I sat down in front of the telly today to watch a game of footy for the first time this year.  A good thing I did too, because it proved to be a pretty good game.

If you have no idea what I’m writing about, it’s the Australian Football League Grand Final 2011.  It’s easily the biggest game of the year for Aussie Rules, and almost impossible to miss in most states of Australia.

The game, between Collingwood and Geelong, was very close for three quarters with the lead changing hands many times.  In the final quarter, Geelong pulled away and ended up with a comfortable win.

Conventional theory would tell you that Geelong won because they had already beaten Collingwood twice this year, plus Collingwood had such a hard game the week before.  However, I have a better theory. First a little back information for anyone that is unfamiliar with AFL.

Before the start of each game, both teams have the traditional banner unfurling - giant banners on which the official banner committees of the respective clubs put sometimes witty or amusing slogans. Once the banners are unfurled the teams then run through them as they come on to the field.  It’s a big part of any match and I imagine would be a great moment for the players.

I thought the banners for each team at today’s game were very telling. Collingwood’s read “side by side” while Geelong’s read “greatness lasts forever.” I know which one I found more inspiring, and I can’t help but wonder if the banners were some kind of statement about the mental attitudes of the two teams.