As this season progressed, the more certain I became of the outcome: Melbourne and Penrith, the dominant and most exhilarating teams of the past two years, to again take their rightful places in the grand final.
The finals of both Australian footy codes came to a close over the weekend in what was an incredible feat in itself to make it to the end of what has been a year of ups downs and a pandemic through in for good measure.
The Tigers and the Storm came out on top in two games that could now be considered as very 2020.
The Richmond Tigers took the spoils at the Gabba on an evening of firsts including the first-night grand final to really bring back fans to the TV instead of the ground in a very social distance kind of way.
The Tigers kept to traditions and held together even though the very valiant Geelong Cats seemed to rain on an already wet day to spoil the so-called dynasty that has been created at Punt Rd.
The Tigers were for very much of the first three quarters seemed to be the back runner and came over the top of the Cats late to finish 31-point victors.
Dustin Martin cemented himself on the Mt Rushmore of grand final heroes picking up his third Norm Smith Medal along with four goals and 21 disposals to secure his place in folklore to be the first man to do so.
The Melbourne Storm had their fair share of spoils to top of the weekend holding of a fast-finishing Penrith to hold the Provan-Summons Trophy aloft for the third time in their short history.
The Storm was led by their ageless warrior in Cameron Smith who guided the ship through the first half giving them a 22-0 lead at the halftime.
Penrith always had it in them to come back into the game according to one-eyed Phil Gould. The Panthers rallied late but couldn’t do enough to bring in the margin. The Storm held on to win by six points with Ryan Papenhuyzen taking home the Clive Churchill Medal .
The learning of this weekend and year have been many with the year of experiments and new ideas given their time in the sun to finally be put to bed or possibly be the idea of a new age .
The idea of having an AFL grand final at night has been circulating for too long and on Saturday we as fans finally realised why this hasn’t happened before.
The game has a time and place in all fans’ hearts. The bounce of the ball should occur on the hallowed turf of the MCG at 3:00pm.
The late grand final didn’t really ignite the same burning passion that an afternoon grand final gives to most fans.
On the NRL side of the coin, can we please appreciate Smith’s contribution to the game and what he has done for rugby league in Australia and Melbourne?
The man has broken every record the game has and many supporters continue to boo him and ask that he hang up the boots for the past three years.
Cameron will make a decision in his own time but understand the man will be a future immortal, but will continue to remain an enigma to most until the end.