Sunday, May 3, 2009

We went to the Footy

Australians just love to endear nouns by shortening them and tacking on a long "e" sound.
  • In the morning, they eat "brekkie".
  • Instead of college, they attend "uni".
  • If someone, who shall remain nameless, takes home all the teaspoons from his company kitchen, they are said to have "gone walkie".
A little while ago we were lucky enough to come by some free "footy" tickets 3rd row right behind the goal posts on Sunday.We were at the point of, why not, even if only to get the t-shirt that said we did (available for $89.00 btw). Footie is Australian Rules Football, a combination of rugby and American football. It's played on quite a large field. It's constant action, very few lets-stand-around-and-get-reorganized moments. Kind of tough to tell how violent it is, they don't wear any protection, although sometimes there are people all up in a pig pile.

On the train there someone was leading the car in a war chant, half cheering half booing and a third half of commuters a bit afraid for their lives. The stadium is really convenient... We took the train and were in our seats in less than 35 minutes door to door.

Christine has a new "I don't want to take public transportation without being medicated" policy. It's true, the train rides are especially memorable on game days. Knowing this, she donned her special train "stimulus minimization uniform": 

There is something that happens when the compartments are too crowded to find a handhold...when the train lurches, because everyone is so closely packed together, no one falls. You're really far more stable than when you standing freely.

So a couple things we noticed that were weird about this sport...

1. No "commercially prepared" food allowed inside. Didn't quite understand what that meant, but everyone brought food... One guy in front of me pulled out a steak knife (how did that get past security??) and goes to town on some lunch meats, I couldn't bear to watch. I just know the sandwich was gone in three bites but the smell of egg salad stayed through most of the second quarter.

2. Alcohol on the property, sold at reasonable prices... ~$5usd for a beer (labeled light, medium and heavy beer... there was a sign that no heavy beer was to be sold at tonight's event... makes you wonder what nights they _do_ serve heavy beer). Oh and Whiskey and Vodka. You can get hard alcohol at pretty much every 4th stand. And yet, no heavy beer. (?)

3. On the Jumbotron, around the end of the first quarter, they flashed the score and made an announcement to get your last bets in at an online sports gambling website. Right out there in the open, on the very jumbotron itself.

4. The mix of foods is all different, meat pies, fish and chips, sausage rolls, chikka (aus for chicken) roll, etc. We saw a hot dog on the way out but Christine reminded me that we haven't found a hot dog we've liked since moving here (I think 99% of her samples have come from Ikea where the hot dogs are reshaped recycled cardboard marinated in Bragg's Amino seasoning). We do like the Slurpees though, and have a new recipe of adding a full can of lemonade to the 7-11 large size which gets the slush to sugar ratio just about right.  They don't have the long straws that fit the large cups here yet though.  In fact, only about half the places you get a take away (to go) drink will provide a lid. We're okay with that.  No one said immigrating would be easy, they just said it would be worth it. 

5. No protective nets behind the goal lines like in the US. If a just-kicked touchdown sails into your drink, oh well, ha ha.

6. We counted about 5 uniforms on the fields, 1 for each side, one for referees, one neon for runners to the fields for the coaches, and then sideline folks who have refreshments and a medical bag. One of the rules has to do with bleeding players so it's important to staunch the flow so they can get back up again.

Overall, we'll admit that we can see the draw now, though we don't see picking a favorite team or investing in any mascot motif apparel anytime soon.  Our next sporting adventure will probably be the Melbourne (horse racing) Cup, for which Christine is already being coached by some girlfriends and planning her outfit. Apparently some very big hats are going to be involved. 

No comments:

Post a Comment