I’m an Adelaide Crows fan and I’m pissed off. For the fourth year in a row, a non-Victorian team has been robbed of winning the premiership by the AFL’s biased insistence on playing every grand final at the MCG.
The last four grand finals in a row have all seen interstate teams who finished higher on the ladder forced to play what should have been their home grand final at the MCG for no reason other than the AFL’s continued commitment to giving Victorian sides a leg up wherever possible.
It has resulted in four consecutive grand final losses for non-Vic sides, despite all of them going in as favourites of the day. Coincidence? My fat arse it is.
Sydney in 2014, West Coast in 2015 and now my Crows have all been beaten badly on the big stage because they clearly weren’t able to maintain their intensity and gameplan when moving to a ground they almost never get the chance to play at.
In the case of all three sides they won two finals at home to make it through to the grand final and in doing so built up a comfortable rhythm of playing at their home ground and winning while doing so.
As the teams that finished higher on the ladder in those years they had a right to maintain that rhythm with another game at home but instead were forced into a break in momentum which badly damaged their form and robbed them of a real chance to win the flag.
You can’t tell me that the Crows wouldn’t have slaughtered the Tigers by ten goals minimum if yesterday’s grand final had been played at Adelaide Oval, where it rightly should’ve been – we already did that earlier this year!
Instead a big Victorian club got spoonfed a premiership gifted three finals in a row at the MCG despite having earned the right to a home ground advantage in only one of them. Pathetic!
The AFL – which is really still just the VFL – may want non-Vic teams in the competition to ensure a nation-wide market to put TV advertising in front of, but it draws the line at us having a fair and equal chance to win the flag.
Perhaps it’s time for a breakaway comp featuring the eight non-Vic sides where the highest qualifier hosts the grand final every year, as the rule always should be. It would be a higher quality competition than the one left behind.
That way the VFL can be guaranteed a Victorian winner every single year, and won’t they just be over the moon with that?