My super, duper witty boyfriend posted the following status to his Facebook: “And the winner of the 2012 Grand Final is… the AFL.” No one disagreed, not even the NRL fans, because they can’t disagree. The AFL Grand Final dominated the NRL Grand Final and to be perfectly honest, Sunday was a disappointing day compared to the emotions of Saturday. Disclaimer: I am a Swans fan and don’t watch much rugby, so I prefer AFL by default. But that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate a good game.
The yawn-inducing Sunday evening game lacked several things the AFL brain-blasting game had. Which got me thinking: what makes a good game? Of all the games I’ve seen lately, there’s some pretty obvious ones.
1. Close score or multiple lead changes. Example? Today, I watched the New York Giants/Philadelphia Eagles game (NFL, in case you are unaware). In the last few minutes of the game, the Eagles scored to take a two point lead. The game ended with a failed field attempt by the Giants. If the game couldn’t have been won with that last field goal… that would have been a boring game!
2. Action throughout the game. Example? Any NBA game. Take your pick. Boring NBA games are rare.
3. Controversy. Example? The Seahawks/Packer game a couple weeks ago was a great one. The replacements refs were completely screwing up the game (sorry Mother Bear – I know that was a point of contention with my last blog post!) and NO ONE was happy. The Chris Judd chicken wing this season? That’s another great controversy)
4. A game-changer. Example? Okay, I know that it’s not a real game, but have you seen ‘The Replacements?’ When Keanu Reeves comes back in the middle of the final game so the other QB gets removed, is a game-changer. During the 2008 NBA play-offs, Paul Pierce hurt his ankle and was carried off the court. He came back after a quarter, and it totally changed the game, both when he left and when he came back).
5. Something random, ridiculous and not game related that people talk about. Classic example? Janet Jackson getting her breasts out at the 2004 Superbowl. That, my friends, was a memorable game.
So how did the AFL and NRL Grand Finals stack up?
1. Close score or multiple lead changes. The AFL Grand Final had both and the NRL Grand Final had neither. The Swans/Hawks played a stressful game with a lot of back and forth while the Bulldogs/Storm had a constant lead throughout the game. Interestingly, both games had 10 points separating the final scores (81-91 for AFL and 4-14 for NRL) but the AFL wins this point because of the number of lead changes and the higher score. (AFL – 1, NRL – 0)
2. Action throughout the game. You know that no one scored during the second half of the Bulldogs/Storm game. Then watch this highlight reel of the AFL Grand Final. There’s a clear winner here and it’s the AFL. (AFL – 2, NRL, 0)
3. Controversy. The AFL had a pretty consistent game. Very few issues with refs and nothing really stand-out-y. The NRL on the other hand… I don’t need to tell you that the drama between try/no try is never-ending and there will be controversy at every game. Not to mention that fight in the first half… This one goes to the NRL. (AFL-2, NRL-1)
4. A game-changer. Actually… neither game had this, interestingly enough. Hmmmm… WAIT. I KNOW. Adam Goodes (deep sigh) wrecked his PCL in the second quarter and instead of sitting out the rest of the game (like any of us mere mortals would have done) he strapped that baby up and ran back onto the field. Adam – you are a game changer. (AFL – 3, NRL – 1)
5. Something random, ridiculous and not game related that people talk about. These are the best moments, for me. The game itself is always amazing and you can watch highlight videos until the cows come home but James Graham biting Billy Slater’s ear and the Rhyce Shaw Nek Minnit, well those will be the parts of the game that I remember best. Call this one a draw. (AFL – 4, NRL – 2)
There’s a clear winner here. All you NRL fans out there – what did you think? Do you still believe the NRL had the better game? Oh, and just a quick note… the NRL Grand Final had slightly over 82 thousand attendees. The AFL Grand Final? Just a few short of 100 thousand. Looks like a pretty obvious preference to me…
Special thanks to my boyfriend, whose Facebook status inspired this post 🙂