The queue of eager Essendon fans outside the MCG optimistically waiting for next year’s AFL Grand Final to start has reportedly grown following reports of NBA star Ben Simmons expressing an interest in playing for the Bombers in the near future. Over the weekend, the NBA’s reigning Rookie of the Year tweeted the Essendon Football Club to say “@EssendonFC before it’s all done, I need one season in the red and black”, simultaneously sending the footy starved public into overdrive, with some current Essendon players even offering to switch place with Simmons for a year.

While the occasional Diamond Valley Stadium fill-in is yet to elaborate on his provocative tweet, that hasn’t stopped Essendon fans from flocking to the MCG to secure a decent seat for next year’s AFL decider. First reported by The Watsonia Bugle earlier this month, at least one keen Essendon fan was seen setting up camp outside the Grand Final venue after the exciting news that the Bombers had signed Dylan Shiel. The original Facebook post of that scoop garnered over a thousand comments, consisting mostly of people either accusing their friends of being in the queue or people claiming to be in the queue and asking friends to bring them coffee and/or beer to help pass the time.

So, if those comments are to be believed, the queue must have grown from that one fan, Cameron Davey, and is now expected to grow even further as hype continues to build around Simmons’ fast fingers on Twitter. Speaking exclusively to The Watsonia Bugle, Davey said, “Yeah, ever since you guys published that article about me the queue has grown quite a bit. There were about 10 to 15 of us by last night but, since Ben tweeted that thing, it’s already grown to over 20 and we’re expecting quite a few more once people knock off work this arvo and have had a few hours to get their lives in order before commencing the camp out. It’s gunna be cool. Those first few days were a bit lonely, but now I’ll have heaps of company.”