Hawthorn’s premiership stars nursed hangovers, but it was Sam Mitchell’s three children who played up the most at Sunday’s fan day.
The 22 players who demolished Sydney in the AFL grand final were presented on stage at Glenferrie Oval, Hawthorn’s adoring faithful flocking to the club’s spiritual home.
Captain Luke Hodge and coach Alastair Clarkson both carried a premiership cup to the dais, while cannons showered the 2013 and 2014 premiers with golden foil streamers.
They glittered in a fashion that Mitchell’s kids found too tantalising, momentarily interrupting proceedings as Hodge, Clarkson and a handful of others addressed the tens of thousands of fans.
“Mitchell, control your kids! For Christ’s sake,” Norm Smith Medallist Hodge quipped while he had the microphone.
Nobody cared. The crowd cheered and Mitchell’s teammates laughed in the fashion you would expect after back-to-back flags.
The streamers, not a lack of sobriety, created the only serious drama at the event.
Gusty winds blew them onto powerlines above the nearby train track, sparking a fire and causing public transport disruptions.
But it was hard to wipe the smile off most supporters’ faces, with many staying on hours after the players had departed to kick a Sherrin and enjoy the carnival-like atmosphere.
The players were called onto stage one by one, each given raucous applause.
Cult hero Matt Spangher, a shaggy-haired journeyman drafted in 2005 who this weekend enjoyed his first grand final, received the biggest cheer.
That was until chants of ‘Cyril, Cyril, Cyril’ rang out following the introduction of Cyril Rioli, who returned on Saturday after a three-month layoff due to a hamstring injury.
Josh Gibson, Jarryd Roughead, Isaac Smith, Rioli and Spangher were interviewed on the dais.
“There’s probably only a couple of us that are alright to speak,” Smith explained.
Spangher’s voice almost left him.
“You’ll have to excuse the voice. I’ve had to celebrate for all the ones I’ve missed out on,” said Spangher, who had been on the books of West Coast, Sydney and Hawthorn when those clubs won premierships.
“I had a good time last night.”
He certainly wasn’t the only one.