My favourite game: Geelong v St Kilda – 2009 AFL grand final | Jonathan Horn

There have been better grand finals involving more accomplished teams, but 2009 encapsulated everything that is brutal, cruel, sublime and unique about this sport

Some grand finals are jolly romps. Some are stinkers. Some are knife fights. The 2009 version was no sane person’s idea of a pleasant afternoon’s entertainment. Its defining images are mostly messy – toe pokes, goal-umpiring howlers, point blank misses, pissing rain. It was a freezing, excruciating, buttock-clenching day. It was raw, pitiless, attritional football. It wasn’t decided until the final few seconds. It knocked the stuffing out of everyone who played and watched. It’s the one football game that sticks in my marrow.

Related: My favourite game: North Adelaide v Glenelg, 1987 SANFL grand final | Scott Heinrich

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