It was a nail-biting encounter and could rightly be labelled one of the greatest grand finals of all time. Swans small forward turned star midfielder, Ryan O’Keefe took out the Norm Smith Medal with 28 possessions as well as a massive 15 tackles. There would have been a number of worthy recipients of the award including young gun Dan Hannebery and former Hawk Josh Kennedy whose work in the clutch moments was inspirational.
The Hawks, red hot favourites going into the match, showed glimpses of their best, threatening to blow the game open in the first and third quarters but the Swans hung tough and ground out a famous win. Inaccurate kicking and poor performances from star Hawks including Cyril Ryoli and Jarryd Roughhead cost the Hawks in the end.
While I appreciated the sheer drama of the Grand Final it was perhaps Hawthorn coach Alistair Clarkson’s press conference that left me feeling most satisfied. Following what was surely a shattering loss, Clarskon placed the defeat in its proper perspective by pointing out that real tragedy is not losing a game of football but losing a life.
Clarkson pointed to the recent murder of Jill Meagher, the death of Sydney captain Jarrad McVeigh’s daughter last year and the passing of his brother-in-law earlier this year to a brain tumour.
Jesus said something similar when he walked the earth yet he took it one step further, asking his listeners and indeed us today, “What do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” (Matthew 16 verse 26). Any of us who have tasted glory and success in grand finals, at Olympics, at work or indeed in any arena of life, would do well to ask ourselves to consider Clarkson's salutary ponderings and likewise Jesus' very challenging eternal equation.
Adam Schoenmaker is a high school chaplain in the northern suburbs of Brisbane for three days each week and serves two days a week in his local church. Adam loves a good book, a classic album and all Queensland sporting teams.
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