Melbourne is the home of Australian Rules Football or “footy”. Out of the 17 teams in the Australian Football League (AFL) about half reside in and around Melbourne. When we arrived one of the first questions posed to us was “Who is your team?” Uh, is this where I pick the Giants and Yankees? Or Jets and Mets? Seriously, I have no idea who my team is (the closest team geographically would be the St. Kilda Saints) and after attending a game, still have no idea.
We went to the Melbourne Cricket Grounds (MCG or simply the “G”) for a game last night. Hawthorne Hawks v. Essendon Bombers. Unfortunately it was a blow out, Hawks 150 and something to Essendon’s 80 and something. You can see how much I was paying attention. The stadium was huge, holding about 110,000 people, about as big as Michigan Stadium. Instead of watching the footy I observed Dan’s Australian, normally calm, coworkers yelling at the refs and poor performing players, high school boys’ haircuts, and the players short shorts, which I’m told have lengthened in recent years.
Here’s what I can tell you about footy. 6 points for kicking the football between the center posts, 1 point for throwing it between them, only the extremely athletic can play, it’s all about the catch and when a guy is down punch, kick and elbow him in the ribs.
Oh and yes, you must enjoy a classic Four n’ Twenty meat pie during the ensuing madness.