Saturday, September 25, 2010

212: Father To Son

I can’t remember who won the SANFL grand final in 1977, being that I was barely ten at the time, let alone the now famous VFL tied grand final. Frankly I was more interested in Star Wars, Mego and cars at the time to worry about any football game that either meant I had to walk further than the Ponderosa or involved teams that I couldn’t care about. I think Sturt won in ’77 here, but over the border it was down to Collingwood and North Melbourne, the former coached by Tom Hafey and the latter by the man for whom the term ‘Super Coach’ was invented – Ronald Dale Barassi. I never thought much of Hafey, but I have nothing but admiration for Barassi.

Despite boasting players of quality in Kink, Thompson, Wearmouth, Shaw (Ray) and Moore, North were just too strong, with their own champions in the form of the mercurial Malcolm Blight along with Cable, Crackers Keenan, Alves, Schimmelbusch and more. What it came down to, and I’m going to use another time honoured cliché here, was that one was a team of champions and the other was a champion team.

The same thing happened today, only in reverse. Collingwood played like a champion team and St Kilda, the perennial runners up, are a team of champions. That might well change next week, but it remains to be seen.

Watching a tied grand final is both exhilarating and highly frustrating at the same time. It’s like going to a club and having a drop dead gorgeous girl come up to you (or a guy, depending on your gender), whisper dirty nothings in the ear, take the clothes off and bring you to your highest enjoyment only to stop as you hit the vinegar strokes and thus preventing the ultimate prize. No wonder the players all milled around like stunned mullets, talking to each other, team-mate or otherwise, and no wonder the AFL boss, Andy Demi, was over the moon. 100,000+ filed into the MCG today and there’s the promise of another 100,000 to come back next week. That’s pure profit.

Don’t expect a rule change anytime soon. There’s just far too much money involved to change things now. And frankly it’s only happened twice before in the history of AFL/VFL, so what the hell. This is only the second tied grand final since I was 10 years old and frankly I felt it was one of the most exciting final quarters of football I’ve seen in many a year.

Hopefully there’ll be another draw sooner than 33 years. Every generation should have their own tied grand final, if only to celebrate the historical importance of it all. Get over it kiddies, look at the positives of it all – in the coming years you’ll able to say, “I actually watched that game live, so piss off junior.” Still, I fear that next week at least one team will be coming up with more guns blazing than they did today and that someone will be holding the cup aloft. But if they keep dragging that bastard Mike Fucking ‘Up There Cazaly’ Brady out to sing his song then I’m gonna find me a nice vantage point, get a high powered rifle and get that prick between the crosshairs. Me, yeah, I like football, but I can’t stand you Brady, so take your fucking song and piss off already.

In the meantime, bring on next Saturday.

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