Before we get started, just a note to tell all of you that I’m doing a daily segment on Australian Radio this week, every morning at 6:50AM on SEN 1116 in Melbourne. It streams on the web, so if you’re up early enough you can listen on sen.com.au….
Back in the 1980′s, when ESPN was a fledgling network and looking for programming, they began airing Australian Rules Football; which was sort of a cross between rugby, soccer and American football….
After watching a few games, I became hooked and watched religiously. There were violent collisions, players running at full speed all the time, lots of scoring and full stadiums. There were also no time outs, which gave the game a good flow….
The scores often got into the 100′s, which seperated it from soccer….
They also had officials, wearing white raincoats and hats, standing under the crossbars and signaling goals….
The whole thing was great fun, but as ESPN grew and became mainstream, Aussie Rules Football was gone and I lost touch….
Until last Saturday, when I turned on ESPN and saw the Grand Final would be played in 30 minutes. Since I hadn’t seen the game in years, I was excited and popped open a cold one….
Sure enough, it was a great game, with Collingwood and St. Kilda playing to a 68-68 tie before 100,000 fans in Melbourne. The game went back and forth, the players gave 100% effort and it was a thrilling finish….
As I waited for overtime, I noticed officials on the field, players shaking hands and the announcers saying the game was over. “What is this,” I thought to myself, “they allow ties in their Super Bowl?”….
Then the announcers explained that in the Grand Final, ties are replayed in one week; meaning this Saturday the teams do it all over again….
Interesting how they handle this and it made me wonder what would happen if we handled our Super Bowl this way. Let’s say the Eagles and Patriots are playing and Michael Vick leads a last second TD drive which ties the game. But instead of overtime, everyone goes home and they replay the game in the same stadium the following Sunday….
I can’t imagine this ever happening here, because Americans hate ties and want games played to their conclusion….
But the more I thought about it, the more I like the Aussie way….
I’ve always thought it unfair that teams play 60 hard minutes, give everything they have and then the outcome is decided by the toss of a coin….
Think about it. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a week to talk about the Super Bowl and now we have a chance to do it all over again?….
The problem, of course, is what happens with the fans. Do they all have to stay a week, pay for a hotel, buy tickets to the rematch and disrupt their lives? Or do they go home and then catch another flight back?….
Here’s the answer: Super Bowl tickets are so hot that the only way to get them is in a lottery; which means there are millions of people who would love to attend….
You could simply put tickets on sale and allow 100,000 new fans to attend the game….
Sounds good to me….