I have been so used to seeing Aussie rules football everywhere that now when people ask me ‘do you follow the footy?’ I automatically assume they are talking about Aussie Rules Football, and not as I now call it ‘soccer’. Yep I now refer to ‘football, football’ as soccer, I’ve been converted.
The thing is AFL (Australian Football League) is big in Australia but REALLY big in Melbourne, as this is where a lot of the teams come from.
Last month I went to the MCG stadium to see an Aussie Rules football match and I was pleasantly surprised that I had actually quite enjoyed it. Unlike a lot of soccer games I’ve watched, AFL is really fast paced, there’s a lot going on, a lot of goals being scored, a lot of tackling people to the ground and quite a lot of sitting on another player who doesn’t even have the ball to stop them getting up…
A lot of shiz that really wouldn’t fly in soccer.
But now the footy season was coming to an end and the big final with Melbourne’s Hawthorn Hawks VS Sydney Swans was approaching! Posters had been plastered on trams and at stations, everyone was buzzing about it at work and my Twitter feed was becoming clogged with AFL updates! So I was very happy when I was invited to watch the AFL final in true Australian fashion – on a big screen, with beers and a BBQ.
I was to watch it in Balaclava with Sarah and her
long distance, somehow related family at their home. I feel I need to clarify that Balaclava is an actual place, with an actual train station pronounced exactly the same as the much underrated clothed headgear! Seriously think about it – how much better would life be if balaclavas were trendy?
Anyway cut to match day; I was running a bit late and as we traveled to Balaclava I couldn’t help but notice a funny stillness in the air. Everywhere was so quiet, the train, the streets, the roads there was no one about!
Very unlike a normal Saturday in Melbourne. I realised then that the game must’ve already began!
At the house I felt so very welcome and settled in with Sarah and her family and their friends to watch The AFL game blown up to the size of the whole living room wall! Like most Aussies I’ve met, everyone was really friendly and really interested in our travels.
Watching with us were a mix of both Hawthorn and Sydney supporters but despite the rivalry everyone was in good spirits and just happy to watch some ‘quality footy whilst drinking a few stubbies* (beers) and chomping on some snags* (sausages)! ‘
Hawthorn are a Melbourne team so I pledged my allegiance to them and showed my support with some Hawthorn beers:
All in all I couldn’t think of a better place to watch my first Australian Grand Final! And also my first (on this trip) Australian BBQ!
Hawthorne: 137points / Syndey: 75points
Me: 4/26 New Things Completed.