The poor ol’ other footy clubs are bleating again about their selfish “poor ol’ me” in the annual ANZAC DAY monotonous whinge. The grissling has become an annual event to be expected, synonymous with the great ANZAC DAY and commemorating football match itself.
Their selfish, childish complaints are the opposite of what the ANZAC DAY legacy represents. I’m sure the men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for all of us and our country would never have considered selfish complaints and whinging over a football match.
Every year the complaints fly as Essendon and Collingwood near fill the country’s biggest capacity stadium, the MCG on the brilliantly organized ANZAC DAY clash. A match that was designed, marketed and organized by the two participating clubs 15 seasons ago. The success of the ANZAC DAY clash makes most other clubs, (usually the pathetic, pennyless clubs) cry to the mountain with the “What about me” routine.
This year, ANZAC DAY fell on the Saturday which provided a perfect opportunity for some of these other clubs to get together and organize their own special day for the occasion. Who knows, a successful North Melbourne v Richmond night match may have prompted the AFL to investigate holding a second commemorative yearly match on ANZAC night at Docklands Stadium.
But these two pathetic clubs missed the boat.
Let’s look at the numbers. Etihad (Docklands) Stadium has a crowd capacity of 53,359 people, yet only 29,224 bothered to turn up to the North Melbourne v Richmond clash. That is 24,135 empty seats. Just over half full under the roof of the Docklands Stadium.
What a disgrace – and proof that these whinging clubs should shut up about stealing the Essendon v Collingwood ANZAC DAY match. They have no idea how to run their own organization – let alone have the foresight to get together with their opponent to capitalize on a perfect opportunity to promote their own identity, capture the night ANZAC clash and make a buck in the process.
Essendon v Collingwood attracted 84,829 people to the second biggest football day of the year. This is on a day where this season neither side has set the world on fire with their on field performances and a day where the weather forecast was extremely bleak.
Let’s look at the other matches held on ANZAC DAY around the country.
FREMANTLE v SYDNEY at SUBIACO 32,885 – CAPACITY 43,500 – not bad for an interstate battle.
HAWTHORN v WEST COAST at AURORA STADIUM 17,460 – CAPACITY 22,000. Again not a bad effort for interstate rivals and a match played in Tasmania.
Richmond and North Melbourne should both lick their wounds and ponder over what might have been, had they promoted the match properly. Instead, North Melbourne president, James Brayshaw stood on his usual soap box on his Sunday TV footy show and cried about why North can’t play in the ANZAC DAY clash. He even organized a phone in poll to count the ‘Who thinks Essendon and Collingwood should have exclusive rights to the ANZAC DAY match’.
The results came in at 54% no and 46% yes.
Not a surprising result considering the biased and very persuasive editorial Brayshaw gave before the phone in. Never once did anyone mention how North Melbourne actually had their own opportunity for the day and stuffed it up.
For the record, the 2009 Essendon v Collingwood ANZAC DAY was as always a great success, and that success has nothing to do with the result of the match. Congratulations to the administrations of both Essendon and Collingwood for staging a great event and it is surely no coincidence that both clubs are highly successful on and off the field.
These other whinging clubs’ administrations would be better served to take notice of how Essendon and Collingwood manage their clubs. They should be more proactive in their own back yard rather than crying about their miserable missed opportunities.