There have been two golden ages in the history of AFL Grand Finals.
1931 to 1939; the First Golden Age
The new finals system that was introduced in 1931 proved to be satisfactory for everyone, and it marked the beginning of the first golden age. The system was called the Page playoff system. Semi-finals were followed by the preliminary and then the grand final. The right of challenge was removed.
In this period there almost wasn’t a year when new records of some kind weren’t set. The 1933 finals were attended by 75,754 people, forcing the city of Melbourne to build new stands for interested spectators.
1937 saw even more spectators, and despite the stadium capacity struggling with this many people, the growing popularity fitting for the golden age caused even more spectators to come the following year; a total of 96,834! This was one-tenth of the population of the whole city.
1962 to 1983; the Second Golden Age
After the 1950s that were marked by only a few teams monopolising the premiership, the 1960s were called the decade of variety for a reason. In eight years, seven different teams won the title in several games that are still talked about to this day.
1966 marks the year of perhaps the grandest of finals: St. Kilda won their first and only finals by just one point, encouraging the players to go for a spontaneous lap of honour carrying the cup making it a tradition that lasts to this day.
1970 is a year marked by an all-time record crowd coming to watch the finals game, as well as Carlton winning over Collingwood after a 44-point deficit at half-time.
Carlton sealed the 1972 finals with the highest-scoring game ever played in the history of AFL.
The early 1980s are when the term ‘Colliwobbles’ first started gaining popularity, and it took Collingwood years to finally win the finals and get rid of this nickname.