The Mad Chatter is a leading Australian sports blogger and loves to chat about all things related to sport. I've built a following in the sports world by providing quality posts and opinions on the big issues in sport. It has been said that I'm the quintessential Aussie sports fan. I love all sports but I'm not scared to stick it to stupid players, hopeless administrators, woeful officials and dumb sponsors. You can follow The Mad Chatter's Mad Monologue via my Facebook page, Twitter account or subscribe to the RSS feed.
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SCG: The Home of Real Footy

The Mad Chatter - Thursday, September 01, 2011

SCG is the home of AFLSEPTEMBER is back, which means just as we’ve finally got over our winter aches and pains, ills, colds and chills, we’re hit hard by a heavy dose of finals fever.

This year’s minor round saw some familiar patterns emerge: Collingwood is still the team to beat, Chris Judd is still the best player in the game, Eddie McGuire still thinks the AFL is a one-team comp, Sheeds is still a media harlot and Richmond still teases its supporters like a stripper giving a lap-dance at Men’s Gallery.

Oh, and the SCG is still the best ground in the country to watch footy.

That’s not a stuff-up. You read that right. Read it again just to make sure. Slowly and let it sink in. Read it? Okay, let’s move on.

The SCG is the best ground to watch footy because it’s the closest thing to an old suburban ground in today’s nice, family-friendly, plastic-as-uncomfortable-terrace-seating AFL.

First up, aesthetics. The SCG is a dog’s breakfast, a mis-match of stands from different eras, centuries and millenniums. No uniformity here. The only thing missing are practice cricket pitches and nets along the boundary (they’re out back behind the Members Stand).

Then there’s the intimacy. Smaller than all the concrete jungles in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth (Adelaide has to make do with that shanty-town for another couple of years just yet). You almost feel like you’re part of the action at the SCG. At some games, where rival supporters don’t travel, you can even stand in certain sections, beer and pie in hand.

Now, I can already tell you’re drifting off to years gone by at Victoria Park, Moorabbin and Windy Hill, so let’s turn our attention to the game itself. Where else can you see the game the way it should be played, the way you remember it being played, the way you played it growing up before rolling zones, machine-gun fire interchanges and Gary Ablett (God) only knows what else?

At a Swans match you’ll see long kicks to a contest, tough no-frills footy and accountable players manning up on the opposition. Still not convinced? Last year, recently-retired Swans full-forward Daniel Bradshaw kicked a goal from 55m out on the boundary with - wait for it - a monster torpedo punt (screw punt). No lie: an actual torp! (screwy!)

Finally, atmosphere. Swans fans are every bit as one-eyed and knowledgeable as any other footy fan. The umpy is a cheat, their players can do no wrong and they cry “Ball!” for everything and anything at full voice over four quarters. Basically, they're as biased as you are. Footy tipping competitions, online betting and Supercoach have made Swans fans armchair experts, too.

There’s some things Sydney Swans fans could do better to enrich the SCG experience. Like incoherently curse-out umpires and rival players, not be so polite to opposition supporters and dress-down a bit to at least give the impression they actually go to watch the game and not just for pre-drinks before a night at The Ivy.

So, as die-hard Saints fan Molly Meldrum would say, “do yourself a favour” and, by plane, train, automobile - hell, walk if you have to - get down to the SCG this weekend for some real footy. You'll have a blast. It'll be just like the good ol' days.

Well sort of.....

Do you agree with me?

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