03 October 2006

AFL Grand Final

This was the team the Swans supporters wanted to avoid. West Coast won the minor premiership (best record for the regular season). They lost a close one last year in the Grand Final to Sydney. They lost by one point in the first round of the playoffs this year to Sydney. In short, they were a great team with a serious chip on their shoulder--very dangerous.
It was an exciting game, but the Red and the White came up one point short. One point. One. 85-84. It was particularly painful because they played so poorly in the first half, failing to convert easy goals and giving away goals to West Coast. Definitely a game that leaves you wondering 'what if...' But congratulations to the West Coast Eagles on their victory.
The video clip is the highlights from the match as presented by Fox Sports News. Give it a look, but before you do, allow me to try to explain a little of the game.
It looks like total chaos, but it is really quite simple: You try to kick the ball between the posts. A goal (a kick between the tall inner posts) is worth six, while a behind (a kick between the short outer posts) is worth one. You are allowed to run with the ball, but you must bounce it every fifteen metres. You can hand pass to a teammate (think underhand volleyball serve) or kick it. A free kick is awarded for a mark (caught kick that travels more than fifteen metres). If you are tackled with the ball you must release it so play can continue. A player from either team is allowed to pick it up and play on.
Enjoy the highlights.

I have really gotten into AFL and the Swans--Heather and I will likely get a membership (season tickets) next year--but I have one complaint. The AFL Grand Final is always at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. It was referred to at the beginning of the game as Australia's Madison Square Garden. Many of the teams are based around Melbourne. The league used to be called the Victorian Football League since the teams then were all in the state of Victoria. But if the AFL is trying to promote their league around all of Australia, shouldn't they play the Grand Final in other parts of the country? I prefer having the team with the better record host it, but if you want to move it around Super Bowl-style, that's fine, too. But having the game in Melbourne every year, even if no Melbourne teams have played in it the past three years, isn't doing much to promote the AFL around the country.


Heather said...

Chris forgot to mention his favorite thing about the game is the double finger point salute the umpire does after a goal is scored (several instances shown in the clip).

Kerry said...

This game is whack. But I dig the double finger point salute. Maybe I'll use that as I watch football this weekend...Go Pirates!