It’s barely befitting for a grand final (given the timeslot, it’s barely befitting for an AFL game), but today's brunch match will decide how far Melbourne has progressed under the teachings of St Paul.
For years North Melbourne has beaten us around like a kid on work experience.
We’ve had no answer for their flat-track ways. Not since 2006 – when Simo Godfrey was running rings and Jamar was just a grunt instead of a Russian general – have we saluted victory.
Make no mistake – North is no contender. Their premiership window is little more than a window sill crack. Players like Dal Santo, Higgins and Waite give more the impression of a quality team than an actual quality team.
Yet for the past decade they have destroyed us with the ruthlessness of a Yakuza mafia boss.
Today, the upswing must continue. For us to truly build upon the foundations of a 71-year rebuild, we need to account for teams like North.
Our victories have proven our wares. Our triumphs against Richmond and Geelong were watershed.
Last round’s win against the Pies was too, though to a lesser extent given Collingwood’s hideous efficiency and lack of a gorilla forward.
We possess the seeds of substance North seemingly lack: Viney, Brayshaw, Vandenberg and even a guy like Harmes typify our enthusiasm for the hard pill. He was sensational as sub against Collingwood and pivotal in Vince’s last quarter sealer.
The blokes loves a goal celebration too, whether he’s directly involved or just a casual assistant.
They’re complemented by the older crew of Cross, Jones and Vince, all of whom provide able cover for the new kids in the ranks.
Still, as far as 2015 goes, our optimism will be heavily dented should we get bent over today.
So, while the rest of the AFL debates rule changes and the moralities of booing, Melbourne will face its acid test.
I’m confident we’ll bring it home.
See you at the game.
Click here to check out our latest podcast where we preview this week’s brunch match against the Roos.