I have been a Richmond (Tigers) fan ever since I was a little kid. I was brain-washed by my older cousins after the 1974 premiership. My father was not happy with that since he was a North Melbourne supporter, but there really was no choice. How do you not barrack for the team who had just won the premiership two years in a row? The Tigers were fairly successful and extremely popular in the ‘70s and ‘80s when I was a kid. Even though, they drifted downwards and had many years fighting for the wooden spoon (bottom of the ladder), the Richmond Football Club has always had a strong supporter base of die-hard fans.
There were many years where the team showed early promise, winning pre-season competitions and starting the Australian Football League (AFL) season well with a number of wins, only to disappoint fans by just missing out on the finals. However, the 2017 season has been different and I hope it continues. The Tigers started off with 5 wins / 0 losses and were on top of the ladder before our first loss. As the season continued, there were some missed opportunities but we have fought back and ended up in third place on the ladder at the end of the AFL season. This means that we have qualified for the finals with a double chance.
This brings us to September, which means footy finals time in Melbourne. This is equivalent to March Madness for college basketball in North Carolina. People either love it or hate it. I love it when the Tigers are playing and hate it every other time. Since arriving in mid July, I’ve managed to go to 2 footy games where the Tigers won both games. Other games were interstate or outside of Melbourne and I would’ve gone to more games if I could have.
I am a bit worried that if I post this blog, I might jinx the outcome of the upcoming game(s). The first qualifying final was played tonight and Adelaide Crows have won against the Giants. I have tickets to the second qualifying final tomorrow night between Richmond vs Geelong to the played at the MCG. It will be a tough game, but the Tigers will have a home ground advantage. If the Tigers win tomorrow night, we will go directly into the Preliminary Finals and the winner will go to the Grand Final. If we lose, we get a second chance but will need to win all remaining games or be knocked out.
This is extremely exciting for all Tigers fans as this is as far as we’ve made it for decades. The last time the Tigers won a premiership was 1980. I’m feeling hopeful but am keeping my fingers / toes crossed. I have even delayed my flight home until the day after the Grand Final, hoping that I get to see my beloved Tigers play in the Grand Final for the first time in over 35 years.
- Aussie rules football is a completely different code compared to anything else. It has historical roots linked to Gaelic football but uniquely Australian.
- If we win, you’ll hear me shouting from over here and I’ll post some pictures after the game.
We won the qualifying final against Geelong by 51 points. The final score was 13.13.91 (Tigers) vs 5.10.40 (Cats). The game was held at the MCG with a record crowd of around 95,000 people, mostly Tigers fans. It was a close game until the 4th quarter, when the Tigers streaked ahead. The cheering from the crowd was epic! I could barely speak the next day.
From here – the Tigers have a week off, then will play either West Coast Eagles or GW Giants in the Preliminary Final on Sept 23rd. If we win that game, then we’ll play in the Grand Final on Sep 30th. Fingers crossed – Go Tiges!
Here’s a few pics: