I’ve got a very clear message for Crows and Power fans before the game this Saturday: get more involved.
Work colleagues, mates… whatever. Get a bet on, wear your colours and get invested in one of the greatest matches the AFL has to offer.
As a city, I think we should do better when it comes to building up anticipation for a Showdown.
But why am I so passionate about this? Simply because the game deserves it.
In terms of rivalries, I would argue there are few better in the AFL, let alone Australian sport.
It has every single ingredient you could want from a strong rivalry… blue-collar vs white-collar, the us against them attitude, and perhaps most importantly, genuine hatred.
Port have been loathed and respected for so long for being so good, while the Crows sell themselves as the “team for all South Australians”.
Want to irk a non-Crows supporter living in SA? Just mention that line.
Think back to some of the great Showdown matches and tell me I’m wrong.
Angus Monfries kicking the winner with that bizarre bouncing kick, the emotionally charged Phil Walsh Showdown in 2015 or the very first match where Port claimed the upset.
Just look at last year alone… Two incredible games decided in the dying minutes with each team claiming a victory. Incredible.
The greatest compliment for the Showdown comes from Graham Cornes, who said playing a game in Melbourne would still attract 50,000 fans.
I agree with Cornes here.
It’s nothing to do with ladder position, AFL fans know that these games are always going to be up for grabs.
It’s because you know you’re going to get a juicy, hard-fought match until the end of the contest, which you don’t regularly see in the home-and-away season.
And it is true what they say, every single Showdown is up for grabs, somehow immune to form and ladder position.
— AFL (@AFL) August 4, 2018
If you were a smart betting man, you wouldn’t go anywhere near it… But if you want to add a bit of spice to the match, take my advice and grab a mate.
So who do we expect to step up on the big stage? Who’s the x-factor?
Port Adelaide’s young guns like Zak Butters, Connor Rozee and Xavier Duursma have been unbelievable so far, but it will be interesting to see how they deal with the heightened pressure.
Trust me, if you throw yourself into this game and ignite the rivalry, the winning feeling will pay-off in spades.
Sure you open yourself up a bit to flak if your side loses, but that’s the fun of football.
I want anticipation on the Friday night before to be at fever-pitch, spoken about in pubs, restaurants and the living room.
We, as fans, owe it to the Showdown.
Dale Lewis is the co-host of Triple M’s The Rush Hour with Jars & Louie, weekdays from 3-4pm and 6-7pm.
Lewis played 182 games for the Sydney Swans between 1990 and 2001.
Source: Adelaide Crows website