With the AFL continually trying to penetrate new markets, today’s Grand Final will surely help their cause, it was simply brilliant. With the scoreline reading 68 apiece at the final siren, one would think it was a scrappy game, and it was at times. However despite this, the game of Australian Rules Football was the real winner today.
St.Kilda and Collingwood need to be commended for such a brilliant display of courage under extreme pressure. St.Kilda, having not won a flag since 1966, were down and out at half-time and showed amazing determination to get back into the contest and ultimately draw the game. Collingwood on the other hand, who’ve just one flag in 52 years themselves, also showed plenty of determination when they responded to kick one last goal after St.Kilda managed to grab the lead during the last quarter.
Viewers in foreign markets such as China, South Africa, Europe and America must have turned off their TV’s after the game thinking what an amazing sport we play down under, they must be tempted to get involved!
Keeping the on-field analysis of the game aside, the issue of the drawn game is one of increasing discussion, with many thinking the game needs to be determined through extra time and many others thinking the replay is perfect the way it is. To those thinking we need a decision via extra time, please consider this…
In 114 years of the VFL/AFL, there have been just three drawn Grand Finals. The drawn Grand Final, despite the initial feeling of emptiness from all involved, is an amazing part of the AFL and is nothing short of unique when it comes to determining the final outcome of a season of any sport in the world. With the continued rate of evolution in our game over the last few decades, there aren’t many traditions left. The drawn Grand Final and resulting replay next week is so unique, so unusual and so Australian, that we really need to keep it that way. Of course there’ll be doubters and critics who claim greed on behalf of the AFL, but take no notice of them… They’re probably just disgruntled fans eager for a result and when the dust settles, they’ll be raring to go again next week.
Kudos to both Collingwood and St.Kilda for such an amazing display of courage today and best of luck to all players and officials next week. With ten minutes of added time being played if the result is a draw next week, there’ll be a premier one way or another come 5:30pm Saturday. Fingers crossed it’s another amazing contest and the foreign viewers who eagerly tune in again next week further enhance their opinions of Australian Rules Football, our game.