Silencing the AFLW naysayers
AFTER all the hullabaloo surrounding the Tayla Harris social media ignominy, it was refreshing to see the eyes of Australia's footy-loving public refocus on what was truly important - the footy.
The majority voted with their bums against a vocal social media minority at Adelaide Oval this afternoon.
More than 53,000 spectators packed the stands to watch the Adelaide Crows claim their second AFLW premiership in three seasons, with a 10.3-63 to 2.6-18 win over Carlton.
As much as it was a statement victory for the Crows, now clearly the dominant AFLW franchise through its first three years, it was also a statement victory for the AFL, and for female footy as a whole.
Because although players, pundits and fans were all quick to condemn the Harris saga when it broke two weeks ago, there has remained an undercurrent of thought within the footy community that the quality on display is not up to standard.
The naysayers will point to the Crows' 45-point win as a proof of concept; how can a so-called quality competition be considered as such when the two 'best' teams are separated by more than seven goals?
Because it is all a matter of perspective.
Rather than perceive the dominance of Adelaide's finals campaign as vindication for a poor AFLW product, we should instead consider it a preview of just how good the competition will be in three, four, five years time when the quality of coaching the Crows have enjoyed spreads across the competition.
And when the 14, 15 and 16-year-old girls at grassroots footy who finally have access to the same coaching and player pathway programs boys have had for decades, finally make their way into a professional AFLW system.
Rather than sit and drink from the glass half-empty of the social media naysayers, choose instead to sip with the same optimism which drew a record attendance to Adelaide Oval today.