It was an amazing week, swept along in Grand Final fever. To cope with the stress of the Bulldogs upcoming first decider in 55 years, we went to Thursday morning’s open training session at Whitten Oval, tuned in to Thursday night’s GF Footy Show, attended Friday morning’s city-stopping parade, and finally an AFL dinner with a thousand others Friday night. Kate Ceberano, John Stevens and Ross Wilson put in excellent performances sharing the stage with radio & football personalities. At last, the nerves had abated. But it didn’t last, waking the following morning to a bout of shocking game-day anxiety.
We arrived early at The G to witness pre-game entertainment by Vance Joy, Living End and Sting. Then the game kicked off in a blur of adrenaline at 2:30pm. By half time, nerves were utterly frayed, Sydney 2 points ahead. No side took ascendancy til the last 10 minutes, when the Bulldogs slotted a couple of game-icing goals to run out winners by 22 points after a kick on the final siren. It was their first Premiership victory in 62 years. Tears of joy and relief flowed, thousands of Doggies fans in shock (99,981 in attendance). A big night ensued, followed by Sunday morning back at Whitten Oval – 30 thousand delirious supporters singing and cheering.
And just like that, another AFL season closes, the gravity of what just happened yet to truly sink in.