Insights from Quadrant

Keeping the faith

This afternoon at the Melbourne Cricket Ground it will be possible, just for a few hours, almost to forget the sorry state of the world and, most particularly, the sad reality of life these days in Andrewsstan, otherwise known as Victoria.

Once those attending the AFL Grand Final have been frisked, wanded and the ladies’ handbags searched at the turnstiles, there will be (fingers crossed) no further prompts to reflect on why a small religious minority’s smaller minority wishes to see random strangers blown up.

The police will be there doing what police always used to do — keeping the peace and attending immediately to troublemakers, a pleasant change from politicised campaigns targetting the enemies of progressivism. We will likely not hear, for example, a public address announcement soliciting anyone prepared to claim they were sexually assaulted as children by one of today’s two rival coaches.

A prince of the church should have been so lucky.

Even the wallahs of the AFL will stay their (left) hands today. No one on either team, Richmond and Greater Western Sydney, will be obliged to wear rainbow shoe laces, as in the AFL’s Gay Round. There will be, inevitably, a welcome to country, but unlike Indigenous Round there will be no need to maintain a chafing silence as a fellow Australian rabbits on from beneath a possum cloak about Aborigines inventing aquaculture, aerodynamics, astronomy and a “civilisation” older than the pyramids. That can wait until the schools open their doors on Monday.

As for climate dementia, that will be the lot of far off Canada, where Sweden’s carbonphobic Scoldilocks is today hectoring audiences about the evil of living in our modern, energy-rich age. If the thoughts of some barrackers do stray to Gaia’s alleged torments, it may well prompt a smile at the AFL’s Green Round having been played, as always, beneath towering pylons crowned by million-candlepower arrays of very, very bright lights.

Yes, for a few hours, it will be footy as it was and should be: two teams going at it hammer-and-tongs before 100,000 ardent devotees. The AFL’s wokesters can tamper with the world’s greatest game all they like during the home-and-away season, but the last Saturday in September remains immune to their politically correct sermons and meddling. Tom Wills, footy’s inventor, will look down from the Grandstand Eternal and smile that supporters have kept the faith despite the sport’s administrators’ worst efforts.

Quadrant Online’s prediction: Greater Western Sydney in a squeaker. The pundits have made the Tigers their short-odds favourite, with some anticipating a runaway Richmond slaughter akin to 2007’s grand final result, when Geelong took Port Adelaide to the woodshed for a 119-point thrashing. The GWS squad which ruthlessly dismantled the Western Bulldogs in the elimination final and has continued to confound predictions is much better than that. At odds of around $3.10, an enticing proposition for those keen to have a flutter.

Below, the great and dying Ted Whitten’s final circuit of the MCG. Keep the faith for the next few hours, footy fans, enjoy the moment.

The real world and its idiocies will still be there and waiting to pounce after today’s final siren.

— roger franklin

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