Saturday, September 25, 2004

AFL Madness!

Minding our own business last night, we found ourselves in a bar filled with Australians watching the Australian Football League grand finale. Take the good parts of football, hockey, volleyball, basketball, rugby, darts and soccer, blend them all together and you end up with this game.

The rules: obtain 20 Australians, put them on a criket pitch. Give them a ball slightly larger and slightly less pointy than a football. Tell them to play football and two hours later they'll tell you who won.

Well, it's mostly like that. What I learned while watching the game: On either side of the field there are a set of poles. Two tall ones about 15 meters apart, and two shorter ones another 15 meters on either side of the two middle ones. Get the ball through the middle ones and you get 6 points, through the side ones you get one. The play progresses mostly like soccer/hockey but you can use any means to move the ball. It seemed like it could hit the ground and be picked up by anyone, but if you brought a guy down before he could get rid of the ball play stopped and it looked like a free kick could be had. Lots of elbows, shoulders and fights.

The bizarre thing was that I can't remember ever even meeting an Austrailian, and here in Chicago was an entire bar full of them, ruddy-faced and curly-haired all.

Apparantly, I witnessed history.

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