© Neil Spark

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Winners

September 30, 2017

 

Australian Rules Football arouses abiding passion and extreme emotions. Big wins bring great joy; big losses deep sadness. But today, for Richmond Football Club supporters, the joy is unparalleled.

 

Richmond won the grand final, beating Adelaide 108 points to 60. The grand final is Australia's Superbowl and the English Premier League Final. It's the first time Richmond has won the grand final in 37 years. 

 

When Richmond lost a semi-final last year, commentators and critics said coach Damien Hardwick should be sacked. Today, he's a hero. In 1990, the club was in such a bad way, it was in danger of folding. 

 

So the victory today was even sweeter. There was a lot of talk of love after the game; the players for each other, their fans and the club. Seeing tough men crying and hugging each other was a moving sight. 

 

A friend of mine, a life-long supporter, sent me a text message when Richmond's lead was unassailable: "I'm in tears".

 

In a world where division, disappointment and disillusionment dominate, it's important stop and enjoy the joy – there's not enough of it. 

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