Super Bowl, US Masters on wish lists

May 19, 2011
By Doug Conway

Foreign sports in foreign climes top the bucket lists of some of Australia's key sporting bosses.

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou's great unfulfilled sporting wish is to watch an American football Super Bowl.

The same goes for rugby union chief executive John O'Neill.

NRL boss David Gallop would love to stroll the fairways watching the US Masters, and so would Cricket Australia chief and keen amateur golfer James Sutherland.

Soccer's Ben Buckley, a former AFL player and administrator, sticks to the code he currently runs by nominating the 2014 World Cup final in Brazil, saying: "You couldn't get a better atmosphere."

Responding to suggestions he should be able to snaffle a decent ticket, he says: "Well, we (the Socceroos) would like to be playing in it."

When it comes to the greatest moments they have already experienced, most - but not all - draw inspiration from their own sports.

Demetriou nominates last year's drawn AFL grand final between Collingwood and St Kilda.

Ultimately triumphant Magpies skipper Nick Maxwell might not agree; he said at the time it was an "absolute joke" the teams had to return a week later and slug it out again.

But Demetriou won a hearty laugh at a sports seminar in Sydney this week when he said: "It was one of the great games - and it was certainly good from a revenue point of view."

Gallop said nothing could beat a State of Origin match at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium.

"It's a spectacular event and the 10-day buildup is just awesome," he told the gathering at Tattersalls Club.

O'Neill couldn't split his finest moments from the two codes he has administered - the Wallabies winning the 1999 rugby World Cup final over France at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, and the Socceroos downing Uruguay in a penalty shootout at Sydney's Olympic stadium in 2005 to qualify for the World Cup.

"That night Sydney stopped; Australia stopped," said O'Neill.

"It was absolutely fantastic.

"Luckily enough I had pretty good seats at both (events)."

Buckley nominated a "junket" to Britain during his AFL days but only got as far as detailing the first stop.

"It was Arsenal playing Manchester United at Highbury," he said.

"I was so jetlagged I actually fell asleep standing up, crashed into the person in front of me and almost started an all-in brawl."

Sutherland has witnessed many of cricket's mighty moments at close quarters but none has outshone that special night at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

"For me personally one moment stands out," he said.

"The night Cathy Freeman won her gold medal. Extraordinary."