When is it okay for a fan to cry? A checklist

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Watching Melbourne win its first final in 12 years on Friday night was a heart-warming footy story.

Years of relentless snow and cheeseboard gags had clearly taken their toll, and the emotional release on the final siren was palpable. The Dees are back in business.

Players punched the air, coaches hugged aggressively, and fans were even seen crying. One man was caught blubbering on camera while soaking in the moment. It was obvious how much the moment meant to the poor fella.

A punter within earshot at the pub, however, wasn’t having it.

“What a disgrace,” he barked. “Look at this bloke bawling his eyes out. Grow up mate.”

The punter even looked unmoved when Channel Seven showed a slow-mo replay of Nathan Jones’s goal, accompanied by some emotionally stirring music. A hardened soul indeed.

But it raises the question: Is his disgust with the crying fan justified? Should sport be a strictly blubber-free zone?

Clearly there’s a line where it is acceptable. Two years ago, Bulldogs fans sent rivers of tears through the MCG stands after snapping a 62-year premiership drought, and everyone loved it. In fact, when Luke Beveridge handed his premiership medallion to Bob Murphy, some neutrals even got the tissues out.

But where is that line? When does it become okay to let it all out?

Here’s a definitive list that tells you exactly when. It’s based on five factors, each of which must be given a ranking between 1 and 3 (see key below). If the total score is 13 or more out of 15, it’s absolutely fine to bawl your eyes out when your team gets the chocolates. If not, keep your emotions in check.

3-2-1 Emotional Checklist based on:

Importance (of game):
A Grand Final is naturally a 3. A big final is a 2, and everything else is a 1.

Frequency (of win):
If you’ve never seen the win before, mark down a 3. If it’s just the second or third time, give it a 2. Everything else is a 1.

Age:
If you’re aged 16-70, mark down a 1. Everyone else can put a 2 or 3.

Suffering:
Have you put up with years of torment and incessant piss-taking at the hands of friends and family? Pop down a three. If you’re the one usually dishing it out, mark a 1 in the chart.

Exposure:
Will you be caught on national TV, should you cry? If so, immediately mark down a 1. Will any of your mates (who don’t support the same team as you) see you crying? Put a 2. If you can get away with doing it during the chaos of a group hug, emerging without red eyes, mark down a 3.

TOTAL: ?/15

What do you think?