Three-time Brisbane premiership coach Leigh Matthews declared last week there wasn’t enough demand for two AFL teams in Queensland.
The real question is whether there is even the will to have one.
Such is the parlous state of football in the Sunshine State, after the Lions were belted by Collingwood on Saturday night to the tune of 78 points in a hopeless display at the Gabba.
Brisbane have been a below-par AFL side for years but it is hard to recall a more-insipid effort than this one.
What was anticipated to be a closely fought match between two battling teams turned out more like a training run for the Magpies, who picked up a much-needed and confidence-boosting win in front of 24,552 fans, most of them clad in black and white.
But the performance of Nathan Buckley’s men, who ran out 20.23 (143) to 10.5 (65) winners, has to be measured against the quality of their opponents.
And the final scoreboard, padded out somewhat by Brisbane when the result was well and truly locked away, doesn’t even tell the full story.
The Lions were simply disgraceful, held scoreless until Dayne Zorko’s goal nearly 14 minutes into the second term.
They were already 61 points down by that stage, and fortunate it wasn’t more.
The last time Brisbane failed to score in an opening term, Buckley was still playing for them – against Fitzroy, way back in 1993.
Most of the first half was played in Collingwood’s territory, and on their terms, as the Lions wilted under their pressure and raised the white flag.
Adam Treloar (36 disposals, three goals) and Scott Pendlebury (34 disposals) were brilliant, while American rookie Mason Cox continued his stunning transition from basketball with four goals.
By halftime, the Magpies had an incredible 28 scoring shots to Brisbane’s three.
Only a few Lions players flew the flag, among them stand-in captain Dayne Beams, who collected 18 touches against his old club, and Dayne Zorko, who booted four goals.