Almanac Footy: Ticket to Nowhere



One of the hazards of being a full time mother and teacher, part-time writer is the mess that begins to accumulate on my desk. I draft by hand, so on any given day my little corner of the house is covered in scribbled sticky notes, notebooks with dog-eared pages, love notes and colourful drawings written by my kids, who delight in delivering them to me by scooter down the hallway.


This weekend, I decided to fight my way through the mound of paper in an attempt to zen my way into this busy week. As I rifled through, sorted into throw and keep piles and blu-tacked happy snaps to the wall, I stumbled across some small black cards tucked away in the depths of the pile. Our Collingwood membership cards. Our little slices of belonging to a family bigger than our own. Our tickets into the greatest football ground in the country, where we’d head to every home game to cheer on the boys.






In 2018, those little black cards managed to score us two tickets to the Grand Final. My first one. That was back in the good old days when grand finals were played in Melbourne. In September. With a crowd. With the announcement of an interstate grand final coming any time now, I started thinking about the MCG on Grand Final day.


We were sitting in the rafters, but it was still a sight! Every seat was taken and the black and white army was out in force. When the banner collapsed pre-game, there was an ominous feeling blooming in the pit of my stomach but it was soon superseded by the roar of the crowd at the start of the game. Grand Final day felt bigger. Louder.  Every high was higher, like being 5 goals up and jumping from my seat to yell with the crowd. But the lows were devastating. To feel it slipping from your grasp in the last two minutes of the game. To hear the raucous singing of the Eagles supporter at the end was crushing. I still haven’t watched the replay.


Today I tucked those little cards carefully into my keep papers and found a spot for them safe behind my favourite pens. I know we won’t be needing them this year, but they’ll serve as a reminder of the year 2020, when footy left the MCG and they were tickets to nowhere. I’m still hopeful that the Pies might be hitting that Queensland field in October, but mostly I’m looking forward to sitting in the stands with my family and cheering the boys back onto the MCG in 2021.



Read more from Nicole Kelly HERE.



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About Nicole Kelly

Is a teacher, mother, writer and all-round lover of words!


  1. Lovely Nicole.
    Ticket to nowhere –
    how apt


  2. There are few sporting events as thrilling to be a part of as an AFL grand final, Nicole.

  3. Luke Reynolds says

    I’ve kept all my membership cards Nicole, and my boys keep their old ones with their footy cards.

    I’m still not over the 2018 GF. Was there with my youngest son, what a wave of emotions. Like you, I’ve not watched a replay.

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