Inside this week's issue of Big League magazine...
TRUTH be told, the Fremantle butcher who trotted out purple sausages last week – perhaps the foulest looking meat ever purveyed – before the Dockers had even qualified for the AFL grand final probably did go off a bit early.
But in my mind it’s better to go off early than to not go off at all.
Growing up, Grand Final Week was one of the best times of the year because normally shy and reserved neighbours forgot all inhibitions and were proudly exhibiting public displays of affection for the team colours they pledged their allegiance to.
Front fences were painted blue and white, blue Fords were given yellow streaks down each side and bread, beer and beards were turned green when Canberra qualified for their first decider in 1987.
It’s why the fans of all four teams this weekend have such an exciting 80 minutes ahead of them, because the outcome will determine their behaviour for the following seven days.
It’s why I’d personally love to see the Knights win their way through, even though the Roosters have proven time and again to be the outstanding team.
It’s not been all smooth sailing since Wayne Bennett took over almost two years ago but I would have loved to have been able to immerse myself in Knights fever this week. If they make it through, I may just head up the M1 one day next week for a blue steak between two pieces of red bread.
Good luck to all four teams and their fans this weekend and if your team does qualify for the big one you have permission – at least from me – to wear your team’s jersey to work on Monday, skip school on Tuesday to attend the fan day and cancel any prior engagements relating to friends or family that may be booked in for next weekend.
Grand Final Week is your time, because you just never know when it will come around again.
I’VE decided us league fans are a hard bunch to please.
There was all sorts of hue and cry last year when we were given six weeks’ notice of when games were going to be played and that the video referees seemed to be in control of games rather than the men in the middle.
Now there are calls to get rid of fixed scheduling and to overturn the decision to remove ‘benefit of the doubt’ from calls relating to possible tries.
Let’s celebrate the footy this weekend, not spend 80 minutes looking for excuses as to why one team didn’t win.