For all those who were and weren't out there for Hawthorn and Essendon last night, for all the various reasons, for those who had come back and those who might never have come back, for those who had never worn these colours before and those who never would again, for all the sentiment, all the adrenalin, all the melodrama, all the sense not merely of a new season but a different time for both clubs, this could never have been simply another first-round match. Nearly 80,000 came, knowing it.
It started as an avalanche in reverse. Few would have fancied the Brisbane Lions going into this QClash against the Gold Coast Suns: on paper, no match for their opponents, in either experience or talent. Yet, within 18 minutes, the Lions had seven goals on the board and had opened up a 44-point lead. By half-time, it was 46.
Emotion can take you only so far in football. But when it drives a stirring win over an old and bitter rival, it's some sort of fuel.
Port Adelaide have caused a major boilover at the SCG, downing the Swans by 28 points in a huge upset.
St Kilda is optimistic that champion forward Nick Riewoldt did not seriously injure his right knee when he hyper-extended it midway through the final quarter of the 30-point loss to Melbourne at Etihad Stadium.
Adelaide hung on to make history in the AFLW grand final, with five Canberrans lifting the trophy at the end.
For the women of the Adelaide Crows, inspiration to make history as the inaugural AFLW premiers, came from an old-school, perhaps even slightly daggy source.
The unique charm of the AFL's opening round is that the supporters of all 18 AFL clubs arrive at its threshold flush with ardent hope and expectation.
Erin Phillips had 28 possessions to lead Adelaide to the first AFL Women's premiership, while the Brisbane Lions were inconsolable at the grand final being their first defeat.
Tendai Mzungu's remarkable turnaround from Docker discard to Giants rookie is almost complete.
Adelaide hung on to make history in the AFLW grand final.
Round one continues on a night of comebacks at the MCG.
Ageing athletes will try anything to alleviate pain and be able to move around a field without drawing pity or embarrassment.
Adam Simpson has implored the AFL to stop tampering with its rules and asked the game's new football boss Simon Lethlean to run a more consultative process with the 18 clubs and their coaches.
Is free agent Dustin Martin worth $1million?
Having "missed" an opportunity against the Western Bulldogs, Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley hopes a recent practice match against Richmond helps the Pies be ready for a blockbuster clash against the Tigers on Thursday night.
There are plenty of exaggerated versions about Sam Mitchell's first training session at West Coast but Adam Simpson, who was there, still smiles when he relates the true account.
Western Bulldogs star Luke Dahlhaus says versatility will be a key in the club's premiership defence.
Lily Mithen won the under 14 best-and-fairest award. When she was bottom age. In a boys' team. Not club, competition. By 23 votes.
Collingwood's narrow loss to the reigning premier was an opportunity missed but coach Nathan Buckley said his side illustrated a brand of football that would win a lot of games this year.
On Monday Collingwood was given an implausible story of a dog and a door knob. On Friday they were delivered a far more plausible/pallatable Dogs tale, or tail as the case may be.
Travis Cloke's brother, Jason, has launched a stinging attack on Collingwood supporters after the former Magpie was jeered at the MCG on Friday night.
It's a captivating AFL round one clash. Reigning premiers Western Bulldogs begin their flag defence.
Sydney premiership coach and former Swans academy boss Paul Roos has applauded the AFL's decision to strip a significant part of the GWS Giants academy zone.
Essendon's No.1 draft pick Andrew McGrath could be set for a baptism of fire against Hawthorn - lining up on the electrifying Cyril Rioli.
The Sydney Swans will be looking to go one better in 2017 after losing last year's grand final.
It was one of the better games you'd see Dustin Martin play. Already rated a big Brownlow Medal chance, the bustling Tigers midfielder pulled in a near-certain three votes with a highly-effective four-goal return against Carlton.
Craig Starcevich stuck to a classic script: predicting the first AFLW premiership would be determined by desperate acts.
Jenna McCormick is keen to avenge her Canberra United heartache with an AFLW premiership.
West Coast Eagles coach Adam Simpson wants Drew Petrie to play to his "basic" strengths when he lines up against his former club on Sunday.
In honour of the Dockers' 500th game in the AFL, we look back at Fremantle's three best, and three worst, performances.
On the eve of the first AFL women’s grand final Samantha Lane reveals the love letters that have bonded Adelaide’s history-making team.
Saddam Hussein was alive, Shane Warne was an active Test cricketer, and Jarryn Geary hadn't been drafted the last time Melbourne beat St Kilda.
In an attempt to stop agonising about how we missed a shot at the premiership, here are my AFLW season highlights, and my tip for the grand final.
Geelong coach Chris Scott has suggested that club great Jimmy Bartel did not handle contract negotiations perfectly during his final year at the club.
Brendon Lade is returning to Port Adelaide after seven years as an assistant coach at AFL rivals Richmond.
The Western Bulldogs won't look back at their painful history of preliminary final losses in the lead up to their Saturday night clash with GWS Giants.
Melbourne great David Schwarz says the potential defection of Jesse Hogan would not be "as catastrophic" now as it would have been last year.
There’s two very contrasting narratives developing heading into the penultimate weekend of the AFL season. And sentimentally, they’re at opposite ends of the spectrum.
The thing that AFL fans love about the game is risk and the unknown outcome accompanying it: the risk players take when they commit to a physical contest, when they launch three deep in a pack to stand on someone's shoulders in a marking contest, when they have a shot from the boundary. All are weekly features on highlights reels.