Have your say on the Swans and Storm
Tony Jones is the face of Melbourne sports reporting for Channel Nine.
As the dust settles on what's been a heart thumping weekend of grand finals, a realisation is starting to set in on the ironies associated with both victories.
The obvious irony is that Victoria's prized sporting crown is now safely in the hands of Sydney while New South Wales has surrendered it's number one sporting title to Melbourne.
The irony that strikes a chord with me though is that the majority of those premiership players, both the Swans and the Storm, can today walk down the main street of their respective adopted cities and barely turn a head.
Strangely, that's just the way they like it.
In many cases that's why AFL players from the so called AFL states headed to the harbour city. It is seen as a chance to escape from the fishbowl environment they thrust themselves into.
As pointed out by ninemsn columnist Grant Thomas, rarely is there a ripple coming from Swans headquarters. No boardroom battles, no player indiscretions making front page news.
But I reckon it would be naive to think that none of those Swans players have, at some stage during the course of their journey in Sydney, broken team rules in some way.
It's just that, unlike their Melbourne counterparts, they don't have a bevy of journalists and news crews waiting at the club first thing in the morning ready to feast on the latest football controversy.
Players nowadays don't have to do much to hit the headlines. A late night out in Melbourne, Perth or Adelaide for an AFL player can result in lead item on the nightly news.
A Sydney player can have a late night out, minus the fear of having sneaky iPhones and the like capturing the moment and then bluetoothing the image to the highest bidder.
The level of anonymity for Sydney players struck me in 2008 when Barry Hall let loose with that now famous haymaker, flattening Brent Staker resulting in a seven-week suspension.
Having flown to Sydney to cover the hearing, I was standing outside the city offices where proceedings were to be held. Soon, big bad Barry, flanked by the club's hierarchy, all of them decked out in blood red jackets, strolled through the CBD.
To my eye they were about as inconspicuous as an aircraft carrier on the Hawkesbury River. In reality they were akin to a tinnie on the harbour.
Had that hearing been held in Melbourne an army of media would've been tripping over itself, but on that night the Swans entourage barely turned a head.
The same applies to Melbourne Storm players. If the likes of Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater were living in Sydney they'd be A-listers. The trio would rarely be out of the media spotlight.
In truth they'd be reluctant celebrities, which is why a city like Melbourne, which is so obsessed with all things AFL, is just the right fit for these boys.
It's an attitude that filters down from the top. Coach Craig Bellamy is a classic case of a blue collar bloke who worries more about the contest than the red carpet walks that can sometimes go with it.
Only once in its 15-year existence in Melbourne has the Storm been forced to endure a media feeding frenzy, and that was during those soul destroying days of the salary cap scandal back in 2010.
Yet incredibly the coach and his players, for the most part, were spared the scrutiny that would have come had they been based in Sydney or Brisbane. That was despite the fact that many of them were so central to the story.
Instead, the focus was firmly on the so called "chief rat" Brian Waldron. On that score, they have much to thank him for.
But today is the start of a new era at Melbourne Storm. And like their fellow football champions in Sydney they can christen that new era, mainly, amongst themselves. They enjoy the best of both worlds – a public profession yet a private life.
Quite rightfully, these boys are the toast of the town. Even if their respective towns won't notice it.
Do the Swans and Storm benefit from being out of the spotlight?
What do you think of these clubs winning their respective premierships?
Will these successes help grow rugby league in Victoria and AFL in NSW?