Collingwood and St Kilda tore each other part in Melbourne on Saturday. That was some Grand Final! After 2 hours of fast-paced, high-skilled, throat-tightening, bone-crunching, buttock-clenching action—after St Kilda came back in the last six minutes with one of the best Grand Final marks of all time (right, by Brendon Goddard—video here) to put themselves ahead and avoid the unmentionable by just a whisker—at the end of those two hours of non-stop action, scores were still locked at 68 each ... and players and fans realised that rather than this being either the end of their road this season or the culmination of their dreams, that they would all be back at the MCG again the same time next week to do it all over again.
That’s right. The AFL Grand Final ended in a draw. No extra time. No penalty shoot-outs. The game gets replayed next week.
Only fair, I’d say, when it’s clear that after a full game neither tem could beat the other. Which meant neither team could claim to be the champion.
The game on Saturday was a gruelling mental battle in its purest sense, punctuated by a series of truly heroic moments. In the end neither side would accept defeat and neither side was defeated. Surely there was some beauty in the glorious mess of it all.
Asked what he was going to tell his players back in the sheds, Collingwood captain Nick Maxwell was for once lost for words. He was rescued by both coaches however, who reached into their bags of clichés to assure everyone, including themselves, they’d be back bigger and better next week.
Just like most of the fans, who get to have another week of football to enjoy, and another belter of a game to look forward to.
That’s good for footy.
Just as long as the Saints don’t the Pies pull out the premiership at the end of it.
That wouldn’t be.
Oh, and just in case you want to see some other marks to which you can compare this one …