Moments That Could Have Changed Everything

One of my daughters – I don’t know which one – used to love Scooby Doo as a kid.

Actually, I know exactly which one it was but she sometimes reads these columns and I wanted her to frown a little when she did.

Anyway, at the end of just about every episode, the gang would solve the mystery, capture the bad guy/monster, and unmask them to reveal their true identity. And once the mask came off, the villain would always lament that “I would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for you meddling kids”

Ahhh, the memories.


What has all this got to do with footy, and more importantly, Grand Finals?

Well, we all have things we wish were different. We wish we could go back and change something that, in our minds, would make everything else better, right? I am sure players, officials, and coaches have exactly that when they remember Grand Finals they wound up losing. Perhaps there was a circumstance during the season or finals that switched momentum away from them or toward their eventual GF opponent? Maybe something that was completely out of control tipped the balance in favour of their opposition and cost them the chance at the flag?

Maybe they would have gotten away with a flag had it not been for those meddling umpires? Right, Sydney fans? Eh?

Whilst we could go back in time forever to find these little instances – Wayne Harmes “keeping the ball in play” is one that still riles Collingwood fans the better part of half a century later – but we’ll stick with the time period from when the AFL actually became the AFL.

Let’s go back and look at the instances that could have cost a team the flag from 1990 onwards.

And before I begin, this article was inspired by Reddit user u/spannr who compiled quite a few of these games and reasons. Not all, but quite a few, and you’ve gotta give credit where it’s due.


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