It’s almost sacrilegious for me. Going to an Aerial PingPong / GayFL / Mexican Football /Australian Fairies League match, but hey I am a sports fan, and as any sports fan will tell you, you need to go to an AFL game at ‘The G‘ at least once in your life.
But here’s what has ALWAYS pissed me off about Aussie Rules fans, in particular, Victorians and South Australians.
As a Sydneyite originally, now in Canberra I have been exposed to Rugby League, Rugby Union, Football (Thank You Johnny Warren) and eventually Aussie Rules. You see, the Sydney Swans didn’t move to Sydney until 1982, when I was 6. All of a sudden there was ‘VFL Fever’ (also known as Capper fever) in Sydney. What the? What is this sport that they only play south of the border? It was an eye opener for me as a youngling but I could never quite get into it. Why do they wear such small shorts? Why do they get a point for missing? Why the hell are there so many people in the crowd?
I digress. What I am trying to say is that every state has now been touched by Aussie Rules AND Rugby League at some stage (No-one remembers the Western Reds and Adelaide Rams?) and as Melbourne always loves to self-proclaim, they are the ‘Sporting Capital of the World‘.
What a load of tripe.
Wanna know why?
This is what a typical conversation with a Melbournian would be..
A Canberran Sports Fan: “So, did you know that the Melbourne Storm is undefeated at the moment? The only team in the comp.”A Melbournian Sports Fan: “Storm? What is that? A weather system is undefeated? What comp?”
ACSF: “You know…the Melbourne Storm. They play over at Olympic Park“
AMSF: “Oh…that’s netball isn’t it?”
ACSF: “No. The MELBOURNE Storm. They were minor premiers last season and lost the Grand Final. Don’t you know which sport I am talking about? “
AMSF: “Oh…them! Yeah…that’s Rugby.”
ACSF: “Rugby? What is that? Don’t you mean Rugby LEAGUE? Do you even know that there is more than one form of Rugby?”
AMSF: “There is? But it’s just Rugby. No-one cares about it anyway down here.”
I bet that 90% of Victorians have no idea that there is Rugby League and Rugby Union. They are different sports people!!
This is what shits me off. They claim to be such sporting officianados but they can’t even get the basic concept of what sort of sport the leading team in the NRL is playing.
Don’t get me started on the sense of even having a Melbourne team in the NRL, but hey, I guess it was meant to be some sort of broadening of the horizons.
So then they have this sport called AUSSIE Rules, in which we are the only country that partakes. It’s a mix of football (soccer), American Football and Table Tennis. Something to do with scrambling for a ball with hordes of other tight-shorted, tank-topped men, not letting yourself get tackled under the armpits and trying to kick, grubber, chip or punt a ball between 2 posts. Throw into the mix a bunch of strange rules including; having to punch the ball, flamboyant umpires who wave flags and throw the ball over their head backwards and getting a point for missing the big sticks and you have a game that is seen as strange in it’s uniqueness and unique in it’s strangeness.
Anyone ever wondered why the game has not been taken up by other countries??
So, if there are Victorians out there who are reading this and getting offended because you DO know the difference between Rugby League and Union, then please disregard this rant. If you don’t know the difference, please educate yourself or refrain from commenting on the ‘foreign’ sport that is, in actual fact, the best bloody game in the world. Rugby League.
Yes, I will still be going to the Aussie Rules on Saturday, (although after writing this, you may wonder why) and I am sure I will enjoy it. Because after all, I am a competitive soul, The Bombers are my team (picked them after watching the exciting 1984 Grand Final) and heck…it’s sport.