Something unusual happened yesterday. For once the stand-out colours at Perth Airport's domestic terminal were not orange or yellow high-vis.
The colour of the day was purple as the Dockers and a small army of supporters arrived for the great purple airlift.
A steady stream of purple jumpers, jackets, beanies, banners and placards emerged from the carparks and drop-off point as fans heading to the MCG streamed in throughout the morning.
Upstairs in the Virgin departure area, "Let's Go Freo" signs greeted supporters as they arrived to wait for their flights.
Tony Bowes, of Swanbourne, and his children Aleshia, 26, and Mike, 24, were having their photos taken under an archway of purple and yellow balloons.
Mr Bowes directed them which way to look for the cameras. "Look port side," he said. "Now starboard. That's Dockers talk.
"The boys should talk like that on the field. Imagine what Hawthorn would make of it!"
Miss Bowes said they had maximised their chances of getting to the final some time ago by ticking the membership priority box and had booked their flights last month.
They wanted to make sure they were prepared, she said.
"We didn't want to miss out, not the first one," she said. "We would never have forgiven ourselves."
Nearby one of the bravest men in WA was also waiting. Peter Dewar, of Stirling, wore a Hawthorn jumper.
With him were his wife, Melinda, and sons Harmon, 11, and Logan, 9.
Mum and Dad said they had supported the Hawks for ever, and the boys had followed in their footsteps.
"They had to, they were brainwashed," Mr Dewar said.
He said the Dockers fans had been very friendly, but they were looking forward to getting to Melbourne "for some equilibrium."
Before midday, supporters who had come just to see the boys off had started to gather near the airport entrance.
Among them was Damien Richards, of Craigie. He said he had been a fan "since the beginning" and was there to take part in history.
"It's a bit unreal still," he said. "But win or lose, I am not going to be disappointed. You have to be happy for the boys making it to the grand final."
Perth Airport volunteers handed out "Go Freo" placards, and attracting a lot of attention as they wandered about were the airport sniffer dogs, looking dapper in special canine Dockers attire.
As the clock ticked towards the expected arrival time of the team, Graham Harry, of Canning Vale, arrived in a Phantom suit to join the crowd.
At 2.09pm a shout of "woooooohoooooo" went up as the team bus pulled into view.
Led by coach Ross Lyon, the players emerged, and just as at their final open training session, made their way past the crowds with little fanfare.
Susan Robertson, of Gooseberry Hill, was not disappointed with the brief glimpse.
It was a good sign. "They are absolutely focused," she said.
As the team disappeared into the Virgin lounge, the purple army moved up to the departure gate for one more farewell.
Josie D'Angelo, 13, of Coogee, explained why she was there.
"This is our team, they represent us and we want them to go over feeling they are loved over here so they can be at their best over there," she said.
About 2.45pm, cheers erupted as the long goodbye reached its finale. The boys made their way up the escalator and towards the balloon arch at the boarding gate.
This time there was a reward for the faithful as the boys shared the love.
Many stopped, signed whatever was thrust out, slapped a hand or two and gave an occasional thumbs up.
And as they disappeared from view, Thomas Jordan, 11, of Balcatta, who today may be the most envied kid in school, counted more than a dozen signatures in his autograph book.
Later, Premier Colin Barnett arrived, heading to Melbourne to see the footy and do some business.
He said if the Dockers played as they had in their previous finals, they would win, declaring he had been a "loyal Dockers supporter for the past four weeks".
We remembered what Bob Hawke said after the America's Cup win. So what about a public holiday on Monday if the Dockers win?
Monday was a public holiday anyway, he reminded us. Nice handpass, Premier!And as the fan exodus went on, it seemed to more than one observer that the purple army might have occasion to need an extra day to celebrate.