Australian rules Football
You might think that European football is an exciting game for well trained athletes, fighting for the honour of their team or their country. Well, just so you know: the Aussies think that we Europeans are a bunch of sissies. “What do you mean Football? That’s just soccer?!?”.
Aussies claim to play the real Football: Australian Rules. It’s a mix of soccer and rugby, spiced up by a lack of rules and a preference for physical contact. Jan watched his first live AFL game the other week with our neighbour in the local Footy stadium. The Adelaide Crows were playing North Melbourne in a sold out house: 40.000 people. Quite an event and very entertaining.
The locals explained that this was nothing like soccer, with only two halves played by boys running after a (round) kiddie ball, dropping on the floor in agony after the very first instance of physical contact, shouting for a yellow card. On the contrary: Aussie rules Footy doesn’t even have yellow cards. A player can knock everyone off their legs and still complete all four quarters. And believe me, that’s what they do. It’s a miracle that the injures don’t outnumber the scores. This is a real men’s game, full on from start to finish. And no doubt: fun to watch! Great experience.
But having said that, we still miss our soccer. We won’t be able to see most of the matches of Euro2008. How can Sweden and Holland possibly survive without our support ?!? So please shout and cheer on behalf of us, OK?