I attended my first Australian Rules Football game yesterday (AFL). The Western Bulldogs (Melbourne) vs. the Sydney Swans. The Bulldogs came out on top by around 20 points. It was a raging good time had by all!
To explain Australian Rules to my American friends and family - take the ball from NFL (but enlarge it a bit), the dribbling from basketball, the kicking and running from soccer, throw in some mass chaos - and WAH-LA! You have Australian Rules! I really have no idea the rules to the game. It appears there is no strategy or set plays...just throw the ball out there and try to get it to your end of the field - 18 men and mass chaos. It's a pretty tough sport. No padding but there's tackling. They don't stop play unless there's blood. One of the umpires got knocked out and they just kept playing around him. They allow random people out onto the field whenever they want - trainers, runners, and the water girl. One of the best parts to the game were the runners. These guys get directions from the coaches in the coaches box and then they run out onto the field and try to tell the players what they're supposed to do. I don't think I saw one player paying any attention to those guys.
The game itself had a high school or division II colllege football game feel to it. The stadium was pretty small - held about 13k people. No cheerleaders though or band section. The cheering squad is made up of volunteers who make the sign for the team to run through and have pom poms at either end of the field.
But I can chalk it up to an experience and I might go to another game. But I think I'm too American. I like my NFL.
Speaking of the NFL, I need to say this. Brett Favre - please do not come out of retirement. Take the multi-million dollar marketing offer from the Packers and stay retired. Go into broadcasting or get a reality show. Just don't ruin your legacy by coming back and getting traded. Don't do it!