1) There is only one Grand Final. As apposed to other sports where every round of the finals series involves it’s own mini series. Or sports where there’s no finals series at all. Which is a bigger downer than the political career of Alexander Downer, a cold pie or the Melbourne Football Club.
2) So there’s only one Grand Final, apart from if the Grand Final is a draw. Then we do it all again. Which is fantastic. It’s the only game in the world where if it’s a draw they don’t play extra time. Well we do, but it’s a whole week of extra time. You know what’s better than a bonus week of footy? Nothing. Nothing is better than more footy. Our great game began in 1858, and up until 1994 any final that was a draw had to be replayed. For example in 1912, the semi-final between North Melbourne and Brunswick in the VFA had to be replayed three times, after two draws. North Melbourne won that game but lost the Grand Final by less than a goal. Which is really sad.
3) It’s also the only game in the world where you get a point for missing. ‘We see what you were trying to do there. So here you go tiger. Have a point for trying.’
4) There’s also no other game in the world where at the start of every match, the players run through a banner. Then at the end, the winning team sings their club song. It’s as if start and finish of every game were designed by a four year old. ‘I want the players to burst onto the ground, like they’re coming out of a present. And at the end everyone sings. Just like a birthday party, but only the winners. The losers aren’t allowed to sing, because they’re losers. Duh.’
5) You know what our game doesn’t have? Violence among the supporters. Maybe if other codes made it mandatory for players to run through banners and sing, then their supporters wouldn’t feel such a need to sing or bash each other. Or maybe they just need to start playing a less boring game. Less soccer, baseball and rugby, and more footy.
6) It’s proper name is actually it’s nickname. Only those who don’t get it call it by it’s official name of ‘AFL’. Real fans call it ‘footy’. It’s like your mate Spanner. Only people who don’t know him and his parole officer call him ‘Michael’. By the way, anyone who’s named after a tool always has a parole officer.
7) One thing the AFL does not understand is irony. Which is why, after the whole Essendon supplements scandal, nobody has a problem with one of the game’s major sponsors being Swisse – who make vitamins and supplements. Their supplements are completely legal though, as they have been found to contain basically nothing that’s beneficial to anyone. Less performance enhancing, and more just a scam.
8) Another big problem in the AFL is the drinking culture among some of the players and supporters. Every year there’s a scandal involving drunk players, violent players and the odd player lighting a dwarf on fire. When questioned by police, the dwarf said that he wasn’t happy. The police officer then replied, ‘Well which one are you then?’
9) So keeping in mind the problems caused by alcohol, guess who’s another major AFL sponsor? A brewery. Certainly no conflict of interest there. The only way it could be worse is if cigarettes were advertised again, or bikies began giving out free samples of meth at half time, or if they allowed adverts from the one thing that ruins the lives of more players and supporters than any other. Gambling.
10) Back go Grand Final Day, and the AFL understands that the actual entertainment is the game itself. Unlike American sports, where the game sucks so much, that they need big celebrities to sing and dance and show their boobs just so people pay attention. In Australia, the pre-game entertainment is limited to bands that sing about footy, play Cold Chisel covers, a few kids with streamers, and the past players they’ve managed to drag out of the pubs being driven around the ground in convertibles Then at half-time, well a few years ago we actually tried the music thing, and everyone actually preferred the little league. So as a break from the footy, we have kids. Playing footy.
11) There’s nothing more important than footy, which means that there’s nothing more important than winning a Grand Final. So there’s very little the players won’t do to win one, and the Grand Final is often very violent. In order to stop this, the AFL has doubled the penalties for any reportable offense. It’s like double demerit points, but for football, and it has had absolutely no effect. You’ve got to remember, there’s nothing more important than winning a Grand Final.
12) Women always notice the attractiveness of the players. However, despite the tight and limited clothing of the players, and the fact that men notice and talk about every other intricacy of the game, this is something that the straight men who watch several games every week never notice at all.
13) If you’re into any other code, you’ll likely be watching the Grand Final anyway. AFL Football is to sport what English is to languages. While it might not be your first sport, you know how important it is to take an interest, because in Australia, everyone speaks at least a little AFL.
14) To anyone who doesn’t understand the game, it looks like it’s just a free for all with minimal rules and no system. To those who understand what’s going on, it’s more complicated and beautiful than chess, uno and monopoly, all rolled into one, and way more entertaining.
15) The moment that it’s over, you’ll be talking with anyone who’ll listen about the upcoming draft and trade week. Unless you’re not into football, and then I don’t care what you talk about and please don’t talk to me.
Enjoy the Grand Final. I know I will.
After it’s all over, so begins the annual summer of sadness, and the countdown until it all begins again.
If you’re not busy before or after the Grand Final, consider coming along to one of my Melbourne Fringe Shows. I’ve had some great reviews, and it’s all happening until Oct 5:
There’s the comedy walking tour, ‘2013 – When We Were Idiots’.
As well as hosting the variety show, ‘Hot Night in the City – Comedy and Variety Showcase.’