The 2001 Grand Final was the beginning of an AFL Dynasty.
Former players say their run to the ’01 Grand Final started when they met Essendon in Round 10 at the Gabba. Until that fateful Saturday in Brisbane, the Bombers were untouchable, having only dropped one game in 18 months.
Lions great Jonathan Brown said it was a movie plot that inspired the troops.
“Leigh Matthews likened them to the Predator,” Brown said.
“Schwarzenegger told his men ‘if it bleeds, we can kill it.’ And Leigh likened Essendon to the Predator and we had to see if they could bleed.”
And bleed they did. Brisbane won the next fifteen consecutive games leading up to the Grand Final.
It was the Brisbane Lions first appearance in a Grand Final, and the win that day broke a long Premiership drought for the two clubs who merged to form it in 1997.
The ‘01 Premiership was the beginning of a dynasty the likes of which the modern football era had not seen before, and this year we celebrate the 20-year anniversary.