Sunday, January 13, 2008

Losing my virginity

I've been struggling to write this season. Perhaps it's the poor form of the A-League in general. Maybe all the blame goes to Melbourne, particularly the home performances where I end up having to endure a train ride home in a a foul mood.

Last night I had a change in my game watching actions... I forfeited my reserved seat to my brother's friend and purchased a GA pass - at $12 with my uni student card being displayed, I was trying to figure out how much I would save dropping to GA next year in a season ticket...

I ended up spending most of the match at "North End" on level 1. Initially I was scoping level 3 - where I found that there were TWO touchlines! Telstra Dome is not very steep, so you tend to be far from the action with no elevation to see things. When in my usual Gold spot, I can't see the near touchline and I estimate the far one.

Eventually I found the vaguely familiar (but mostly unfamiliar) face that I was looking for (hi Watt!) and joined the Northern Terrace on level 1 for the remainder of the match. I haven't left a Melbourne Victory match in a happier, content and at-ease state since last season. I'm not sure if it was the result, but I think that even if we had've lost I would have felt the wholeness that I left Telstra Dome with.

I may have spent most of the past three seasons on the wings, but I think my heart does belong in the terrace. After spending time at South End, I think I've finally found my home. It really was a good way to (in hindsight) end the season for me.

I'm still trying to figure out why I enjoyed the Northern Terrace amongst mostly strangers so much more than my few times in the South End amongst people who I know a bit.

I think it's because it doesn't really matter if you knew anyone - as long as you were in the NT and singing for the team you felt like part of the group. Whereas I don't know if I would feel that in the South End unless I already knew someone.

At one point the terrace prepared itself to jump. Everyone in the row links arms and off we go jumping about. Whoever it was that was standing next to me included me in the action - and it's this general comradeship that created a buzz about the place that I hadn't experienced since walking about the stadium at half time during the Grand Final.

We all felt something special was happening then - but we didn't yet know what. Something special was also happening again last night with (mostly) everyone back on level 1, singing in unison and generally spreading the love.

On the field, Melbourne was finally getting it's act together - perhaps the supporters and the team really do share a connection and all we need is positive energy. We just have to make sure we carry it through the Asian Champions League campaign. Until then, well, now I can say that I am no longer an NT virgin.

I still have to lose my away trip virginity. ;)


Neil said...

Sometimes I reminisce about the good old days at Olympic Park standing on the northern terrace. Although not part of any group it was great standing around with friends, drinking too many beers and cheering for the team. Its also good to hear that you have found your home in the stands.

How about losing the away trip virginity by making it to the Sydney game next week. Should be an excellent way to cap off a rather disappointing season.

watt said...

I am very glad you enjoyed it. I had a feeling you will, the South American in you would have felt far more at home in the North Terrace than in the South End (especially the New South End)

We do face a lot of challenges, hopefully TD, MVFC, and the FFA will eventually understand that as Galeano said "football without supporters is like dancing without music"
You (and anyone that comes with you) are of course very welcome, if its a ticketed situation then ITA can sort it out for any North Terrace independent).

I'm glad you had fun.