FOR THE MELBOURNE faithful, Saturday night was life-changing.
It was the night their beloved Demons ran out 74-point victors in a Grand Final.
It was the night they had been waiting 57 years for.
It was the night their dreams became a reality.
‘Long-suffering’ is a word commonly used to describe Melbourne members and supporters.
Whether it’s the years of showing up, where staying home would’ve been the easier option, or sticking it out to the final siren, despite the game being dead and buried, they’ve been through a lot.
For the oldest club in the league, there’s a rich history. Some good, some not so good.
Its members and supporters have carried this, as have its players, coaches and staff.
They’ve longed for the era of the 1950s and 60s, where Melbourne dominated the competition – the Demons were fortunate enough to achieve the ultimate success on six occasions in a decade.
They’ve waited, patiently, picturing the day that the likes of Ron Barassi and Hassa Mann can pass the baton on.
Generations have stuck it out, but not without quizzing their parents as to why they’ve been roped into donning the red and blue.
Footy Colours Day has made for outnumbered Demons. September has called for holidays.
But it’s this pain – ‘long suffering’ if you will – that makes victory so sweet.
On Saturday night, when the Demons booted six goals in 15 minutes to deny defeat, those deep-rooted feelings of doubt, disappointment and frustration turned to elation.
For Simon Goodwin and his men, it was achieving the goal they had set out at the start of pre-season. It was making history.
For past players, it was seeing the next generation experience what only a few of them were lucky enough to. It was a moment of fulfilment.
For fans around the country, both in the stands and at home, it was relief – potentially mixed with a little disbelief. It was what they had been so desperate for.
But for all those who call themselves Demons, it was simply pride. Pure pride.
After so long, the Melbourne Football Club had finally achieved greatness.
And it made for a night that they will never, ever forget.