Best on the ground

Rhonda Dredge

Demons supporters moved stealthily to the MCG with their picnic blankets on Grand Final Day to reclaim it as their spiritual home.

They arrived in small groups carrying red and blue cupcakes, streamers and eskies.

There was a friendly rivalry between families as they staked out their positions.

While one family took control of the Members stand by blocking off the doors with their blanket, the Morgans were playing it cool.

They chose a spot a fair distance from the stadium, preferring the wide-open spaces and green grass of the car park.

“It’s part of our tradition to have a barbecue in the car park,” Sam Morgan told Inner City News. “We’ve done it twice, first in ’88 then in 2000.”

Sam and his brother Tim both married Georginas from Tassie and they are proud of their lineage, with Sam, wearing number 20, keen to assert his historical connections with the game.

Sam was just four weeks old when the Demons won their last grand final in 1964 yet he remembers it well.

“I have a fairly strong memory of listening to it on the radio,” Sam said. “I was drunk on milk at the time.”

No-one could really argue with his pronouncement, particularly his younger brother Tim, wearing number 6, who was forced to award the point.

Some were expecting a groundswell of emotion for a team that has missed out for so long but after 238 days in lockdown the spirit can grow weary.

Sam suggested that the earthquake might have put a few off attending.

“The groundswell was on Wednesday,” his mate Russell concurred, taking the ball and playing on.

With the team absent, the grand final played in Perth and the training ground out at Cranbourne, local barrackers could have been depressed.

But no-one was really smarting at jibes from the opposition, even ones about cheese platters.

“Melbourne supporters are meant to be affluent,” Sam said, yet “you have no choice” which team you follow.

“The folks didn’t give a stuff about football,” brother Tim countered with a shoulder.

Both agreed they inherited the team from their older brother.

“With politics and religion, you can do what you like. Football is different.” •

Caption: Laura and Callum with Demons cupcakes.

Caption: Tim and Sam Morgan celebrate at the ‘G

Caption: The Jennings and Raker families at the door of the Members.

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