A Covid Grand FinalOctober 24, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C
In this year that is unlike any other, today we have the spectacle of the strangest Grand Final in football history. In any normal year, this would have already been held on the final Saturday in September. But not this year.
This year was without doubt, weird in every respect. Football was no exception. The outbreak of the pandemic looked like it would bring a premature end to the entire 2020 season, and that's what almost happened. After a few rounds, the pandemic grew to such an extent that all matches were suspended.
For a time matches resumed in front of empty grandstands. It was purely a TV spectacle, but the "spectacle" was more like a farce. Someone decided that we need some artificial crowd noises to build the atmosphere, but that only served to make it a sad joke. The quarters were reduced in length to 15 minutes. I am not sure why this was done, but it only added to the lacklustre season that never was.
Soon the dreaded "second wave" arrived in Victoria and somehow all the players, partners, friends, neighbours, etc were offered free transit to Queensland. The players were supposed to be separated in a special "hub" away from the general population. Of course, many players immediately ignored that condition and proceeded to behave badly at every opportunity.
The home and away season was reduced to only 17 matches - just enough for every team to play every other team just once during the season. The all-important Grand Final was delayed by four weeks and, in the worst insult to Victoria, was rescheduled to be held in Queensland at the Gabba. At least up there they could still have modest crowds. In the meantime, the massive MCG would sit empty.
Somehow the season limped along to the finals. It was hard to really get very involved in such a contrived situation and many of the people I spoke to told me that they had lost all interest in what was going on this year.
To cut a long story short, one by one, the teams were eliminated, until only Richmond and Geelong were left to battle for the Premiership of the Damned. It was somewhat ironic that the first non Victorian Grand Final would be battled out by two Victorian teams. Since I like to support the underdog, I would have liked St Kilda to win the premiership this year, but that was not to be. Both Richmond and Geelong have had more than their fair share of success over the past few years, so it will be another example of the "rich getting richer".
Against the backdrop of the leadup to the Grand Final, we had had a steady reduction in the daily numbers of new cases in Victoria. It was actually looking like we might even reach the holy grail of zero new cases, however another stuff up in bureacracy has seen another local outbreak in the Preston region. Apparently the Dept of Health and Human Services incorrectly omitted to tell a family that one of their children should have been kept in isolation. The parents dutifully sent off the infected kid to school and the result was therefore quite predictable. We now have three schools closed for 2 weeks and hundreds of people placed potentially at risk.
Dan Andrews had previously promised that we could expect a further easing fo restrictions tomorrow, but the latest bungle may now have prejudiced that happening. In the meantime, hundreds of unmasked protestors rioted in the streets of Melbourne yesterday. They have come to the conclusion that the pandemic is a scam, and that we should be completely freed to infect anyone we choose, in any way we choose.
On a personal level, Maggie and I were very happy with the increase in travel distance up to 25 km. This gave us the chance to leave our neighbourhood for the first time in months. We met with friends at Gembrook, had a picnic in Garfield and, best of all, saw our youngest grandson again. It really was like a breath of fresh air and made us feel like there was light at the end of the tunnel after all.Read more