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AFL’s archaic grand final replay rule needs to go

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    Child in tears following the 2010 AFL grand final draw

    An Auskick participant shows his emotion after not getting to present a premiership medal, after a draw in the 2010 Toyota AFL Grand Final between the Collingwood Magpies and the St Kilda Saints at the MCG, Melbourne.

    It may be “unique” to the Australian game, but the AFL’s grand final replay rule is an archaic remnant from its VFL days that has no place in a national competition.

    And the “unique” tag seems to be one of the few justifications supporters of the rule are using, that along with the their own selfish reasons, be it another grand final barbeque or more footy on the weekend.

    But supporters of the replay rule need to consider those directly impacted by the draw: the players and clubs who were left void by the prospect of an inconclusive match and having to go through another grand final week (see Collingwood captain Nick Maxwell’s comments), and, just as importantly considering they are increasingly forgotten, the fans who attended the grand final last Saturday.

    On the latter point, think for a moment of those fans that were the lucky few to get a ticket to the match. Imagine if that is the only opportunity they have to attend a grand final and they will be deprived of experiencing the full spectrum of emotions of the day, be they good or bad.

    The argument that the replay now opens up grand final access to fans that otherwise wouldn’t have made it ignorantly forget those who went last Saturday (and may miss this Saturday ‘cause the 50-1 draw came to fruition) and the fact that those “underprivileged” fans miss out on the original grand final year after year.

    Having gone through the hassle and effort to acquire grand final tickets a few years ago, I can only imagine the frustration of not seeing a result on the day and trudging back to South Australia knowing I would have to fork out another small fortune on hotels, flights and tickets to go back and see the concluding act.

    And herein lies the major flaw with the replay rule.

    These aren’t the days of the VFL when the competition existed solely in Melbourne’s suburbs. It’s a national competition, with a fan base that now stretches across the country.

    It may be well and good for those who are a train stop or two away from the MCG, but it severely disadvantages those outside of Victoria, and if the AFL is going to truly live up to its national status, then it needs to rid itself of its VFL vestiges and Victorian-centric attitude.

    And what if a non-Victorian club was involved?

    A West Australian club, for example, would obviously be heavily disadvantaged by a grand final replay; having to either make the return trip to and from Perth or decamping in Melbourne for the week. Whether it is homesickness, travel fatigue or the financial considerations of paying accommodation for a squad and staff, there would be a definite disadvantage to a non-Victorian club.

    Again, there is an inherent flaw with this system in a national competition, and its the fairness for the participants and spectators that is compromised.

    But what was most frustrating watching the saga unfold was the fact everything was in place for a continuation of the intense drama of the day and a conclusion to the match.

    The actors were in place as were the fans and television audience, and they (in the main) wanted a conclusion.

    Everything was in place to keep going – to decide the premiership when it should be decided, on the final Saturday in September.

    Extra time doesn’t unfairly disadvantage one particularly club over another.

    It means the team with the momentum can continue with it into the additional period. Instead they must restart next week, back at square one.

    No one should have begrudged St Kilda a possible win in extra time – should they have continued their comeback into the extra period. They had bravery kept Collingwood within striking distance and fought back into a potential winning position.

    With that “empty feeling” for both clubs, why then should everything be packed up only to return the following week and do it all again, with all the additional logistical headaches for clubs, players, fans and the league?

    There is obviously no fundamental issue with extra time for the AFL has instigated a five-minute each half period should this weekend’s second grand final (should it have it’s own name: Act II, The Sequel, “The Empire Strikes Back”?) end in a draw.

    Extra time is already written into the rules of the rest of the AFL finals series. And the AFL wasted no time in instigating it for next weekend’s match.

    So why is it unacceptable after 120 minutes and four quarters but suddenly acceptable after 240 minutes and eight quarters?

    Because there is an antiquated rule “unique” to the AFL, that’s why.

    So much of the modern game of AFL has evolved and modernised, including how the game is played with constant tinkering with the rules forcing a rethink of a coach’s playbook, and yet it is prepared to hold on to this rule despite the wave of criticism.

    It’s rare occurrence, yes, but this is no justification for the rule in itself (the “it has only happened three times in over a hundred years so why change it” argument).

    It does happen, as we’ve seen, and the AFL should be thankful it didn’t happen in those closely fought finals between West Coast and Sydney, for the outrage of both sets of interstate fans would have been deafening.

    That’s when the rule should have been changed – when the interstate clubs were in a premiership contention and the AFL matured into a national competition.

    And the draw and replay rule, having occurred so infrequently, is mystifyingly revered by its supporters. Tradition or not, what is it about the rule that needs to be protected when it has an obvious unfairness?

    The AFL is already a unique competition, without the replay rule.

    Even the FA Cup, which has stuck so stringently to its traditions, instigated extra time and penalties for its final so it is decided on that one day in May, one way or another.

    Another argument, that the team who lost in extra time would feel unjustly robbed of a premiership is flawed.

    I’d imagine they would feel the same anger and hurt as they’ll feel when they lose this coming Saturday, but maybe with an even heavier hurt considering their expectations have fostered for an extra seven days.

    The contest needs a winner. There’s a premiership at stake, which should be decided on the day – just one day!

    Practicality must come into the AFL’s calculations when they review the rule.

    There should also be a gentleman’s agreement or recognition from the AFL that the September-October calendar is heavily congested with various finals and the commencement of the spring and summer sporting events, and with that in mind it should only take up one weekend for its grand final.

    Already fans are linking the AFL’s staunch support of the replay rule with the financial windfall of a second grand final. They should be careful for the league’s reputation, on this and its aggressive posturing toward other codes, is being hurt.

    Ultimately, there’s no place for a grand final replay in a modern, national AFL competition.

    It’s no longer the VFL. Time to move on and modernise.

    Adrian Musolino
    Adrian Musolino

    Adrian Musolino is editor of V8X Magazine, and has written as an expert on The Roar since 2008, cementing himself as a key writer who can see the big picture in sport. He freelances on other forms of motorsport, football, cycling and more.

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    The Crowd Says (225)

    • September 28th 2010 @ 3:11am
      wcefever said | September 28th 2010 @ 3:11am | ! Report

      NO WAY to change it would be un-australian
      it was a terrific game and an unprecidented result
      we had 100.000 at the G and 4 million on tv in oz and 250 million watching in 170 contrys
      and the best thing is we get to do it all again on saturday everybodie wins and our tv audience in australia could be close to 8 million my guess 3m in VIC /WA 1.5m/ SA 1.5/ nsw2 m and in qld 1.5
      and 300 million world wide what a shot in the arm for our game
      ok the players arent thrilled but there bodies will re-cover but they will be sporting legends
      peace out

      • September 28th 2010 @ 5:49am
        JVGO said | September 28th 2010 @ 5:49am | ! Report

        Or it could be 2 million and 50 million (or nobody) depending on how the non hardcore responded. I know I will take an interest in the score but won’t sit through the game again, I feel I’ve been there already i’m afraid. I’m sorry but it isn’t worth 6 or 7 hours of my time to watch an AFL GF. But nevertheless 250 million is pretty awesome if that figure is legit.

      • September 28th 2010 @ 7:37am
        sheek said | September 28th 2010 @ 7:37am | ! Report

        Exactly what is Australian or non-Australian? Too many people use the expression like a throwaway tissue…..

      • Roar Guru

        September 28th 2010 @ 8:11am
        Redb said | September 28th 2010 @ 8:11am | ! Report

        The TV audience will be nowhere near 8 million.

      • September 28th 2010 @ 8:17am
        Ken said | September 28th 2010 @ 8:17am | ! Report

        Why un-Australian? Other Australian comps like the RL did away with GF replays decades ago. Also, as pointed out by Adrian, extra time is going to be considered fair game on the replay – is this un-Australian?

        Not going to bother questioning why you think the TV audience will double for the second one although let’s just say I have my doubts.

        • Roar Guru

          September 28th 2010 @ 8:35am
          Redb said | September 28th 2010 @ 8:35am | ! Report

          Ken,

          Draws are more common in other sports.

        • September 28th 2010 @ 7:53pm
          seanoroo said | September 28th 2010 @ 7:53pm | ! Report

          Its a 120 year old tradition, an event that happens on average once every 40 years and when it does happen its remembered for decades. I never thought id see one in my lifetime, personally i love the rule have always been aware of the rule and am pumped up for this saturday. For all those who went to the game and are whinging about no result if I could have attended 1 GF in my lifetime this would have been it. the day AFL starts following soccer, league and union (for the record i am a fan of a-league and dont hate rugby) and discards it traditions is the day the sport will go backwards. dont get me wrong Im all for the sport to evolve, but this isnt evolution just conforming. To the players, staff, fans and media who made plans the following saturday (who i suspect make up the majority of the whining) maybe youll be a little smarter in your planning next time around instead of just attacking the AFL.

      • September 28th 2010 @ 10:38am
        Adz said | September 28th 2010 @ 10:38am | ! Report

        1.5 million watching in SA? For that to happen, almost everyone in SA would have to be watching and that’s not going to happen because not everyone likes AFL, particularly when 2 Victorian teams are playing. A lot of people work Saturdays so they might not be able to watch. I don’t care who wins. Don’t think I even want to watch. I just want my prize money from the tipping competition already. 300 million viewers around the world seems like a bit of a pipe dream but if that can actually happen then that’s awesome.

      • Roar Guru

        September 28th 2010 @ 10:59am
        Fussball ist unser leben said | September 28th 2010 @ 10:59am | ! Report

        there is no doubt the AFL GF rated extremely well.

        But, come on … 250 million watching in 170 countries … surely even the most passionate AFL fans realise such a number is pure fantasty?

        In Australia, capital city ratings were 2.8m and, given Australia’s population density in city v regional areas, it’s hardly likely there would be an additional 42% watching in the regional areas.

        Interestingly, in the most lucrative tv market: i.e. Sydney:

        1. The 2010 FIFA WC – Netherlands v Spain – which was broadcast at 4:30 a.m. and featured ZERO Australian competitors rated higher than the 2010 AFL GF

        2. Saturday’s AFL GF rated a bit above Saturday night’s ABC’s & Channel 9’s evening news services.

        Source:
        1. FIFA WC: http://www.tvtonight.com.au/2010/07/week-29-3.html
        2. AFL GF & ABC & Channel 9 News: http://www.tvtonight.com.au/2010/09/week-39-3.html

      • September 28th 2010 @ 2:21pm
        Dan said | September 28th 2010 @ 2:21pm | ! Report

        Good morning boys and girls, today we’re going to learn how to destroy any incling of credibility in what you’re trying to say within your opening sentence. Repeat after me “BLANK is UNAUSTRALIAN”. And there you have it, a sure fire way to make certain people think you have an IQ that can be counted on one hand.
        Thanks for your time 🙂

      • September 28th 2010 @ 6:42pm
        Gob Bluth said | September 28th 2010 @ 6:42pm | ! Report

        If you believe in those viewing figures then I have a tremendous bridge in Sydney you may be interested in buying.

        • Roar Guru

          September 28th 2010 @ 7:12pm
          Redb said | September 28th 2010 @ 7:12pm | ! Report

          or perhaps some beach side property in the tidal zone.

      • September 28th 2010 @ 8:10pm
        Whites said | September 28th 2010 @ 8:10pm | ! Report

        That’s a big call considering the last time this happened there were 10,000 less people at the replay.

      • September 29th 2010 @ 5:25pm
        The Bush said | September 29th 2010 @ 5:25pm | ! Report

        250 million.. Really? Really? You actually think 250 milllion people around the world watched the AFL Grand Final?

        300 million… Really? Really? You actually think 300 million people around the world are going to watch the AFL Grand Final Replay?

        Wow…

      • September 1st 2014 @ 2:53am
        Jimbobogie said | September 1st 2014 @ 2:53am | ! Report

        Just wondering-how many international viewers who (in North America for example) stay up in the middle of the night to watch what amounts to a “Nothing” game are going to stay up all night to watch the replay-if their network provider even supplies coverage of the replay.

        Now that the AFL extends from Brisbane to Perth, this is a class-action lawsuit waiting to happen.

    • September 28th 2010 @ 5:24am
      Kurt said | September 28th 2010 @ 5:24am | ! Report

      Out of interest Adrian, given that this rule, for better or worse, has been in place now for over a century and that going into this game we all knew that there would be a replay if the game ended in a draw, why didn’t you write this article last week? The AFL already has contingency plans in place including an existing booking at the MCG for this coming Saturday and the only reason other sports have a problem is because public interest in them is so minimal that they need to AFL to finish before people pay them any attention.

      So who exactly is being selfish?

      • September 28th 2010 @ 7:40am
        sheek said | September 28th 2010 @ 7:40am | ! Report

        Because like the AFL, we’re mostly reactive, not proactive.

        Like the AFL, we didn’t consider the REAL possibility of a draw in the now national comp, until it happened.

        That’s human nature, more often than not, we react after the event.

        However, it doesn’t lessen the legitimacy of Adrian’s comments.

        Better to learn from our mistakes, than keep repeating them…..

      • Roar Guru

        September 28th 2010 @ 8:12am
        Redb said | September 28th 2010 @ 8:12am | ! Report

        Agree. The MCG the only stadium affected by the replay has long held a contigency for the extra week. Cricket Victoria fully aware and they plan accordingly.

        • September 28th 2010 @ 8:08pm
          Whites said | September 28th 2010 @ 8:08pm | ! Report

          According to the rules of the game up until they were changed in a knee-jerk reaction yesterday if the grand final replay was a tie then both teams would have had to return the following Saturday for a 2nd replay. If the 2nd replay was a tie they would have to return again and so on and on.

          Surely the AFL should have had an ongoing indefinite booking at the MCG for every Saturday.

          I feel cheated out of the opportunity of mocking a 3rd, 4th, 5th or 22nd(Richie Benaud could call this one) AFL grand final.

          It is so UNAUSTRALIAN for the AFL Commission to walk all over this longstanding tradition of multiple AFL Grand Finals in the event of a tie.

      • September 29th 2010 @ 3:13am
        VooDoo said | September 29th 2010 @ 3:13am | ! Report

        I agree with Kurt. How many times this week are commentators going to bring up how “unfair” a Grand Final replay is for other sports? In fact, pretty much the only commentators pushing the angle that it’s unfair on footy fans who missed seeing a premiership cup handed out last week are soccer or rugby journalists who are ruing another week of AFL media attention.

        Of my acquaintances who follow Collingwood, St. Kilda or footy generally, they are for the most part very pleased to have witnessed such an epic encounter, and cannot wait to sit down on Saturday and do it all again. My local pub (indeed, here in Canada) is delighted that they get to show the Grand Final for an additional Friday night, as the publican stated that it’s one of their biggest trading nights of the year. So I believe that most people win out of a drawn Grand Final other than perhaps the players, and they go into the game knowing the rules and that they’ll have to come back if neither side is good enough to win over two hours of play – they have nobody to blame but themselves for the result.

        And lastly, the more that soccer and rugby commentators complain about the unfairness of it all, the less I feel sorry for the inconvenience of their situations. Like Kurt wrote above, they’re only whingeing because of the lack of public interest in their codes, and I have little doubt that those administering soccer and rugby in Australia would happily shaft the AFL if it were in their power to do so.

    • September 28th 2010 @ 6:33am
      Sancho said | September 28th 2010 @ 6:33am | ! Report

      It’s true that the rule must change. It would be better to decide the title in a single day, with an extra time, followed by a golden score, if necessary. But how can any footy fan NOT be excited with the replay?!

      • September 28th 2010 @ 12:06pm
        Black Diamonds said | September 28th 2010 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

        Why would it be good for the AFL? It would deprive them of a potential second Grand Final match in a year once in a very long while.

        What is wrong with that? From the perspective of the AFL I can’t think of anything wrong with it really. If you don’t want the replay, simple, win or lose on the day!

    • September 28th 2010 @ 6:53am
      anopinion said | September 28th 2010 @ 6:53am | ! Report

      All of your points are your feelings towards the replay, not facts. The rule is in place, we all knew it and every team has equal opportunity to plan for it. A flight to Perth and back is hardly a killer. The players fly first class, stay in great hotels and have sports scientists and others taking care of every detail for them.

      The team that embrace the replay will likely win. C’wood captain Maxwell does not seem to embrace it, thus my money is on St Kilda

      • September 28th 2010 @ 6:58am
        Sancho said | September 28th 2010 @ 6:58am | ! Report

        The point is that draw is always anti-climatic. Besides that, for fans outside Victoria, two trips can be expensive and exhaustive…

      • September 28th 2010 @ 9:00am
        sheek said | September 28th 2010 @ 9:00am | ! Report

        anopinion,

        This debate is not about the replay this Saturday, but how we’re going to deal with a repeat of this situation in the future.

        By all means celebrate the opportunity for two grand finals in one year.

        Most likely, it’s the last time you’ll experience it…..

        However, I agree with you re the replay – I think the Saints will be up for it better than the Magpies.

      • September 28th 2010 @ 4:38pm
        Mick Johnston said | September 28th 2010 @ 4:38pm | ! Report

        I take your point about the team being professional enough to fly back to Perth for the replay. But what about the fans? If Fremantle for instance were in the Grand FInal, how many supporters could possibly justify consecutive trips to Melbourne for a GF replay?
        Add the logistical issues involved in accommodating the additional visitors. Events like the UCI World Road Cycling Championships that are on this week will already be affecting how much accommodation is on offer for interstate visitors..
        Given the AFL’s preparedness to change rules as it suits (i.e. interchange cap), I do not see the issue in changing one more for the greater equity of the game.
        I will be watching again this week and will love every minute of the season going a week longer…but I would have been just as happy to have seen a result at the game last Saturday.

    • September 28th 2010 @ 7:03am
      NY said | September 28th 2010 @ 7:03am | ! Report

      It should be interesting watching all the AFL cheerleaders come in with their pom-poms and defend this rule to the death. Even though we know most think it is a ridicilous rule. Then the AFL will change this rule after this game is over. They will act like there was never any problem in the first place and that all this controversy never existed.

      Has there ever been an organisation so allergic to criticism (be it constrctive or any other kind). It seems that Collingwood captain has been told to shut his trap after he spoke his mind and said what most people really think. AFL and criticism is like chalk and cheese.

      • September 28th 2010 @ 7:58am
        beaver fever said | September 28th 2010 @ 7:58am | ! Report

        Yes, it has been very interesting to see the anti-AFL brigade out in force over this non-issue, hundreds of posts condemming the AFL about a rule that has been in place for 100 years and used up till this year 2 times.

        The rule was there and we all knew it, simple as that, all this whinging is very un-Australian IMO.

        • September 28th 2010 @ 9:04am
          sheek said | September 28th 2010 @ 9:04am | ! Report

          BF,

          As I asked earlier – exactly what is “un-Australian”?

          I’m not even sure anymore what an Australian is anyway.

          No-one is disputing the rules that were in place for this year. However, this is clearly a situation that cannot be repeated in the future, especially if the next two grand finalists who draw are from out of town, even just one of them.

          Previously, in the VFL, all the combatants were from Melbourne, as was the case this time…..luckily for the AFL…..

          • September 28th 2010 @ 12:18pm
            Black Diamonds said | September 28th 2010 @ 12:18pm | ! Report

            I think what beaver is referring to as “Un-Australian” is this crazy call that we (IN Australia) HAVE TO ADOPT THE RULES OF OVERSEAS COMPETITIONS – that are, most of them, relatively new in comparison to the VFL/AFL.

            I really don’t get this fascination of altering our more than century old sporting traditions to come into line with overseas sporting events – most them of which do not have this length of tradition behind them! (FA Cup excluded, but they still have replays throughout the FA Cup! – Just not in the final anymore).

            Why are the Australian traditions not worth respecting and instead we should junk them for American traditions – extra-time being an American invention afterall.

            • September 28th 2010 @ 6:13pm
              Dan said | September 28th 2010 @ 6:13pm | ! Report

              These aren’t “traditions” numbnuts, they’re responses to market realities. All this crap about it being the Australian way is pure facile garbage. It’s not the Australian way, it’s the VFL’s way. I know Victorians think they speak for everyone, but they don’t and there are plenty of people out there who want to see a result on the day when its a GRAND FINAL.

              It’s not about copying an “overseas model”, it’s about making sure that the final deciding game is THE BLOODY FINAL GAME! Extra time is the most sensible way of doing this considering the disadvantage it would place on interstate fans to have to go home and pay for another flight and ticket to get a result the following week. It’s about the product mate, and like it or not the AFL is a business and it is selling a product. So get all this parochial “Australia doesn’t need foreign models” crap out of your head, because I can assure you that the AFL uses plenty “foreign” business and advertising models already. Deal with it.

              • September 28th 2010 @ 7:11pm
                Mister Football said | September 28th 2010 @ 7:11pm | ! Report

                But if you want to talk market and commercial realities – then this is the reality:
                1. another 100,000 fans will attend (paying some decent coin)
                2. there will be another 2.8 mill in ratings
                3. there’s an extra week of talkin’ footy
                4. the AFL pockets a cool $25 mill that it can sink back into developing the game

                where’s the downside from a business perspective?

              • September 28th 2010 @ 8:33pm
                Dan said | September 28th 2010 @ 8:33pm | ! Report

                Ah, but there in lies the rub. Markets are more complex than just “what’s going to make us the most cash in the short term”. By pissing off fans you risk alienation and if you don’t rectify it you can do damage to your brand and long term profits. I would add that the AFL appears to agree with this given that they’ve now decided they’re going to send next week’s match into overtime if it ends in stalemate.

        • September 28th 2010 @ 1:15pm
          rad said | September 28th 2010 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

          the rule was made in 1976, wtf !

      • Roar Guru

        September 28th 2010 @ 8:15am
        Redb said | September 28th 2010 @ 8:15am | ! Report

        There are alternatve views of replay v extra time, who is right is subjective, unless your agaisnt criticism.

        I think extra time is a cheap expedient method to resovle the ultimate game of the year. The only reason there is extra time in the replay is due to its impact on other the players/clubs and other sports/events, it is 99% certain not to be required.

        • September 28th 2010 @ 10:51am
          sheek said | September 28th 2010 @ 10:51am | ! Report

          “There are alternative views of replays v extra time, who is right is subjective, unless your (sic) against criticism”.

          There is also practical common sense, which is apparently being ignored by the advocates of the replay.

          As a counter to the 99% of occasions there is unlikely to be the need for a replay – consider this – there is about a .00001 percent chance of planes crashing, but this doesn’t stop stringent measures being applied every day in the aviation industry to ensure that the .00001 percentage doesn’t get higher…..

          We mightn’t get another drawn grand final for another 50 years. Then again, it could happen next year & the finalists might be Brisbane & Fremantle. Won’t the AFL look stupid if they made no attempt to come up with a more sensible alternative for ALL concerned…..

      • September 28th 2010 @ 9:12am
        Mister Football said | September 28th 2010 @ 9:12am | ! Report

        Don’t worry about AFL cheerleaders (we don’t use them in our game) – just note that the 100,000 tickets will be sold in the next couple of days, and that’s more important to the AFL than the carping that is currently occurring from non-AFL fans.

        As for Maxwell, he commented immediately after the siren, more disappointed in letting a 4 goal lead slip than anything else.

        In the cool light of day, he’ll know there’s still a flag to be won – everything else matters for nought.

        • September 28th 2010 @ 9:52am
          The Link said | September 28th 2010 @ 9:52am | ! Report

          an example of why extra time is hardly cheap is the Nadal v Federer Wimbeldon 2008, prob greatest grand slam final of all time. plenty of other examples around.

          by all means have the replay, but the game should be given reasonable opportunity to produce a result, extra 5-10 mins each way is hardly changing the very fabric of the sport.

          If still locked up after that then replay.

          • September 28th 2010 @ 1:46pm
            apaway said | September 28th 2010 @ 1:46pm | ! Report

            Link

            Not sure I understand your comaprison here – a tennis match has no time limit and can’t end in a draw.

    • Roar Guru

      September 28th 2010 @ 7:18am
      Rabbitz said | September 28th 2010 @ 7:18am | ! Report

      Geez, where did this bunch of whingers come from? I thought Melbourne considered itself the ‘sporting captial of the known universe’?

      You get a second bite at the AFL’s big day and all we have heard in the newspapers and blogshphere is whining and whinging. Not very ‘sporting capital’ to me.

      Harden Up. Them’s the rules and I think it is a good thing from a sports fans perspective.

      Crickey, what blockbuster weekend is coming up! AFL, NRL, Shute Shield all having finals. Woohoo, fire up the plasma, stick some tinnies on ice, turn off the phone, strap in for a full weekend of sport. As HG and Roy say – “too much sport isn’t nearly enough”.

      • September 28th 2010 @ 9:06am
        sheek said | September 28th 2010 @ 9:06am | ! Report

        Shute Shield? What’s that?…..xoxo…..smiley face, etc……….

      • September 28th 2010 @ 9:15am
        Mister Football said | September 28th 2010 @ 9:15am | ! Report

        It’s not Melbourne people doing the whining – it’s not even AFL fans doing the whining – everyone else is doing it – telling us what we should and shouldn’t be doing with our game.

        In the meantime, another 100,000 tickets are sold, another TV audience of 2.8 million (or whatever the hell it is), and the AFL pockets a cool $25 million.

        But best of all – it’s another week of a talkin’ footy!!

        But I agree with your sentiment: too much sport isn’t nearly enough.

        • September 28th 2010 @ 9:51am
          sheek said | September 28th 2010 @ 9:51am | ! Report

          MF,

          If it’s good enough for the AFL to have extra time for all other finals matches, so why not the GF also?

          And also, is it fair if Brisbane & Fremantle are next year’s GFs, & they also draw, they should either hang around in Melbourne for a replay, or go home & come back again?

          And if you think successive GF draws are impossible, that’s what rugby league folk experienced in 1977-78.

          Repalys may have been okay in the VFL, but now it’s the AFL. The fact the comp is now national makes the rule of replays archaic…..

          • September 28th 2010 @ 9:54am
            The Link said | September 28th 2010 @ 9:54am | ! Report

            plently of AFL fans want the extra time, this is also an internal debate for the AFL.

          • September 28th 2010 @ 10:03am
            Mister Football said | September 28th 2010 @ 10:03am | ! Report

            1. There was a logical reason for introducing extra time to the finals in weeks 1 to 3 – and that was following the experience in 1990 when Essendon had to endure a two week break while a qualifying final had to be replayed. But with the grand final, with the AFL being able to book the MCG as a contingency – the same concern does not arise – and the fundamental objective is to win the flag playing by the standard rules of the game.

            2. I agree there is an argument about interstate teams potentially being inconvenienced, and no doubt, the next time there’s a draw in 38 years, it will involved at least one interstate team. But as Demetriou said on On the Couch last night: teams are very adept these days at recovery, preparation and dealing with long flights, so it’s probably less of an issue as some might imagine. Also, it’s probably a little known fact outside AFL circles that all AFL players want to play at the MCG on grand final day – and they will want to play on it a second time if there’s a flag to be won.

            3. If replays were to become far more common than once every 38 years, an argument might emerge to review it.

            Otherwise, as far as sport goes, I can’t see anything purer than making the the two teams play the full game again – to win the flag under standard rules.

          • September 28th 2010 @ 10:19am
            Mister Football said | September 28th 2010 @ 10:19am | ! Report

            sheek
            following my previous reponse, I stumbled on this comment to today’s Patrick Smith OP in the Aus.

            Smith is pretty much on your side, but this comment sums up my views:

            “Patrick, the difference in treatment between finals and the grand final is not “absurd”. A replay in the earlier finals would affect other teams, whereas a GF replay affects both teams equally. In the end, week 1, 2 and 3 finals matches are not the grand final – the prize at stake in that match makes it special enough to warrant its own rules. What is absurd about that?”

            That’s a key point – the grand final determines the Premier for the season – so there is nothing unusual about it having rules that give primacy to determining the victor within the spirit of the game.

            • September 28th 2010 @ 10:55am
              sheek said | September 28th 2010 @ 10:55am | ! Report

              MF,

              I’m not begrudging people enjoying another week in front of the TV, having a BBQ or down the pub or club. Terrific.

              But going forward, the AFL will have to change its rules. You can’t have everything. Life is about compromises, & finding the best compromise for the majority.

              Extra-time in the grand final is not ideal, but it ticks more boxes for more people than does the replay…..

              • September 28th 2010 @ 11:03am
                Mister Football said | September 28th 2010 @ 11:03am | ! Report

                There may well come a time where it becomes impossible to organise a replay, that’s where other sports find themselves today.

                I’m not convinced that we have reached that stage with the AFL.

              • September 28th 2010 @ 7:53pm
                Ian Whitchurch said | September 28th 2010 @ 7:53pm | ! Report

                I have 25 million really, really good reasons why they wont change the rules.

                To put this amount in perspective, it’s enough to buy ten of Israel Folau and Karmicheal Hunt.

                That is 25 million very good reasons to ignore the whining – and to any whining Grand Final participants, I have only two words … Kick. Straighter.

        • September 28th 2010 @ 10:42am
          JVGO said | September 28th 2010 @ 10:42am | ! Report

          Simple fact is that the rule will be changed next month and nobody will be in the streets protesting, you will all be saying Demetriou did the wise thing (what else do you ever say).

          • September 28th 2010 @ 12:11pm
            Mister Football said | September 28th 2010 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

            Rules change every year – if we protested every single rule change – we would have died of exhaustion by now.

            Most of the AFL fans on this site don’t see a problem with the replay (in fact, we love it).

            • September 28th 2010 @ 12:50pm
              JVGO said | September 28th 2010 @ 12:50pm | ! Report

              Well as supporters of other codes we could instead of taking a neutral view and saying you shouldn’t have a replay we could rather argue that it would be just great if the AFL keeps the replay rule so they can lay another big egg maybe next year. Then you could all lambast us for deathriding the AFL and we could argue ad nauseum about that. So keep the replay I say and i think all neutrals (read supporters of other codes) should now start clamouring for the retention of the replay. PLEASE KEEP THE REPLAY HQ!!!

              The fact is that the neutrals and the expansion markets will decide what happens because that is all that matters at HQ. The heartland fans are irrelevant as usual as they will watch everything anyway.

        • Roar Guru

          September 28th 2010 @ 11:04am
          Fussball ist unser leben said | September 28th 2010 @ 11:04am | ! Report

          MF

          Can you kindly provide the source to validate your claim that “another 100,ooo tickets are sold”?

          As far as I know, AFL members only get access to tickets this afternoon and we won’t know until Saturday whether MCC members embrace the replay … they may be getting the hampers and champers ready for the start of the Spring Racing Carnival the following day.

          Because Collingwood is playing, I’m sure there will be a 90k+ crowd but I’d be surprised if it’s a “sell-out”.

          • September 28th 2010 @ 11:08am
            Mister Football said | September 28th 2010 @ 11:08am | ! Report

            96k, 98k, 100k, it’s all the same to me.

            • September 28th 2010 @ 2:45pm
              JVGO said | September 28th 2010 @ 2:45pm | ! Report

              AD will be watching very closely indeed how the replay rates in Sydney and Brisbane MF. I think he has a pretty clear idea what will happen elsewhere. AD already knows from the Swans ratings that this was the only game most people in Sydney have watched all year.

              • September 28th 2010 @ 2:51pm
                Mister Football said | September 28th 2010 @ 2:51pm | ! Report

                You might be right.

                I would have thought a small drop is on the cards.

              • Roar Guru

                September 28th 2010 @ 3:00pm
                Redb said | September 28th 2010 @ 3:00pm | ! Report

                No your reading this wrong, any TV ratings the AFL GF replay gets is all bonus anyway.

              • September 28th 2010 @ 5:03pm
                JVGO said | September 28th 2010 @ 5:03pm | ! Report

                I would expect it to be near Swans levels actually. I mean the NRL GF is the next day, people have stuff to do. Few people can spend all weekend watching football. I just don’t see why Sydney people would watch the thing twice. But we’ll see if the once a yearers were impressed enough. I mean if that was a great GF as everyone is saying I for one wouldn’t be sitting through an ordinary one that’s for sure. I’d certainly like to know who would have won the one I did watch though.

              • September 28th 2010 @ 5:24pm
                beaver fever said | September 28th 2010 @ 5:24pm | ! Report

              • September 28th 2010 @ 5:33pm
                Mister Football said | September 28th 2010 @ 5:33pm | ! Report

                Phew, that’s a relief, I was concerned that our American friends might miss out on the replay.

              • September 28th 2010 @ 5:39pm
                JVGO said | September 28th 2010 @ 5:39pm | ! Report

                Thanks for that Beaver. I’ll spread the word.

              • September 29th 2010 @ 3:55am
                VooDoo said | September 29th 2010 @ 3:55am | ! Report

                It’s been confirmed worldwide Beaver: http://www.afl.com.au/news/newsarticle/tabid/208/newsid/103311/default.aspx

                The owners of the two official venues hosting GF parties in my city here in Canada are rapt at the prospect of a second consecutive Friday night of big bar takings. Bring on the game!

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