AFL grand final: Melbourne Demons great Garry Lyon compares decider in WA to NFL Super Bowl

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Craig O'DonoghueThe West Australian
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Garry Lyon has been overwhelmed by the excitement in WA for the grand final.
Camera IconGarry Lyon has been overwhelmed by the excitement in WA for the grand final. Credit: Justin Benson-Cooper/The West Australian

Premiership cup presenter and Melbourne icon Garry Lyon has lavished praise on the way Western Australia has embraced the AFL grand final, comparing the build up to being more like an American Super Bowl.

Lyon will hand over the cup to Simon Goodwin and Max Gawn if the Demons win and has been out of quarantine and in the WA community for more than two weeks.

Having attended several Super Bowls in America and been a regular at AFL grand finals in his media roles, Lyon said Perth’s grand final felt more like the NFL extravaganza.

“It’s unbelievable. I’ve been lucky to go to a few Super Bowls and that’s what it feels like to me,” Lyon told Fox Footy.

“It’s a city who knows they’re not going to have it every single time and may not have it again even. It’s this great appreciation and sense that we’ve got a responsibility given circumstances – the responsibility has been handed to us and we need to put on the best show possible.

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“The whole city has embraced that. They really have. The people are excited. They feel honoured and privileged to be able to host it. You know what West Australian footy people are like – they’re as mad and passionate and crazy as we are back home in Victoria. They think they can do it as do as good a show as we can back there. They’re going to put on a show.”

COVID-19 restrictions meant Queensland also hosted last year’s grand final at the Gabba but the MCG has a contract to host the game until 2059. The NFL moves the game to a new city every year.

Lyon described the mad scramble for tickets as “intense as I’ve ever seen.”

The city has already enjoyed a sell out preliminary final, the Brownlow Medal being held at Optus Stadium, thousands of people attended yesterday’s open training sessions and a huge crowd flocked to the city for the People’s Parade.

Lyon said the city had embraced Melbourne’s grand final story and he can’t wait to see Optus Stadium in all its glory during twilight.

“I’ve been there a couple of times. It’s an extraordinary joint,” he said.

“The twilight aspect of this is going to be really, really special.”

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