I’m SO excited! Even two days out from the game…
An hour ago I spoke to my nephew – he’s got our tickets sorted for Friday night’s Preliminary Final between Geelong and Collingwood. We just have to pick them up on Friday morning and we’re done.
I asked him if he was nervous and excited – he sure is! He will be playing his biggest game *ever* in front of his biggest crowd ever. Some 90,000+ people are expected at the MCG. The biggest crowd he’s played of before this is around 50,000.
He said that in some ways this was going to be a better game than the Grand Final as the MCG will be filled with supporters from the two Victorian teams, whereas the Grand Final is packed with people who aren’t necessarily supporters of the teams that are playing. He has a point! The roar of the crowd should be deafening. Of course, the Grand Final has all the atmosphere and hype and everything else. And just to play in a Grand Final is a privilege reserved for very few. However, to play in a Preliminary Final is pretty damned good too and we are VERY PROUD of him. Of course, if they win on Friday night, then he *will* be in a Grand Final (if selected…).
I was doing some calculations on this the other day… (yes, I need to get a life!) For round figure purposes, let’s assume there are 20 million people in Australia (I think it’s closer to 21M, but I’m not counting!). Only 16 teams are in the AFL. Each team has a squad of 50-70 young men. Of those 50-70, about 22 get named in their playing side any one week, and only 18 are on the ground at once. So for your standard weekend footy games during the season, only some 300 (round figures) guys are playing at the highest level – out of a total population of 20 million. To even be one of the chosen ones in an AFL team during the season, you’ve got a 0.0000144% chance! Now, by the time you get to the preliminary finals (the week before the Grand Final), only 4 teams remain – some 72 players. To be one of the final 72 in the Preliminary Finals, the chance is now 0.0000036%, and by the Grand Final, only 36 are left – 0.0000018%. Infinitesimal!!!
This will probably be my last post until it’s all over and we’re back home. I pick up Mum tomorrow morning and we drive to Perth to catch the flight to Melbourne. We’re not home until early Saturday evening. Bounce down is at 7:50pm Melbourne time, Friday night. Can’t wait!!!
And yes, Suzanne, this is the same nephew we all saw playing in Launceston 18 months ago. The drive from Hobart may have just been worth it! ;-)