fans were keen to make up for lost time outside the stadium bright and early on Saturday (pictured)

Melbourne welcomed the season’s ultimate game back to its spiritual home by making a huge change to the grand final parade this year – and it didn’t go down well with fans.

Instead of having the players greet supporters from the back of open-top cars in the centre of the city, the Swans and Cats stars were ferried down the Yarra River in boats before disembarking and greeting them near the MCG.

Fans slammed the move as the ‘biggest fizzle ever’, complaining that they couldn’t get up close and personal with their heroes.

‘The key component of the AFL Grand Final Parade is for the fans to get up close and personal with the players. The idea of requiring binoculars to find your hero from a riverbank isn’t ideal,’ wrote Adam White.

The AFL grand final parade saw the stars ferried down the Yarra River for the first time ever on Friday - and fans weren't happy with the change

The AFL grand final parade saw the stars ferried down the Yarra River for the first time ever on Friday – and fans weren’t happy with the change

A tweeter named Milly wrote: ‘Sooooo so so bad. The boats turned around way before anyone in this photo who waited for hours in your ‘viewing areas”.

3AW Radio’s Tony Jones was scathing, branding the new parade a ‘disaster’ and saying: ‘I would put this in the same category as Meat Loaf, AFLX and the Batmobile … in 10 years’ time we’ll be looking at pictures of this and using it as a punchline.’

Fans had a scare earlier in the week when false reports claimed meat pies wouldn’t be available at the MCG for the grand final.

The drama began on Monday when a social media post declaring there would be ‘no pies’ at the year’s biggest game began circulating and fans jumped to the wrong conclusion.

A caller to Melbourne radio station 3AW poured fuel on the fire when they said, ‘All patrons attending the 2022 AFL grand final will need to bring a packed lunch, it has just been confirmed that there will be no pies at the grand final this year.’

But Melbourne Cricket Club chief executive Stuart Fox reassured supporters their favourite footy food would be front and centre.

‘Sadly for their supporters, the Collingwood MagPIES won’t be in action on Saturday but I do want to reassure all fans attending the AFL grand final that there will be hot Four N’ Twenty pies – and plenty of them,’ Fox said. 

***
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk