Yoshi in Melbourne – MCG Tour: The sports icon and identity of Melbourne

On Friday afternoon during my stay in Melbourne, my generous friend Rob took me to the MCG tour.

 

After the chicken and chips lunch at a restaurant in Richmond, we walked by Punt Road Oval, the home of the Richmond Tigers. I had seen massive celebrations of their Grand Final win in many places in Richmond and felt the thick atmosphere there too.

 

Entering the MCG through Gate 3 we were greeted by a volunteer guide Bryan and set off to touring the sports icon in Melbourne with other visitors.

 

Firstly we went down to the ground and MCC member seats were just above where we had a look. Grass working was still processing for cricket games after the footy season had ended about four weeks ago.

 

 


Yoshi at the ground

 

It was another great and memorable moment to be in the ground where cricket, footy and other sports are played as the identity of the sports capital in Australia (and potentially in the world).

 

Bryan identified where AFL coaches box would be during the season, the location of corporate rooms and other major rooms on the upstairs. Also he explained that the yellow-painted seats were where the ball was hit for six-runs. It was interesting to hear.

 

The sport ground has been established as the cricket ground, but rebuilt for footy later.

 

As the cricket and footy ground, icons, statues and panels for both sports hang on the walls in corridors through the stadium. Many cricket and footy legends are honoured at MCG.

 

Even we saw a big paint where these legends were drawn. Legends include Tony Lockett and Shane Warne.

 

Yoshi finds the 1966 AFL Grand Final Poster

 

Meanwhile after staying down to the ground, we were taken to upstairs corporate, function, media rooms. Radio stations have small particular rooms for their live match coverages. Journalists are sitting on the desk in writing room to cover footy stories online and in print.

 

Even the list of the inductees of Media Hall of Fame were found in the writing room. Inductees include my respecting journalist Rohan Connolly and the AFL legend and current host of SEN’s Hungry for Sports, Kevin Bartlett.

 

 


Yoshi at the MCG Stand (Level 3)

 

Getting on the lift, we went to the underground car park. Indeed we didn’t see just a car park or cars.

 

The passage to the ground where players go through on game days was seen. Another great atmosphere was sensed as I was in the very special place in the stadium.

 

Then we were guided to the dressing room, meeting room and shower room. These rooms are smaller than I had expected, but brought me other unique experiences in Melbourne and sport venues anywhere in the world.

 

I sense the bath and massage chairs are important to maximise players’ efforts in matches, no matter what they play.

 

And a cafeteria is located next to the underground car park for cricketers’ lunch and tea breaks.

 

At the end, the group was dispersed and we (Rob and I) extended our tour to the adjoining Sports Museum.

 

We started seeing Olympic display including Australians’ uniforms, jackets and highlight videos. Great records are seen including Ian Thorpe’s breaking record at the Sydney Olympic in 2000 (Thorpe is famous and popular in Japan).

 

Then sports panel were followed. These displays were tennis, horse racing, football (soccer) and etc. Two major sports played at the ‘G are at other sections.

 

Cricket followed and a gentleman (another voluntary guide) approached us and called Englishmen so that he provided all of us details and history of the Ashes Series of the cricket.

 

He told us the obituary joke made by the English media. “English cricket had died, and the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia”.

 

The English captain Ivo Bligh vowed to “regain those ashes”.

 

Australia won the Ashes Series played at the Oval in England in 1882 as the first time there.

 

The Ashes trophy was created to place ashes on the top and was handed to Bligh by a group of Melbourne women including Florence Morphy. Bligh and Morphy got married within a year later.

 

We saw other cricket displays and were amazed with the story, before heading to the final destination of the footy section.

 

Footy related cartoons are displayed and I laughed out loud on some of them. Dogs Cartoon published on the Western Bulldogs website was one of displays. It was interesting for me even I am not a cartoon or anime person.

 

We saw the displays including the list of the AFL Hall of Fame members, all clubs’ guernseys, and were able to listen to club songs. I pressed the button for ‘Oh when the Saints go marching in’ indeed – Rob didn’t need to press the button as he is also a Sainter.

 


Happy Yoshi with Saints guernseys

 

We enjoyed touring the sports icon in Melbourne and it was one of my sports experiences in Melbourne. Thanks Rob for taking me to the MCG. My next visit to MCG will be for a footy match.

About Yoshihiro Imagawa

Being a passionate Japanese St Kilda supporter currently based in Kyoto, I love writing articles in English and am glad to be a part of the Almanac family. Having the AFL Global Pass, I follow all St Kilda games mostly live. Otherwise I watch replay. Thanks the modern technology! But watching footy at the stadium is what I want. I'm sad not being able to watch an Anzac Day match in my favourite Wellington, but would love to do in Melbourne. Attending a St Kilda game in 2017 is sort of officially promised. My life needs to improve like did our boys in 2016. I wish I could contribute writing in English more to work even if I am less likely a professional writer.

Comments

  1. Great recap Yoshi. I’m glad to read the MCG tour was worthwhile! Hope to see you in Melbourne for the footy sometime soon.
    Regards, Anna

  2. Hi Anna,

    Thanks for your nice comment with kind words. I had the most sporting holiday in my life, lol.

    I will inform Almanackers before heading back to Melbourne. My plan is watching two St Kilda matches in July next year.

    Have a good weekend!

    Yoshi

Leave a Comment

*