A taste of the parade and the passion
If you couldn't get there, or were keen to avoid the crowds, here's a little of what went on at the grand final parade as Freo and Hawks fans turned out to cheer their heroes.PT1M29S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2uiub 620 349 September 27, 2013
The crowds began to gather at the corner of Swanston and Collins streets – the apex of the 2013 Grand Final Parade – well before the annual celebration kicked off at noon.
And yes, the presence was more purple and white than brown and gold, despite the home ground advantage afforded to Hawthorn in this grand final week rite of passage.
Freo fans were out in force. Photo: Pat Scala
Personifying the marauding passion were Dockers members Laurie and Lynette Reich of Perth, who flew into Melbourne on Thursday only after finding a last minute flight routed through Sydney. They did not mind the scenic route – not when it took them through the town of the team that Fremantle so comprehensively demolished one week ago.
"It was great to go through Sydney, actually," said Laurie, smiling. "Got to rub it in a little bit. They were pleased to see us."
The flights alone were $1500 per seat, making for one very expensive shot at experiencing glory, but the couple were happy to part with their hard earned for a first ever trip to Melbourne.
It was thumbs up from Hawthorn fans.
"We had to do what members do - whatever it takes. We don't even have our way back booked yet," said Lynette. "This is fantastic. Melbourne is beautiful, and tomorrow will be great. We're pretty confident."
Jim Cobham of Templestowe was less focused on the Dockers and more on his beloved Hawks, having followed the team since he was a toddler, all through their 1980s glory years. Spoiled, as all Hawthorn supporters in their 40s are for success, this grand final parade is not Cobham's first time at the dance, so to speak. He was here 12 months ago, too.
"I love the build up, the excitement, the atmosphere," he said. "I'm a bit calmer than last year. I was bit on edge, then. Freo will put the pressure on early, but we'll get through it and come home stronger."
2013 AFL Grand Final Parade
Hawthorn's Luke Hodge and Fremantle's Matthew Pavlich hold the cup on stage. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
Cobham managed to stake out a spot on the metal barriers, which by 11.30am were already five people deep in many places. Amazing, he reasoned, considering this is a celebration for a game that has not even been played yet.
"There's nothing like it in the country," he said. "This is what makes Melbourne so unique."