Brilliant post, 100% agree.I dont think history or current experience supports that theory. A-League was soccer's big 'break out' and it has proven unsustainable. Nor is is alone in its inability to grow from minor sport to major sport (in the Australian context). Over the past 40 years a number of 3rd tier sports have had their moments in the sun - Baseball in the late 80's, Basketball in the '90s (and perhaps again in the 20's), soccer in the last decade.... all rise and then ebb as the third sport - because they rise on novelty and fall on lack of substance and genuine economic scale. Soccer wasnt the first, wont be the last and will have periodic relevance from time to time, but frankly, all it took was one good counter punch from the slow moving cricket authorities by introducing BBL to blow A-League out of the water and destroy the carefully manufactured facade of soccer's "inevitable rise" in Australia. One novelty event, to blow down another novelty event. That's all it took.
..and that, in its essence is the challenge for AFL in queensland. NRL is not a novelty event - it has deep deep roots that must be respected. You are not going to make long term inroads in that market with a novelty event - and we can include the hosting of an AFL GF as exactly that. Good publicity but it s a novelty. that is not reflective of or guarantee of any long term advance. The Qld GF is just an anomaly that fell in the AFL's lap and they were right to leverage the opportunity. However the AFL would appear sensible enough to know it's pre-existing long term approach in NRL markets is the right one - slow, steady growth, forming deep roots; The odd Warwick Capper, the odd Buddy Franklin can help - but you'll notice the Lions recent resurgence has not relied on a single gimmick exercise. No boom recruit, no change of Guernsey or re-branding, no change of venue, or song. It is an attractive football club with community credibility beyond novelty. Not dominant in Qld, but credible.