One of the things that I enjoy about living in different places is the difference in sports people play/watch. I guess it’s because sports are kind of like games (which I love) except they require more physical effort than I’m willing to engage in most of the time. I can take a bit of an interest in what people do to satisfy their practical day to day needs, but what I get excited about is the pointless shit people pour themselves into like inventing people and having them converse, or painting little pieces of plastic and using other pieces of plastic to determine whether awesome or terrible stuff happened to the first pieces of plastic, or whether one group of people can get an object to a place while another group of people tries to prevent that. That shit is gold.
Rugby is big here. So far I missed game one of the big NSW vs Queensland Rugby Union grudge match (State of Origin) through my own forgetfulness. NSW, where I live, lost, so maybe the next one will have even more riding on it? That’s Rugby Union, which is actually less popular. Rugby League has the big pro league. There are a tonne of teams just from Sydney it seems. Technically I think I live in Rabbitohs territory but a case could be made for me being a Wests [sic] Tigers supporter.
When I turn on my TV every once in a while the game I see most though is Aussie Rules Football, which is kind of awesome. I’d tried to learn a bit about rugby many years ago for Tri-Nations (that’s union), so I had a bit of a grasp of how the game worked. Aussie Rules is crazy awesome. They’re allowed forward passes but you can’t throw the ball, only kick or hit it with your fist. If you catch the ball cleanly in the air you get a free kick from the spot you caught it. The point is to get the ball between two narrow uprights for 6(?) points or two wider ones for 1. It’s on a round field and they’re just running all the time. It reminds me more of something like Ultimate than football or rugby, really.
And then there’s netball. This is like basketball except there’s no dribbling: when you catch the ball you have to stay there and throw it. There’re also no backboards to the nets (which are a bit lower than basketball I think) so you’ve basically got to be right under it to score. It’s always women playing it on TV, so I imagine it’s not deemed the most masculine of sports.
There is a baseball league but it’s a summer sport so I haven’t seen it yet. I’ll probably drag Holly to a game in November so I can come home with a Sydney Blue Sox hat.
Woo. Sport in Australia. I thought about doing this half-assed summary because Sean (who got me into blogging so many years ago) is doing some great work with his Bastard Bomber Fans blog. It’s about CFL football, and the Blue Bombers in particular, and is exactly the kind of thing Sean should be writing. Dude knows his football, and cares about it too. And reading his analyses after the fact means I don’t have to feel bad about asking dumb questions or stating obvious things to try and appear like I know what’s going on during the game. As in all games throughout history, everybody wins!