Did you watch the recent AFL Grand Final? If so, you weren’t alone in witnessing the Western Bulldogs break their championship duck with victory over the Sydney Swans. Aside from the 90,000 or so crammed into the cavernous MCG, the Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that 6.5 million football fans tuned in to watch the match on television across the nation, too. That’s a rise in viewership of 16 per cent on last year, proving that Aussie Rules remains one of the most popular sports in the country – if not the most.
Unless you’re a complete stranger to Motive Travel, you’ll know that we’re pretty big fans of the footy as well – and that’s putting it lightly! Our owner, George Michalczyk, is a former player and coach, and the game is in his blood.
He’s been to the last 40 or so Grand Finals, a record that not many people can compete with. Not only that, but we at Motive Travel have taken hordes of excited fans to the event over the years, as we want to share the atmosphere and excitement that only the AFL Grand Final can bring – and we’ll keep on doing it, too.
But just why does the sport continue to attract such an enormous following? Well, there are multitude of reasons, and you don’t have to look much further than the 2016 showpiece for the evidence. A classic match, played out with a passion, skill and intensity unrivalled anywhere (well, apart from the odd Western Derby, of course, but we’re biased…) that delivered a fairytale ending.
The Western Bulldogs clinched the trophy after a 62-year gap, and how the team celebrated!
Echoing English soccer team Leicester City’s remarkable march to the Premier League title earlier this year – a feat that offered odds of 5,000-1 at the start of the season – the Western Bulldogs clinched the trophy after a 62-year gap, and how the team celebrated!
Perhaps it’s the sheer unpredictability of the sport that continues to draw fascination. The lead changed hands five times. A whopping 11 goals were scored in the second quarter. Maybe most telling of all, though, is that the result was never certain until right up to the death, when the final whistle sparked jubilant scenes from the Bulldogs contingent – and sorrow in the Swans.
The human league
That’s the nature of the sport, but just what we love about it – the human aspect. Every match, we watch our favourite team with an a nervous anticipation, hoping for a result or performance that can make our day – or potentially break it, if things don’t go their way!
As the Grand Final is played out in Melbourne each year, what better excuse to visit this fine city? Be sure to download our free Melbourne travel guide from our website home page to find out which big events Motive can take you to – there are plenty to choose from!