There is a lot of talk about whether this year’s AFL grand final winner should come with an Asterix, some question whether we should have one at all. The season is certainly looking like rather peculiar one. We’ll have less games than normal, the games are shorter than normal, we have teams in hubs, we have a mixed up draw, no crowds and we’re still not sure what sort of a finals series we’ll get, for example, if we will get a wild card weekend pre-finals.
However, whilst it’s not the way most teams will normally win a flag, at the end of the day, does it actually matter?
If you’re Fremantle, and you’ve never won a flag, would you really care if this was the year you broke the drought? Guess what, the beer tastes the same as any other year, and you still get to celebrate just as hard. As a Melbourne fan, or a Saints fan, should you really concern yourself with Asterix’s if you finally get to see your side break its long premiership drought? Dear god no. Guess what, you have a nice new shiny cup to parade around and put in the cabinet.
The Giants have been so close over the last few years, do you think that their supporters, or their players for that matter, would care if they are able to salute on that one final day in September…….or October or November or even December if the season goes till then. No, they wouldn’t nor should they. They’ll still be premiership players and have the medal to prove it. Guess what, you still have to play under the same conditions as everyone else.
It’s the same with NRL. Do you think the Gold Coast Titans will care if this is the year that they manage to salute? Parramatta have the longest premiership drought; do you really think it will taste any less sweet if they salute this season. The Raiders, who are second on the list and got the rough end of the stick last season, will be still celebrating hard regardless of the different season? Of course not. They’ll be taking the trophy and celebrating long and hard as any premiership team before them.
I reckon the only place it will be really tested is in the NBA. The world will lose their shit if LeBron gets one ring closer to Jordan in this compromised season. God, they lose their collective minds in the debate about who’s better regardless, so LeBron seeming to get a ‘çheaper’ or ‘tainted’ one will cause debate for years to come. This would be quite humerous to watch. If Harden and the Rockets small ball won it, the Harden haters would have a field day with claiming it doesn’t count. But guess what, no one begrudges the Spurs for their win in 1999, in a season impacted by the NBA players lock out.
At the end of the day, you are playing to the same rules as every other team in the game. Whilst I does think it deserves to have an Asterix, based on the changes made (shorter game, shorter season etc), the fact there are nearly 10 weeks between round 1 & 2 and the hubs, minimal home ground advantage etc, if my team were to win it, I wouldn’t care, as a win on Grand Final day will be enjoyable regardless, irrespective of how we got there!