A is for ACT: As in Australian Capital Territory. A strange, godforsaken place frequented by unsavoury characters, known as politicians. Until a week ago, it was the type of destination you'd send your mother-in-law on an all-expenses-paid holiday. Then the ACT Legislative Assembly legalised pot and the Raiders won a preliminary final on home turf. Suddenly the much-maligned ACT is party central.
B is for BARBECUE/BEER: Traditional grand final day cuisine. The biggest day of the footy season is no place for vegan teetotallers. Some critics believe afternoon grand finals are better for BBQs. This is clearly rubbish, as there are usually leftovers from a lunch-time feast that taste even better six hours - and a dozen frothies - later. Be warned, go easy on the onions, especially if you are viewing the game in a crowded living room. It's a long day.
C is for CHEERLEADERS: God bless 'em. All season long they brave the elements, and drunken perverts, to strut their stuff. In an era of political correctness gone mad, it is heartening to know there is still a place for women willing to wear bikinis and boots in the midst of winter. Good on ya, girls. Show us your pom poms.
D is for DROUGHT: The farmers reckon they're doing it tough. What about Raiders fans, for whom it's been 25 years between drinks?
E is for ESKY: A vital tool of the trade. Don't make yourself an unwanted guest by arriving without one and asking to borrow some space for your unchilled beer in your host's fridge. Or even worse, trying to "borrow" your host's beer. "E" is also for empty. There are few things in life as sad as an empty esky.
F is for FAIRYTALE: Every good grand final needs a brave saviour playing the role of giant-killer. This year it's the heroic Raiders cast as Cinderella, hoping to save the world from the wicked Chooks from Bondi Junction.
G is for GREEN: As in Machine. Allegedly, according to the Raiders' theme song, the bad and mean Green Machine. Also the colour of sausages, milk and bread in the local shops. And the local cigarettes, thanks to the ACT Legislative Assembly.
H is for HALF-TIME: A crucial stage in any big game. Not a minute to be wasted. Empty the bladder, crack another cold one, grab a sausage sanger and a handful of Cheezels, and refocus for what shapes as the most important 40 minutes of your season.
I is for INK: It is a well-established fact that to play in the NRL it is compulsory to be tattooed. At the least, your surname across the shoulders. Some of them, like Cronulla's Josh Dugan, have so many tough stickers there is no vacant flesh. In the unlikely event that Duges ever wins a grand final, he'll have to get "Premiers" tattooed across his forehead.
J is for JAKE: As in Friend. Roosters hooker and co-captain who is hoping to play his first game in almost three months. A week ago, he seemed a Friend in need ... of a miracle. If he gets a late call-up and helps them win the GF, he'll be a Friend indeed.
K is for KNIGHTS: Grand final trivia question: now that Canberra have buried their 25-year hoodoo, which club has spent the longest stint as GF spectators? If you answered "Newcastle" (2001), give yourself a point.
L is for LEIPANA: The shared nickname for Canberra's right-edge partners Joseph Leilua and Jordan Rapana. Such close mates that, when they room together on away trips, Rapana likes to throw his undies in Leilua's face. True story, apparently.
M is for MENINGA: As in Mal. Raiders legend who will wrap his lips around a massive horn (made from fossilised mammoth tusk) and give it a mighty blow, launching the traditional pre-game Viking clap.
N is for NEVILLE:As in Nobody. A term of endearment for low-profile players who are quiet achievers. Grand finals are the perfect day for Nevilles to make a name for themselves, such as Neville Costigan with the Dragons in 2011 or Neville Glover at Parramatta in 1976.
O is for OFFICIALS: As in referees, touch judges and the video-review bunker. Easily identifiable by their labradors and canes. Also known as scapegoats. Players will make mistakes and cheat from kick-off until full-time, but when the game is done, the blame will be directed at the men who blow the whistles.
P is for POM: Traditional Aussie slang for a person of English heritage. Not to be mistaken for pom-poms, as brandished by scantily clad cheerleaders. Three Poms will be playing on Sunday: Canberra's Josh Hodgson, Ellliot Whitehead and John Bateman. If Canberra win, the Brits will celebrate victory in traditional fashion, with their weekly bath and a few warm, flat beers.
Q is for QUEUE: It's never the same unless you're there at the game. That's why punters pay vast sums to line up at the turnstiles and wait for overpriced, unhealthy food, watery beer, or to reach a toilet. Then when it's all over, they queue for trains home or to pay for parking. It's all part of the fun.
R is for RETIREMENT: What is a grand final without some busted-up old legend pulling on his boots for the last time? Think Pricey and the Crow. Mal Meninga. Roycey Simmons. Lazzo. Beaver Menzies. This time it's Cooper Cronk, who will ride off into the sunset after appearing in his ninth decider. Greedy little bastard.
S is for SALARY CAP: A mythical financial strategy introduced by the NRL to create a utopian world in which all clubs compete on a level playing field. All of which made perfect sense until some evil villain discovered that large sums of cash fit neatly into brown paper bags. Of the two clubs in the grand final, one has been caught and punished for rorting the salary cap. The other club is the Roosters.
T is for TARA: As in Rushton. Foxtel TV presenter who is poised to deliver the Roosters their second straight title after convincing Cooper Cronk to abandon the Storm and marry her.
U is for UNDERDOGS: Everyone wants this tag, because accepted logic is that underdogs have nothing to lose. Except the grand final. "U" is also for upset, something the underdogs are aiming to achieve. Although they won't be too upset if they don't, if that makes any sense.
V is for VICTOR: As in Radley, the crash-tackling Roosters lock. Not to be mistaken for Victor the Viking, the long-time Canberra mascot.
X is for X-FACTOR: Players who can pull a nugget of gold out of their backside and turn a game in the blink of an eye. Emre Guler is the magic man for the Raiders. Nat Butcher handles this role for the Roosters.
Y is for YOBBO: As in drunken. A primitive, neanderthal-like creature likely to be roaming the streets after full-time on Sunday night, looking to break bottles and start fights. Don't be one. Grand finals are a great chance to get on the squirt for hours with your mates but nobody likes a dribbling, messy gibberer who can't hold his grog.
Z is for ZANE: As in Tetevano. Missed out on three wooden spoon seasons after he was sacked by the Knights for drunken, violent incidents. Popped up at the Roosters where he is now chasing a second successive grand final win. Anyone else think that's slightly zany?