The end of a football game tends to follow a similar pattern. 

The siren sounds and losing fans start to head to the exits.

The public announcement system kicks into gear with the sound of the winning team’s song, with victorious fans stretching out their vocal chords.

After the on-ground interviews, the players trundle towards the rooms, with the winners maybe staying a little longer.

Inside the sheds, the winning team belts out their song with as much passion as they demonstrated on the field. In the circle, there’s no spot for hiding.

That pattern follows — game in, game out — unless the scores are tied.

Then confusion reigns supreme.

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Last week’s nailbiter between Adelaide and Brisbane laid these emotions out to the fore. Once the tie had been locked in, no-one quite knew what to do next.

“It’s a draw. No-one knows how to feel,” Fox Footy commentator Dwayne Russell exclaimed.

Instead of the jubilant strains of the winning team’s song, the air filled with awkward chatter.

Should there be a song to commemorate the draw? Maybe there already is.

Celebrating the success of the draw

The tie is tied into footy’s rich tapestry. Classics like the drawn grand finals live through the stories of those who were lucky enough to be there.

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A few years ago, a footy fan named Nick Craft asked himself the same question after one of the most famous draws of all.

“I saw that a few friends who saw that Crows game last week put up on social media like ‘what do we do now’?”

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Craft isn’t just a random punter. His old band Sidewinder played the biggest festivals like Big Day Out and Homebake, supported bands such as U2, and had Titanic Days in the Hottest 100 of 1997. Since then, Craft has played solo and with friends around the country.

“I was in the UK, living in Oxford, and I watched the drawn grand final with one of my mates. We were there by ourselves and I thought ‘god, I really gotta do this’,” said Craft.

Out of that inspiration came a tune called It’s a Draw.

Three musicians with guitars play on a stage in a pub.

Nick Craft (right) performs in Canberra, 2024, with Ryland Newstead (left) and Scott Lennard (centre).(Supplied: Megan Leahy)

The Canberran thought there should be something to interrupt the awkward nothingness that accompanies the tied result. A song to unite the scoreboard united. Thus, the Barrackville Singers were born, and a mission was in sight.

Sport and music don’t always fit neatly, but ‘It’s a Draw’ nails the brief perfectly. The song not only fits the style of the other club songs, it possibly is one of the best club songs — despite not being about a club.

It’s a draw; both the teams are even

They’ve split the points, and now we’re bound for home

Four quarters played, now the race is run

No-one’s lost, but no-one’s won

It’s a draw; both the teams are even

And there’s nothing left to say

When the siren ends the game and the scores are both the same

Only football’s the winner today

Craft put together a full band, including a horn section, to record the song for the authentic sound. He says that his favourite part of the song is the trombone slides, a sound that harkens back to the Fable Singers versions of the classic AFL songs.

“I think the draw is actually a great part of the AFL game. It’s a sport that prides itself on fairness, equal opportunity for possession and rewards having a go.”

When the AFL was presented with the song, it fell on (metaphorically) deaf ears.

Undeterred, dedicated fans around the country still put on the tune when the draw is called. Craft notices the listener and viewer numbers spike after a draw — just like any good footy victory song.

“I think in that spirit, a draw rewards both teams, recognises that sometimes no-one wins, as in life,” Craft adds.

“It would be a shame if the AFL determined draws weren’t part of the game’s traditions and part of the magic of AFL.”

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Posted 5h ago5 hours agoThu 16 May 2024 at 8:57pm, updated 4h ago4 hours agoThu 16 May 2024 at 9:54pm

dan