Even here, free from the media hooplah of the AFL final series, the lure of the grand final brought the Aussies together to share in three hours of brotherhood based on an odd shaped ball. We convened at Jenet's "bar", where the smell of greasy hot chips and cold beer made for an authentic footy atmosphere. The diesel generator chugged in a nearby shed, powering the satellite TV live coverage on Australia Channel. We only had enough money for hard seat tickets and a soda water.
A few bewildered Europeans came and went during the broadcast, and Greg (far left), the American manager of the resort, sat through three quarters as part of a cultural immersion program to better understand his Australian guests. He asked whether he should barrack for the horizontal or vertical stripes. We were cheering for the West Coast Eagles, but unfortunately, they didn't show up. The crowd was small and subdued, with no fanatical Cats or Pies supporters present. Many of the expats are from NSW and Queensland, and thus followers of a football code foreign to most Western Australians and Victorians.
Congratulations to the Cats, commiserations to the Pies and farewell to Micky Malthouse, you have done us proud. Carn the Eagles in 2012.