Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Watching AFL a Way to Avoid Shopping

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Watching AFL a Way to Avoid Shopping

Article excerpt

SWANNELL

PETER SWANNELL

I HAVE lived in Australia for 45 years. Before then, I had never heard of anything called Aussie Rules.

I remember someone telling me soon after I arrived that this Aussie Rules stuff was something that only happened in Victoria. I shouldn't worry about it because nobody up this way was expected to understand it and nobody in Queensland ever got excited about it.

I was relieved about that. Just getting used to the standard of the soccer being played locally at that time was enough of a worry. The need to come to terms with another kind of football even dodgier than the local soccer was too much for a new arrival to have to contemplate.....

Luckily, since then something magical has happened to soccer and it has now taken its place alongside the two rugby codes as something great to watch and even better to play.

As for Aussies Rules, I remain pig ignorant of the rules, the subtleties, or the reason why anybody would get excited about playing it or even watching it.

I realise that writing this has immediately alienated me from most sporty blokes over six feet tall. Similarly, I will be shunned by women who mix with sporty blokes of any height who can't be bothered to learn all those soccer and rugby rules

All this could easily have changed last weekend.

We had two house guests from Melbourne and they wanted to watch the television coverage of the AFL grand final. At least we were warned that this might be the case before they arrived so we had a day or two to brace ourselves, brush up on the simpler rules and take consolation that the NRL final was scheduled for the next day.

That was exactly how it turned out. We tried to pretend that both our teles were out of action. We even promised to take them out for a late lunch/early dinner, best wines and no cost to them, if it made missing the match easier. …

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