The Giants are coming to Canberra today to take on Melbourne. It should be a good game of footy and it would be great to see the Canberra crowd get out in support of the affair.
The affair? Yes, the affair that the Giants are having with Canberra. It is a great little hook up that keeps GWS telling Western Sydney a few times a year that, “they have to go away for business”. Goodbye the western suburbs of Sydney. Hello Canberra!
The western suburbs of Sydney could never really have expected the Giants to be monogamous. There’s 2 million people in Greater Western Sydney, yet they get trumped in crowd numbers by what Canberra rustles up with its population of 390,000. We’re a good sort.
Of course, to get them to play home games here, we had to show that we were going to put out. Part of the deal back around 2010 was that we had to pull together 5,000 members to kick things off. The ACT Government then dressed us up all hot with an offer of $23 million over 10 years for games in Canberra. They even promised they would put in a tram. How very AFL. How could the Giants resist?
The answer is they couldn’t resist and even showed us some affection. I remember, as they were about to launch their first season, getting a phone call from Kevin Sheedy. He robo called. But at least he called.
You needed somebody sweet talking us through the first few seasons when they couldn’t kick a footy. Remember Israel Folau? Almost ruined the relationship.
They’ve got the goods now though, the Giants. They sit third on the ladder and are hopefully getting back some of the form that got them to the 2016 preliminary final. They lost that by just six points to the Western Bulldogs up at Homebush. Six months later they beat the premiers, the Bulldogs, at Manuka. What does that tell you? The Giants save their best for Canberra.
So if you follow the logic, get out and see some genuine superstars like Jonathan Patton, Callan Ward, Shane Mumford take down the Melbourne Demons. It is fun to be part of an affair.
If you are a fan of the rugby codes, cheat on the Brumbies and Raiders for a day. Those guys can’t keep expecting you to go back to their place. They play out at Bruce stadium. There’s nothing there. Where are you supposed to go for beers?
Come to the Giants at Manuka and there’s beers to be had at the Kingo before the game. And after too. You can actually have that footy tradition of having a pint with your mates before pulling on your jacket and scarf in club colours and walking to the ground. It’s a tribal thing that’s part of footy and the Giants are good for that at Manuka.
There it is, the pitch. Get on out to the game on Saturday and leave a little lipstick on the Giants before they head back to Western Sydney.