Grand Final Fever

This weekend two major football games from two different codes will take place in our biggest Australian cities.

In Sydney, Melbourne Storm, who finished in second position on the ladder, will take on the top team Canterbury Bulldogs in the NRL Grand Final on Sunday. Meanwhile, a day earlier in Melbourne, local team Hawthorn will go head-to-head with the Sydney Swans in the AFL Grand Final. Huge crowds are expected to turn out for both games.

A sporting nation at heart, the last day in September is a huge one for so many Australians. Who do you think will win both Grand Finals?

Opinion – The real winner is Australia

Every day we awake to news of violence and riots involving innocent civilians around the world.

On Saturday, nearly 100,000 people will congregate at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), not to mention many more in front of TV screens in pubs, clubs and homes nation-wide and at the end of the match, regardless of which team wins, they will all file out and peacefully go their separate ways.  When you stop and think about it, this is an amazing achievement that most Australians take for granted.

In February, 74 people died and a further 248 were injured in a riot after a soccer match in Egypt’s Port Said. Some 13,000 fans of home side Al-Masry stormed the ground after a victory over top team Al-Ahly, chasing supporters of the losing team and pelting them with rocks, bottles and fireworks. Army helicopters were forced to evacuate the terrified players with the Al-Ahly goalie promising “It’s over. We’ve all made a decision we won’t play soccer anymore.”

Meanwhile, the UK soccer fans are notorious for their bad behaviour and violent rampages depending upon how their team performs in each match. Given this violence, it’s no surprise that these fans have separate seating arrangements.

This weekend in both Melbourne and Sydney, fans from both teams will mingle in all stands. While there will definitely be a lot of yelling and venting not to mention robust banter, and there may even be a few fights between those who’ve had a few too many, there will be no spectators storming the ground or players evacuated, fearing for their lives.

In my opinion we are still very much living in the “lucky country”. What do you think?

Written by SJ