10 Thoughts On… The AFL Grand Final 2010 (St Kilda vs. Collingwood)

(This my first attempt at 10 thoughts… Hope you all enjoy it.)

This is the biggest sporting event in Australia. Some say it is the Melbourne Cup horse race, and they’d have a fair argument; others claim the NRL grand final outdoes it, but the stats used to back that up seem not to include in the AFL’s total the viewing figures for Tasmania, regional South Australia and regional Western Australia. Mind you, it is a damn close second in terms of TV viewing. However, with 100,000 in attendance, thousands more watching at open air events in Melbourne (Federation Square and Myer Music Bowl), 3 million plus watching on TV, another million or so listening in on radio, this is huge. Say 4 ½ million, out of a population of 21 million, that’s around 20% of our country’s population tuning in to the event. And then there are the overseas audiences. In 2009 in three states it was the highest rating TV programme of the year. In Melbourne and Adelaide at least, the television “coverage” lasts for almost 20 hours, with old finals replayed, pre-game spectacles, commentary, interviews with everyone (“You were Joe’s third grade teacher, did you think he’d ever play in the AFL grand final twelve years later?”) and everything else.

I’m guessing the Superbowl has the same coverage in the USA and other countries have their own examples. But this is ours.

This is also the first one to be broadcast in 3D. Which we are reminded of constantly in the TV broadcast. Oh, and for the record, I don’t care.

Okay, 10 Thoughts…

(1) The Melbourne Cricket Ground (where the Grand Final is always played, no matter what) is a nice enough ground in real life, but looking at it on TV it lacks personality and just seems like yet another generic open air sporting ground. Nothing special. Mind you, having it filled to capacity (100,016 the official attendance) makes it certainly feel like an event worthy of the international stage.

(2) This has been promoted as Australia v Collingwood because everyone hates (not even tolerates, simply hates… or loathes… or despises…) Collingwood except their supporters. It’s good to finally have some real feeling in a big match. Real Us v Them vibe about it all. (For what it’s worth, I am one of “Them.” I can’t stand Collingwood and their “better-than-thou” president Eddie McGuire…)

[Bonus Thought 1: The pre-game stuff at the MCG is going on forever. Just get on with it already!!]

(3) Collingwood score the first goal in less than a minute! Holy cow! What a damn fast start to this game! Hard-hitting, fast running and a score almost immediately. Bet this doesn’t keep up.

[Bonus Thought 2: Didak’s goal from the boundary was a thing of beauty.]

(4) First quarter was all Collingwood until the last 5 minutes when the Saints came back to finish within 1 goal. 26 points to 20. Good, hard-played quarter.

[Bonus Thought 3: Denis Cometti is the best sports commentator anywhere, bar none.]

(5) Some brilliant tackling in the second quarter. Some of it looks like it really hurts a lot. Starting off quite defensive, even though both teams are trying to attack.

(6) Second quarter ended up being all Collingwood. Score now 50 points to 26. This is looking like a disappointment of epic proportions. The Saints were chasing for that quarter and doing very little else. Collingwood were looking good, though. Let’s hope the second half will be better and closer.

[Bonus Thought 4: Half time entertainment is normally dodgy at best. But I went to the toilet, blinked and missed whatever it was that happened at half time. What did I miss? Anything? And who cares?]

(7) Saints hit the second half running. Almost a different team. Good. Maybe things will get closer.

(8) Third quarter is becoming the quarter of missed opportunities for both sides. Mistakes everywhere. I’d like to say it is the intense pressure being applied by the opposition, but it looks like they might be running out of legs on a warm day after a sprinted first half. So it is now 55 to 47; that’s right, Collingwood did not score a goal in that quarter.

[Bonus Thought 5: These constant cuts to a group watching it on huge screen HD-3D TV saying how it’s as good as being there is coming across more and more as one great big advertisement and is making me sure the product being advertised is crap.]

(9) This last quarter is as close as anything. With less than ten minutes left there’s one point in it. Where has this St Kilda been hiding? I don’t want to even go to the toilet in case I miss something. This is great!

[Bonus Thought 6: Goddard’s mark… holy cow!]

(10) WHAT THE…?!?! A DRAW?!?! We’re back next weekend! 9.14 to 10.8 – 68 points apiece.


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