Well, there we have it the 2021 AFL season is over and for the first time since 1964 the Melbourne football club are the premiers of the AFL. In a result that not even the most passionate Dee’s fan would have truly believed would be possible in the big dance the Demons have ended the Norm Smith curse.
It’s such an amazing turn around this season after barely missing out on the finals last year and being 2nd last in 2019 after making the prelim only to be destroyed by eventual premiers West Coast in 2018 at the same venue Optus Stadium. We also can’t forget the pressure on head coach Simon Goodwin heading into the season after the previous 2 years failings he has clearly delivered on what some of the expert’s said was expected but after becoming premiers he seemingly delivered more.
After such an impressive season in which they didn’t drop below 3rd on the ladder the Dee’s have finally given their fans something to be proud of after a 57-year drought that you could say ended with a flood of points in the 2nd half. On the back of Norm Smith medalist Christian Petracca and 6 goal hero Bayley Fritsch they were able to turn around a slump in the 2nd quarter that seemed like the Dogs could blow them away.
As I stated earlier the Dees were blown away in the second quarter after such a dominant opening term you could be forgiven for the Dees being shocked to their core with pardon the pun the demons of 2018 at Optus coming in to their heads. I for one was beginning to wonder if the Dees had been to calm and been energy sapped after the first term and this would be more a nightmare experience instead of the dream they were hoping for.
The game was one in that I started to feel like Melbourne had ruined their chances with such erratic kicking in front of goal and they seemed like they couldn’t even buy a goal to save themselves. Once the dogs got on the roll, I was sitting on the couch watching the game and thinking “how can the Dees be playing like this in the biggest game of the players career’s so far?” It just honestly felt like the Dog’s had just flicked the switch and turned it on and set the challenge to Melbourne of this is what we have so come and catch us.
That was going smoothly for the Dog’s until some players attempted to rough up the Melbourne players in particular Caleb Daniel when he would sling Max Gawn to ground over the line but not on the grass but the synthetic part and that seems to be the catalyst for change. After that point the Dees showed why they are the best 3rd quarter team in the league, and with how the rest of the game played out it just shows the reason the 3rd term is known as the premiership quarter.
The fourth quarter was truly the Demons showing why they had been up the top all year and just partied all throughout the last term and turned the Bulldogs into puppies. I feel like the tables turned in the last 10 minutes of the 3rd and in the 4th were the Dees lifted into high gear and asked the Dogs to come and get them but the Bulldogs seemed to be gassed after their push in the 2nd quarter yet they just couldn’t pull far enough away on the scoreboard.
Now to look at what this means to one man in particular and that is Neil Daniher who is unfortunately fighting MND (Motor Neuron Disease) but he has been able to see the Demons at long last win the cup again. I also though want to touch on one of the best players the Dees have had pull on the red and the blue Jim Stynes that sadly couldn’t witness this moment that after losing his battle with cancer in 2012.
However, I also need to look at the supporters that couldn’t be there due to the current pandemic and I am not going to sit and say I understand what you feeling right now because I don’t. The sheer excitement of seeing your team win the flag must be indescribable yet I’m sure they may be a slight empty feeling in not being able to attend the fixture but that will make the unfurling of the flag at the first home game next season even more special than it already would have been.
In closing soke it up Melbourne fans you deserve it after all you have been through over the last 10-15 years and what was probably one of the worst days in that time the absolute canning at Kardinia Park by Geelong. That is enough of that though this is your moment, your time to shine but most importantly drink up and celebrate like its 1964 and live this moment like it want happen for another 57 years.