It's always been a challenge to explain the attraction of AFL. After watching first rugby and then Aussie rules back-to-back this weekend, however, it's easier to understand how one has seemingly cracked the code while the leaders of the 15-man game are still trying to work out what their sport should look like.
It's about more than tribalism, although that plays a huge part in AFL's enduring popularity.
The sport was founded in Melbourne's working-class inner suburbs and although those enclaves have changed dramatically and been slowly gentrified over the decades, the supporter base is passed down through families regardless of where they might reside in 2021.
Expansion, too, has been handled in an eminently logical fashion, not the helter-skelter strategy that killed Super Rugby. The AFL has gone into cities where the sport had an established fan base and in the case of Port Adelaide and Fremantle, created professional franchises out of existing clubs.
In other expansion moves that have turned out to be masterstrokes, the Sydney Swans and Brisbane Lions (after an ill-fated attempt at the Brisbane Bears), were formed out of the shells of struggling Melbourne clubs the Fitzroy Lions and South Melbourne Swans, handing them a heritage that could not be created out of thin air.
Since then clubs have been formed in high-population areas of western Sydney and the Gold Coast, while the Footscray Bulldogs expanded its interests to become the Western Bulldogs, taking ownership of Melbourne's rapid westward sprawl.
Not all the moves have been massive successes – every Gold Coast club whether AFL or NRL seems doomed to mediocrity – while there are still arguments as to whether there is at least one too many Melbourne clubs, but generally speaking the competition is a cost-effective, money-making machine that has never felt the inclination to look offshore for commercial "opportunities".
That's a massive advantage it has over the Southern Hemisphere franchise rugby competition(s) but there's something more fundamental than that.
The biggest difference is this: you can know stuff all about AFL and you already know enough to enjoy it. It's remarkably user-friendly.
Both rugby and AFL have the "advantage" over league in that they have genuine contests for possession. Whereas rugby's contests are regulated to within an inch of their lives, the referees have minimal impact in the AFL.
This is the beauty of this strange and idiosyncratic sport. The ball keeps moving and when it doesn't the combatants are quickly separated and a simple ball toss or bounce restarts play.
Contrast this to rugby. On Friday night, the Blues were able to bleed nearly two minutes off the clock at one scrum after they lost Hoskins Sotutu to the bin. That is impossible to justify at any level.
To retain its integrity rugby must remain a game for all shapes and sizes and the scrum is an important part of that picture, but we are surely long past the point where clock-stoppage is required from the moment a scrum is called to the moment it is under the No 8's feet.
Rugby will never have the laissez-faire freedom of AFL, nor would you necessarily want it to, but watching both games back-to-back highlights what a better deal the paying customers of the latter get.
It wasn't so much the well-constructed win over the Blues that sealed this slot, but the work of a fortnight earlier in demonstrating how to neuter the Crusaders. The other coaches have picked up that particular ball and run with it, including the Chiefs' impressive placeholder Clayton McMillan.
The effectiveness of Brown's imprint has probably come too late to save the Highlanders' Sky Super Rugby Aotearoa campaign, but it has certainly breathed a bit of life into a tournament that seemed moribund compared to last season.
Like many I suspect, the prospect of the Warriors being mentored by another "hard-nosed Australian" filled me with as much enthusiasm as a holiday in Kabul but credit where it's due - the Warriors do seem to be made of sterner stuff.
Given the obstacles they're already facing due to Covid-19 restrictions, I expected the dreadful loss to Manly a week earlier to be the catalyst for a month-long funk, but the way they toughed out a win against St George was mighty impressive. It's hard to imagine the Warriors pushing for the playoffs this year but despite the prospect of losing their best player next season, there is some reason for optimism once they can start playing half their games at home.
Just keep doing what you're doing Lydia – don't change a single thing.
Two wheels, four wheels, open wheels, tin tops – what a weekend.
In the blue riband F1 class, the battle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton should be one for the ages.
Meanwhile, another race, another podium for Scott Dixon, who might struggle to hold on to top-dog status at Chip Ganassi judging by Spaniard Álex Palou's mighty start.
Let's start by saying Clubrooms firmly believes Robertson is coaching at the wrong level and suspects that New Zealand Rugby will live to regret boxing itself into a corner over the All Blacks appointment process.
Let's also take the time to point out that the Crusaders are comfortably leading Super Rugby Aotearoa and are on course for another title.
But if you're sitting there wondering whether a little of the lustre is coming off Robertson, you're not alone.
It's the cynicism. It's the tactical offending; the momentum-busting, professional fouls that pepper every game they play. It started a few minutes into their first game of the season and has not abated.
Hats off to Mike Fraser who seemed far less daunted than most refs by the Crusaders' reputation when he caned the red-and-blacks early in their loss to the Chiefs.
I don't like the idea of using yellow cards as a blunt instrument but to save time in the future it might just be fairer for the Crusaders to start with a man in the bin as a pre-emptive strike*.
There's too much talent and class in that team to resort to what looks like coach-driven chicanery.
Hard to think of a more cynical money grab than what is proposed by the "breakaway" clubs looking to form a European super league.
There are many reasons association football is by far and away the most popular code in the world and one of them is that the sport is woven into the fabric of thousands of local communities and teams, all seeking upward mobility.
If you're a fan of Bristol Rovers, for example, reality tells you you're not winning the Champions League next year but you cling to the hope that the chairman will hire a good manager, that manager will make some savvy signings and with a bit of luck you'll survive in League One this year, fight for promotion next year and who knows what will happen once you get to the Championship.
The sheer arrogance of the clubs who believe they should be above all that is grotesque.
It's the very worst manifestation of capitalism in that more than 100 years of history can be treated with disdain by a lawless set of billionaires who care not one jot for the communities in which their plaything teams are rooted.
* Not an absolutely serious proposal.
Gary Neville was once my least favourite footballer. Now he is my hero.