The Neds Nudge: MCG Whinge Fest

When asked on the issue of home finals on FOX Footy’s AFL 360 last night, Geelong coach Chris Scott expressed an opinion that seems to be very popular with Cats fans. 

“The grand final’s at the MCG — It’s locked in for 40 years or whatever it is, I don’t think that’s right,” Scott said

“Maybe that’s influenced by my playing days up in Brisbane, but we’re a truly national competition now — to have the Grand Final locked into the MCG is a travesty.”

That’s right playing on the hallowed turf of the MCG on that one day in September is considered a travesty.

Give me a spell.

The Cambridge dictionary defines the word as “something that fails to represent the values and qualities that it is intended to represent, in a way that is shocking or offensive:”

There is nothing shocking or offensive about the venue of the AFL Grand Final and what is turning into the annual whinge fest mostly from non-Melbourne clubs is becoming an embarrassment to the game.

Everyone knows that when you sign up to play in the AFL the Grand Final it is at the MCG.

Much like how the FA Cup Final is at Wembley, the Melbourne Cup is at Flemington or that Wimbledon is held at…Wimbledon.

And while it’s easy for people to play the fairness card, alas, much like life footy isn’t fair.

If you want a fair footy fixture, you need every single club playing at their own individual home ground two times per year with finals played at neutral venues.

Sounds great in theory, but it ain’t going to happen, folks.

Communism also sounds good in theory as well.

The Cats are currently sitting on top of the ladder and in a position to have its annual debate about playing a “home” final at GHMBAKA Stadium or whatever it’s called this week.

The ground has come a long way from being the Sovereign Hill of football and there is a fair and reasonable argument for them to play it at the Cattery, only to factor in for any Victorian team – the finals have mostly been played at the MCG for the good part of 100 years.

Geelong has also recently lobbied to have their VFA premierships counted as part of their official flag tally and they should play a home final at their ground.

These are great problems to have, but their recent finals record isn’t that great and perhaps their number one focus should be to win anywhere, anytime as per the pressure of what finals football brings.

If they get to play at the Cattery, great, if it’s at the MCG in front of 90,000 people – even better. It’s a win-win. Priority should be just winning a final, not where it’s played.

It’s worth noting that back in the VFL Days, Carlton didn’t play home finals at Princes Park, Collingwood never played a final at Victoria Park nor did Geelong play at Kardinia Park.

Finals were played at the MCG or Waverley and people knew that’s where you wanted to be come September.

Pretty simple.

It’s all well and good to play finals outside of the G, but there’s only one place you want to be on the last Saturday in September.

I’ve also tried to trace back newspaper articles from the 1950s when Melbourne was dominating the competition every year as the only MCG tenant at the time and no one kicked up a fuss about it.

The AFL schedule is a commercial schedule with the almighty dollar in mind, not fairness but even then the draft system and concessions have allowed most of the 18 teams (bar the Gold Coast Suns) to be close to or have played in a Grand Final in the past 15 years.

The thing is, it’s easy for the non-Melbourne clubs to cry “unfair” about the issue of the Grand Final but since the Adelaide Crows joined the AFL back in 1991, 12 out of the 28 premierships awarded have gone to non-Victorian teams when 37.7% of teams actually in the League are not from Victoria.

Along with this, only one of the four teams that have won more than three premierships is an MCG tenant – Hawthorn and they play four of their home games in Launceston every year.

The stats don’t lie but don’t let that get in the way of a good non-Melbourne clubs whinge about the fact they have to get on a domestic flight to play in a Grand Final at one of the world’s great stadiums.

 

The Neds Nudge does not represent the views of Neds.  They are just Dylan’s views, as he is Victorian and he wouldn’t shut up about it in the office this morning so we made him write it up instead.