It will never cease to amaze me the unbridled passion Richmond supporters have for their club. Here is a club that is easily the least successful of the last 30 years, yet enjoy a membership of over 60,000. The supporters are not only great in numbers, but also vociferousness. When their team is losing they can be brutal, and when they are winning the praise is overwhelming.
Unfortunately for the Tiger faithful the team standing in their way, Sydney Swans, enjoyed the longest winning streak of the season. Sydney's 12 wins between Round 5 and Round 17 equalled the longest winning streak in the club's history. The feat had not been achieved by the club for close to 80 years. The streak was broken by a 10-point loss to Hawthorn
and they haven't lost since. That makes it 16 wins from 17 games.
That is scarily good form, yet Richmond supporters will likely turn up to ANZ Stadium in their thousands on Saturday hoping to cheer their team into the finals. Misguided or not, that is passion.
One man who will be at the game on Saturday is Michael Stringer McIntyre, director of the film Aussie Rules The World, which is currently playing in cinemas. Michael has been a diehard Richmond supporter since he was a boy growing up in Tasmania at a time when, he says "Richmond were full of Tasmanians".
He sums up the experience of supporting the Tigers and, by extension, any sporting team perfectly.
"Richmond’s hilarious. It has just taught me about faith and taught me about loyalty. It’s fabulous. It’s what makes following sport so fantastic. I'm a true tragic and I’ll always follow them".
While he will be behind his team 100% this weekend, he says it is "kind of ironic" that their finals hopes depend on beating Sydney. This is due to the experience of making Aussie Rules The World. The film documents the the trip undertaken by Swans premiership hero, Brett Kirk, immediately following his retirement from the game.
Upon hanging up his boots, Kirk was given a role as Ambassador for The International Cup in 2011. Part of his role involved a six-month trip around the world to experience the game in other countries. As McIntyre followed him on his journey he learnt not only about Kirk as a man, but also the renowned culture of 'The Bloods'.
"After making the film I find myself appreciating how good the Swans are, but come this Saturday it'll all be Yellow and Black", he says.
That is part of the beauty of supporting an AFL team. It is possible to appreciate how good other teams are, but you can never change your stripes, no matter the predicament of your chosen club.
McIntyre suggests that the plight of Richmond supporters is worthy of a film, if he were to make another about football.
"There's a whole element to following a team like Richmond. It totally is (like a Shakespearean tragedy)", he says.
Whether or not the Tigers can pull off the unthinkable on Saturday and make it through to the finals, they have taken their supporters on a wild ride in 2014 and given them something to talk about for years to come.
That is another part supporting an AFL team. Seeing your team win a premiership is incredibly rare for some, but the experience your club gives you along the way is undeniable.
As McIntyre says, "I was there at the final last year when we were 35 points up and we somehow managed to lose it, and I thought 'Well, it's Richmond'".
Well, it's Richmond, indeed.