Deep in Western Bulldogs territory, some ravenous Tigers are on the prowl.
Bedecked in black and gold, they can be picked out by their confused yet joyous looks of jubilation and disbelief after 35 long years in the grand final wilderness.
While they come in every stripe and from every walk of life, they are united in their longing to join the roar at the MCG as their team breaks through the grand final banner.
They are among the 75,000 Richmond Tigers members who scrambled for just 17,000 tickets allocated to club fans.
The long and pain-riddled march to the grand final forced Tigers die-hard Dan Bentley to cut short a stint volunteering in a village deep in the Amazon jungle.
The Kingsville resident forked out $3000 for a last-minute flight back to Melbourne this week before he had even secured an elusive ticket to the game.
“I have been travelling for about seven months – the Tigers weren’t doing so well last year, so I thought it would be safe to go overseas,” he said.
“When I tell people over here that I’m flying home for this game, they are like, ‘Are you crazy?’ But if I tell someone I know they totally get it.”
Just before boarding the flight, Mr Bentley found out he had emerged from the member ballot with a precious ticket to the game.
“They’re bad seats right up the back behind the goals, but we are there and that’s what counts,” he said with glee.
Tigers tragic John Carr, who lives a drop punt from Whitten Oval in Footscray, is one of the lucky few to have a ticket sewn up thanks to his priority club membership.
Yet the fifth-generation supporter – who even named one of his three children Richmond – is tortured by the possibility his daughter, Molly, may miss out.
Mr Carr and Molly, 10, have spent six years watching nearly every game together and deliver their own AFL-themed podcast, Dad & Mog Footy Pod.
A school trip to Vietnam meant Molly just missed seeing Saturday night’s emphatic preliminary final win over the Greater Western Sydney Giants.
“She was pretty gutted not to be here,”
Mr Carr said.
He is seriously contemplating relinquishing his ticket so the pair can be together, watching on TV at another venue, as their beloved Tigers take the field.
“I’m torn about it,” he said. “Is it more important to be there or to be with her?
“It’s going to be a bit of a mad rush to see what we can do to get her there.”