My Completely Uninformed Observations About Australian Rules Football

Friday night, I took a break from wooing ladies and generally being awesome and stayed home. Around midnight, I was watching TV and having a few tumblers of whiskey when I started talking to my friend on Facebook chat.

He said he was watching Australian rules football, so I changed the channel to ESPN and started watching too. I didn’t have any idea what was going on but I couldn’t stop watching it.

These are my drunken, late-night observations of Australian rules football.

Uniforms

I don’t know if it’s the norm, but both teams wore sleeveless jerseys.

Normally, I’d be against this because usually it signals a douche bag, but it actually seemed to work. But maybe that’s because there were no 350 lb. offensive linemen trying to stuff themselves into them.

Seriously, all the players are shredded. Every single one of them could kill you with his bare hands. I dare you to make fun of them for wearing sleeveless jerseys like women’s volleyball players.

Announcers

The announcers are like Mexican soccer announcers. Pretty much anytime the ball is in play they seem excited, which makes watching the game confusing.

Their style of announcing makes it impossible to tell which plays are spectacular and which are ordinary. I couldn’t tell if someone made a great pass that resulted in score or if someone made an errant pass like an idiot.

Goalies

There are none. As far as I can tell (because I’m too lazy to Wikipedia the rules), you score in Australian rules football by punting the ball through posts that are located on either end of the field (no I will not call it a pitch).

However, it’s not like American football where you have to get the ball over a cross-bar. The goals are kind of like a soccer goal and football field goal combined. It’s good if the ball squibs in just off the ground or way up in the air.

And that’s my beef. There should at least be a goalie to stop the low trajectory kicks. It kind of looked like you could just punt the ball without really taking aim and score. I’m sure there’s more to it; however, I’m American, so I can’t be bothered to consider the subtleties of a game not played here.

Officials

The way the refs/officials signal a good score is way cooler than the way American football officials signal a good field goal.

Instead of just holding their hands up in the air like the kid in Kindergarten who had his mittens and lunch pinned to his jacket, the Australian officials take their arms from their sides and then point straight forward quickly.

It looks like one side of a duel with finger guns (pew pew!). It’s also how I imagine the Fonz would signal a good score.

Number of Players

There are a crapload of players on the field. Essentially, it looks like each team has a full squad on each side of the field.

I’m just amazed the fans, announcers and players can keep track of all those people.

Toughness

The players wear zero pads, so, needless to say, there are injuries.

When I first tuned into the game (not going to say match either), the camera cut to the sideline and zoomed in on a player that was either kneed or kicked in the face.

Not only was he bleeding from his mouth, but the trainer also reset his (what I assumed to be) broken nose.

It made me wonder why Ladainian Tomlinson occasionally has to sit out of games because of migraines.

“That’s not a knife, this is a knife”

Everything is way more entertaining with Australian accents and slang.

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6 thoughts on “My Completely Uninformed Observations About Australian Rules Football

  1. cmxstevenson says:

    Very witty, as usual. Congratulations on being freshly pressed! (Now I’m sorry I left a snide comment on that post.)

  2. thequixot says:

    I just stumbled upon your blog because your post about facebook came up on the freshly pressed page and then I saw this – guess what, I’m Australian! And I actually work at the ground where they hold most of the games. Spooky! I don’t really follow AFL but it was funny to read an outsider’s view of the sport. I never thought about their uniforms being strange but I guess they are a bit!

  3. loc81 says:

    Chalk up another aussie stumbling on your blog via the “freshly pressed” thingy. We appreciate the compliments! AFL is a bit of a rough & tumble scramble but brilliant to watch. Great take on the sport!

  4. loc81 says:

    Free slang lesson. Dogs eye = meat pie. Dead horse = sauce. A meat pie can also be called a hydraulic hamburger, too. Other classics are when you’re keen for a beer you are “dryer than a pommy bath towel” and if your friend is a tight-ass, you say “He/she wouldn’t shout if a shark bit him” I can go on for days ha ha!

  5. metan says:

    I have watched footy all my life and I am still not sure there are really any rules. Run around, kick it to your mates and go to the pub afterwards. That’s about it. The short sleeves may look strange but just be glad you weren’t watching in it the eighties when they were paired with very small, and very tight shorts!

    Although I live in Melbourne, the home of footy, I am a fan of the other Australian football, rugby league. Rugby league is a bit more like American football, using your body (and your head) to break through the defence, but without protection. Mums play footy with the kids at the park, real men play rugby!

  6. As an Australian, I can confidently say that AFL makes zero sense to me. At all. I’m a great citizen, and very popular, as you can imagine.

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