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Melbourne – The MCG & understanding the rituals of Bay 13

Used Blog 2013

 

Ten… … … Nine… … … Eight… … … Seven… … Six… … Five… Four… Three-two-one yeaahhhhhh

 

And so begins the Mexican Wave, maybe, it usually takes a few goes.

 

I have my perfect place to sit at the MCG and is has nothing to do with the people on the field or the game being played.  You may have heard of Bay 13, the notorious section of shenanigans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.  Well I like to position myself somewhere around Bay 15, or maybe above Bay 13 and a little to the left. Close enough to see the high jinx, far enough away to not get covered in beer.

 

So what’s going on over in Bay 13? Here is my take on a few of the common antics you’ll see in this infamous segment of the MCG.

 

Beach ball etiquette

Test cricket is a long, slow game.  The punters had to come up with a way to entertain themselves. But the last twenty/twenty cricket game I went to featured beach balls too. It’s just tradition now.

The beach ball game is essentially ‘keepings off’ with the aim being to keep the ball away from security, police and off the playing pitch. If any of these things happen the ball will be confiscated meaning that the people in the crowd will have nothing to do but watch the cricket.

If you let the ball cross over the fence and onto the ground well, you are a wanker.

 

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You are a wanker

Watching Bay 13 is a study in mob mentality. If you don’t follow the wishes of the mob, they will let you know that you are a wanker by way of an oddly rhythmic chant.  The intent of the chant is to bend the will of an individual to that of the mob.  After all, who wants to be a wanker?

 

 

You’re going home in the back of a divvy van

Another chant which includes a clapping component.  Used when an individual garners the attention of the police usually at the moment that the mob deserts them.

 

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The scull

Sitting in bay 13 is thirsty work. Unfortunately it is virtually impossible to get a drink back to your seat. Attempt to carry a full drink down the aisle and it is inevitable that you’ll be spotted.  Then the crowd will begin the ‘Scull’ chant. Not complying with the wishes of the crowd will most probably result in the crowd switching to the “you are a wanker” chant.

 

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The Mexican Wave

Although it’s a mob there is often a leader of Bay 13. This is the person, generally in the first few rows, who stands up and revs up the spectators for the Mexican Wave.  It will always take a few goes to get the crowd going but when it happens don’t forget to boo the members.  This is also the moment that really demonstrates why I’d never sit in Bay 13.  As the wave makes its second pass through the section a sea of not quite empty beer cups flies into the air and back down on the punters.

 

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For the ladies

Bay 13 has never moved on from 1970’s attitudes towards women.  Hoots and whistles are the norm.  But it doesn’t matter how hot you are, if you try to walk back to your seat with a beer in your hand, you’ll still be expected to scull. It’s selective equality.

 

So what do I enjoy most about sitting near, but not in, Bay 13?

If I’m honest it’s watching people get arrested.

 

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