Australian Rules Football: the best game in the world. A game good for bad times.

Thank you Australian Rules Football: The AFL, Administrators, Organisers, Players, Coaches, Support staff, Promoters, Deliverers and Volunteers.

Thank you for managing to organise an ongoing fixture in these sad times. Thank you for overcoming obstacles, learning your way to solutions and giving us back the game. The best game. Australian Rules Football is the best game in the world. The continuity of competition is a welcome fraction of “normal” that reminds us good things can still happen (even when Collingwood gets a complete shellacking).

I still feel this way after watching the second half of West Coast vs Collingwood because the Eagles played with such athletic beauty. A team of well prepared AFL players can perform most of the feats achievable by the human physique in the course of a season. However, the Eagles delivered many in a single game.

The second half was a virtually flawless display of sublime skill and football smarts by West Coast players as individuals and as a team. The goal kicking was extraordinary. One slotted after the other in a peerless demonstration of accuracy and purpose. The strength and dominance of their aerial work included some lovely speccys. The immediate and right decision making delivered ball after ball to a teammate. It was uncanny.

The procession like waves of players streaming in absolute synchrony down the field as they passed the pill in bullet like hand ball and short passes was a joy to watch. Every long bomb seemed to hit a target. Every spill was gathered and spat out. Players propelled themselves at their opposition in irresistible tackles. Their defence ruthlessly puounced on turnovers and relentlessly deflected every move into the Magpie forward zone. They were the launching pad for one successful offensive attack after another.

Did I mention full forward Josh Kennedy yet? No? How could I have come so far without acknowledging 7 majors from a veteran star? Still waxing, rarely waning, always a threat, he did it again, one perfect line after another, one perfect goal after another, one reason to celebrate football after another.

And through it all, there was Nic Nat. I have never seen such a dominant demonstration of the art of ruck work. His vision, his leap, his taps and his persistence once the ball hits the ground is astoundingly glorious. Even more astounding, his opposite number was Brody Grundy, arguably the best ruckman in the game. On this occasion it was a total eclipse!

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