For the Smiths, supporting the club they love matters most.
“We just go along win, lose or draw,” Mrs Smith said.
“To have our reserved seats, we are in amongst a whole heap of Storm members. They made us feel so welcome from when we first got them. Blow me down there was a family from Sunbury in the same row as us.
“We knew their son from when he used to serve us at Hungry Jacks.
“It’s like a family. I messaged the people beside us and behind us to say we won’t be going to games, even if they come back, as we don’t want to run any risk of Dennis getting anything.
“I hope that makes it easier for them to go as they will at least know they have some room.”
Mrs Smith first followed to the Storm after her AFL club Fitzroy merged with the Brisbane Bears.
“I wasn’t going to barrack for the Brisbane Bears,” Mrs Smith said.
“So I know humiliation and going to game after game and not winning, let alone getting near a premiership. So as soon as the Storm started I said, ‘I don’t know the rules, but I don’t care’.
“It’s become our thing and we just really enjoy the family atmosphere.
“We make a real outing out of it. We even bought a little car to get in and out of the parking across the road because the big old cruiser we tow the horse float with was a bit big.”
The ritual of following the Storm was something the Smiths kept up, even making it to some games when Mr Smith was sick.
“It gets you out and doing things, at one stage my husband was so bad with his cancer he was on two walking sticks and we’d have to get across the road and into our seats,” she said.
“It was good for us and he’s come good since then.”
Mrs Smith laughed about her grandchildren knowing her for her old Storm hat and among her favourite Storm gear is the team blanket she knitted herself.
“Our son-in-law, Warren is a massive sports person so he’s got the sports channels and they’ve said they will set us up with our own corporate box to watch the footy,” Mrs Smith said.
“The grandchildren know grandma by her Storm hat with buttons on it.
“I never thought I would be that football following grandma but it does look like I’ve fallen into that role.”
Roy Ward is a Sports writer for The Age.