I’m a huge sports fan. Anyone who knows me knows that I will watch pretty much anything if it’s on the box. The only real exception to this rule is cricket, although I won’t get into how bad I think cricket is as I’ll be here all day.
Anyway, one of the things I actually did plan to do in Australia was go to an Aussie Rules game. Yesterday I ticked it off my to-do list as I saw the Brisbane Lions host the Adelaide Crows at the Gabba Stadium.
I have a strange fixation with Aussie Rules (or the AFL, for short) which started around a year ago. In my house in Leeds, we decided to shell out for Sky TV and with that came ESPN (the best channel ever, by the way). One of ESPN’s regular broadcasts was live AFL, which happened to kick off at about four in the morning.
This clashed pretty well with us stumbling in from nights out and the obsession started there. I’d sit around in my pants, tucking into a pizza from our regular haunt – Big Bite, barely able to keep my eyes open. For some reason, in my drunken wisdom I was convinced I fully understood what was going on. Yesterday I discovered I was wrong.
It was absolute chaos. All I know is that Adelaide won; I can’t even remember the score. The ref was blowing his whistle every couple of seconds, fists were flying and a lot of beer was consumed. It was summed up quite nicely by Chris from Aussie On The Road, who commented on my Facebook picture saying that nobody understands AFL. If that’s coming from an Aussie, what chance do I stand?!
Having said that, I really enjoyed the day and would go again. By the fourth quarter I even understood some of what was happening and it seemed that, from a neutral perspective, it was a really entertaining match.
The best part, however, was the fact you could drink in the stands. This might not sound like much to most people, but for someone who only really attends live football (soccer) matches, this was a huge deal. I also reckon it may have had something to do with me thinking I understood the rules at the end of the game.
In all seriousness though, the fact that Brisbane and Adelaide fans were sat amongst each other, cheering their respective teams on whilst getting progressively more drunk was great to see. Can you honestly imagine that happening at a footy match in England? Didn’t think so.
What I would have given to be able to drink through the last two years of Rochdale games.
Have you been to an AFL game? Do you understand the rules? Educate me in the comment box!