Sunday 23 September
I’m standing at the counter of a bottle shop, buying a gift – not a morning beverage, don’t worry – and I notice something strange. I’ve just been to the coffee shop, the newsagency and the supermarket and every time I engage with the person behind the counter I have this desperate urge to steer the conversation towards the fact that Melbourne Storm are playing in a grand final next weekend.
The coffee shop conversation very nearly went like this:
May I have a skinny cappuccino please?
Certainly, would you like sugar in your coffee?
What did you say? Hoffy? Oh yeah, he’s my husband. He plays for Melbourne Storm. Did you know they’re playing in the grand final next weekend?
[Confused] Uh… I said ‘coffee’.
Riiiiight. No sugar thanks.
Or the newsagency:
I’ll just have this paper please.
[Drops paper on the counter and ‘accidentally’ flips the page open to the rugby league page]
Oops! Clumsy me! Hang on – what’s this? Melbourne Storm?! What a coincidence! My husband plays for Melbourne Storm! Did you know they’re playing in the grand final next weekend?
That’ll be $1.30 thanks.
[Fishes coins out of purse, blushing simultaneously].
And my impending conversation with the bottle shop man could very well go like this:
[Places bottle on counter]
Just this thanks. Oh, and I think there might be something else…. What was it? Oh yeah, MY HUSBAND PLAYS FOR MELBOURNE STORM AND THEY ARE IN THE GRAND FINAL NEXT WEEKEND!!!!! Just saying.
[Places bottle in bag, eyeing me suspiciously]
Clearly I was running out of creativity on that last one.
Actually, when I was at the supermarket I noted an AFL grand final window display, with some annoyance. It just seems a little biased. How hard would it be to whack up a couple of purple streamers show a bit of ‘code-equality? Come on retailers of Melbourne, get it together.
I doubt whether I am the only one that has noticed this. As such, I provide below a pro forma text that any readers may feel free to copy, paste and insert in a communication to their local retailers.
I note (with some consternation) your AFL grand final window display. Window displays themselves do not make me anxious, per se, I am just bothered by the lack of football code equality shown by the omission of a corresponding NRL grand final window display.
A dual display will do wonders for your business. Those who know and love the Melbourne Storm (and there are many of us) will be grateful for the recognition. And those who have no idea what it’s all about may feel compelled to come into your store and ask you, thereby providing ample opportunity for you to ambush them with tempting impulse purchases.
Plus purple is such a lovely colour.
A concerned Melbourne Storm supporter.
Actually, if I’m being honest, there have been a few other important things to do in the last twenty-four hours than pen irate letters to local businesses.
Yesterday afternoon was spent very productively – (1) waiting for Ryan to finish recovery and (2) re-watching the game from the night prior. I don’t usually indulge in this type of thing, and I have been known to accuse Ryan of narcissism when he’s done this in the past, but I think this weekend we can make a special exception. I’m sure we probably weren’t the only ones.
The afternoon was also spent with a flurry of phone calls, trying to determine which family members would like to come to the game on Sunday, who’s going to sit with whom and how the basic logistics of the weekend is going to work. Honestly, if there were some way we could know that we would be playing in a grand final prior to one week beforehand, that would be super helpful. I’m sure the administration of the club and hoards of Melbourne Storm supporters would agree.
Then last night Hoff ditched me in favour of going to watch the Bunnies v Doggies with a couple of the boys. Not that I minded. As I ominously warned him, he won’t be able to escape me once the season finishes so he might as well make the most of it now.
And so the final piece of the grand final puzzle fell into place – we go up against the Bulldogs. It’s kind of an odd feeling, knowing who your opponent will be. On the one hand, it’s a vital piece of information, but on the other, there is no preference one way or the other. The grand final showcases the best of the best and it wouldn’t matter who turned up on the day. Anything can happen.
One thing is for sure, however. We need our Melbourne Storm supporters up there in their purple thousands. ANZ Stadium is usually Bulldogs turf so we need to purple-up the place a little bit and get behind our boys. Let’s do this Storm fans.