Off-field AFL events have attracted scores of people across Melbourne as footy fans prepare for the grand final between Hawthorn and West Coast.
Saturday’s pre-game festivities kicked off with the annual North Melbourne Grand Final Breakfast, which was attended by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.
Diehard Eagles fan and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop was also at the event, which continued its long tradition of lampooning VIP guests by providing music linked to recent events.
Mr Turnbull made his entrance to the tune of Billy Joel’s Second Wind, while the Labor leader walked in to the “haters gonna hate, hate, hate” chorus of Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off.
Ms Bishop entered the arena to Elton John’s hit I’m Still Standing as the MC declared her “tougher than a woodpecker’s lips” for surviving several leadership challenges.
Only two prime ministers have missed the breakfast since it was first held in 1967, with federal frontbenchers putting aside party lines for footy jibes.
AFL boss Gillon McLachlan welcomed the 1400 breakfast guests at the Melbourne Convention Centre with a few jokes of his own about the special guests.
“Maybe you could introduce an interchange cap on prime ministers,” he told Mr Turnbull.
“It’s certainly brought some stability to our game.”
The prime minister reflected on the challenges of this year’s season with the death of Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh and Adam Goodes’ booing controversy.
“It’s been a great competition but a tough year,” Mr Turnbull said.
The Labor leader joked about how Ms Bishop’s support for the Eagles could bode well for the Perth team.
“She always ends up on the winning side,” he said.
“Julie’s already told me she knows the exact margin.”
Meanwhile, former AFL star Warwick Capper made a special appearance at a grand final lunch in the city hosted by former Tiger Jake King and retired Eagles player Daniel Kerr.
Earlier this week, Kerr denied claims by former teammate Daniel Chick that he abused an asthma drug during their 2006 season.