My blog is about the scenic, stressful, spectacular life (and everything screwy in between) of a
California girl turned expat transplanted to the land down under: North Queensland, Australia.

October 03, 2010

Are you ready for some Football?

I’m postponing the next instalment (really? Australians only have one “l” in installment? Ugh!) of “30 Days of Truth” because Sunday is a freaking day of rest! I don’t really plan on using my brain that much today. I’m going to veg out and play the Sims 3 while the rest of my family watches the Rugby Grand Final.

One thing I’d like to point out is there are way too many types of “footy” in Australia. America’s football is FOOTBALL (GO CHARGERS!!!! I have to say that every time I mention football or my family disowns me). Unless you’re Spanish or…well, pretty much from anywhere other than America, then football is Soccer. Aussies have Rugby League, which is a bunch of really hot and sweaty dudes just beating the crap out of each other. They like, use all of their might to ram into another guy (or group of guys) so they can get to the goal line. I’m convinced these men don’t wear athletic cups. They are all man(Love you, hubby!). I am fascinated by this guy in particular:

He’s Manu Vatuvei of the New Zealand Warriors. His thighs could crush walnuts. I’ve seen him run with like, seven guys doing everything they can to stop him and he still gets a try (a goal). He is a truck. Then there is Rugby League, and the only difference I can tell between the two is Rugby League players wear cooler uniforms.

 I want those socks!!!

Lastly there is a monstrosity called Australian Rules Football, which doesn’t make a lick of sense to me. At all. I tried watching their grand final last week, and the sport looks like pure chaos. You know how if you drop a football, it bounces every which way due to its shape? That seems to be the way the game is played. The ball jumps around the field (which I think is a circle), and players kick it and watch it bounce every which way.

The thing that bothered me the most about AFL was the Grand Final last week resulted in a tie. Was there overtime? No. Sudden death where the next team to score wins? No. They actually said, “well, we’ll just rematch next week”. Now, I may be a dumbass, but the term “Grand Final” to me means a grand…final. The end. I keep thinking about the schematics of having to reschedule something as big as a sporting match. People probably took the day off to watch the game at the stadium. Those people probably paid a pretty penny for their seats. Sponsors paid for ads and billboards. Federation Square in Melbourne was bloody closed down so fans could watch the game together on a massive TV. I keep thinking about "I'm going to Disneyland!", the ad where, after the Super Bowl, the reporter asks the quarterback “what are you going to do next?” Can you imagine these footy players? Poor guys, after the Grand…Final! they plan some giant holiday with their family…and are then told they have to play the next week. Fail!!!

I have to also mention a couple of things: it seems that every state in Australia hate the other states and their sports teams with a passion. It’s like Notorious B.I.G and Tupac over here! I’ve heard many times “Sydney’s a hole”, “Victorians are weird”, “Perth is practically not Australia, it’s so far away”. Victorians live for AFL. The whole state shuts down for the Grand Final, and the Melbourne Cup (“the race that stops a nation”). AFL is generally recognised as the sport of choice in Victoria, whereas Rugby is footy for the other states. It’s very confusing to try and follow any sport when you’re a foreigner. (Especially because I have no idea where half of the teams are from. Collingwood? St George Illawarra??)

And don’t even get me started on Cricket. My husband and father-in-law tried to explain it to me while I was watching, and I was completely lost. It sounded like English, but the words made no sense to me! Someone once wrote about the basic rules of Cricket, and it pretty much sums the  whole game up to me:

You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that's in the side that's in goes out, and when he's out he comes in and the next man goes in until he's out. When they are all out, the side that's out comes in and the side that’s been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out. When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in. There are two umpires who stay out all the time and decide when the men who are in are out. When both sides have been in and all the men have out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that’s the end of the game!

Oh, and they wear all white and play for five days. Damn, Aussies are dedicated sportsmen!

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