Mike Sheahan has had a change of heart.
AFL football reporter Mike Sheahan has always had a bee in his bonnet about the ANZAC DAY football match being exclusive to Essendon and Collingwood. Every year he gets on his high horse about the unfairness of the game being exclusive to these two clubs. In reply I monotonously enter a post in this forum every year about the ridiculous notion that some people in football and other clubs think the game should be shared around to other teams.
These people including Mike Sheahan just don’t get it.
The day is so big because Essendon and Collingwood make it big. During the pre-match ceremony put on by the RSL and the armed forces, you could hear a pin drop amongst the 87,000 crowd, most with heads bent in respect of the men and women who gave their lives in defence of our country. The fans totally understand and respect the occassion. No other club could put on the show that these two clubs do with such class and distinction each year. How many other clubs could pull a crowd of 87,000 on a most miserably cold and wet Wednesday afternoon?
Of all of the other big clubs, Carlton supporters only show up when their team is doing well, Hawthorn would only pull a similar crowd if the game was against either Essendon or Collingwood, Melbourne supporters would be at the ski resorts and you couldn’t contemplate Richmond being involved. Fair dinkum, if Richmond supporters were in the trenches together they would end up shooting each other.
In the leadup to this years’ ANZAC DAY clash, Sheahan again commented on how he thinks the game should go out to other worthy clubs. My instant reaction was ‘Here we go again – Sheahan just doesn’t get it’.
After the match last night Mike Sheahan was scheduled to comment on radio 3AW and I listened intently to hear what dribble he would bleat about the unfairness of the match. Would he suggest Poor ol’ Footscray or North Melbourne should play the match? Would it be last years’ premiers to play off?
I was however pleasantly surprised to hear that after all this time Sheahan has finally changed his views. After yesterday’s fantastic occassion Mike Sheahan came on radio and admitted that he thinks the game should now be exclusive to Essendon and Collingwood since yet again both clubs put on an epic display of football and along with the RSL a top class event. It is a very refreshing change of heart from Sheahan who after 17 years of Ess/Coll ANZAC DAY clashes has finally realised that Collingwood and Essendon have earnt their right to keep this match exclusively theirs.
I don’t often agree with Mike Sheahan but I’m pleased he finally understands that the success of the day is totally attributed to Essendon and Collingwood in conjunction with the RSL and the Armed Forces.