Australian Rules Football

The footy crowd is abuzz today, with the Grand Final between Sydney Swans and Hawthorn taking place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG, or the ‘G’) this afternoon. Keen fans not able to attend in person will get together with friends and family to watch the match on the biggest screen they can find.

640px-Tom_wills_statue
PHOTO:”Tom wills statue” by Rulesfan – Own work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons. (Statue at the Melbourne Cricket Ground of Tom Wills umpiring a game of school or folk football in 1858)

It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a grand final shindig. Beer and cheap casked-wine flowing freely, the air laden with the aroma of barbecued onions, sausages, and steak, competing with socially acceptable cigarette smoke and, sometimes, a hint of weed.

MCG-1864
Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1864 Photo: Wikipedia, Public Domain

The best parties were when your own team wasn’t playing – you could sit back and just enjoy the process without any of that sick feeling of disappointment at the end of the day. You’ve already had that when your team either didn’t make the finals, or made the eight but got put out during the lead-up matches to the big day.

Since Grade six, I’d barracked for St Kilda. I dumped them a few years ago when I reached saturation point with the constant media reporting of the results of their ‘culture’ involving groupies.

In the early days, the ball changed from the round ball you see up there in that first photo, to the oval we have today. These drawings below are from 1891. I love those old outfits.  These days, the shorts are a more sensible size when I went to footy matches during the 70s and 80s. I guess they worked out those skin-tight little shorts were doing nothing for their future fatherhood potential.1891_VFA_Premiership_Match

By J Macfarlane [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

On of the most exciting parts of the Grand Final is the playing of our national anthem: except Meatloaf – what a let down that was, in 2011, from one of my favourites! Every year, at the end of the anthem there is an almighty roar from the crowd – absolutely everyone screams in anticipation! It is really something to be in the crowd for that.By Jimmy Harris from Melbourne, Australia (The teams line up for the 2005 national anthem) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons (Sydney Swans & West Coast Eagles)

 MCG Panorama. Taken at Richmond VS Carlton in an AFL Match from Wikpedia, public domain, released by author, candidate for Commons.

Closer to home, today is the last game of Fantasy Football we play this season. I finished up at Supercoach in the Home and Away games at 72,438 – in the top 29% – out of 250,278 fantasy footy coaches! Mr R probably finished in the top 1000 or less.  In the other one I played, in the AFL’s own competition, I finished at 301,101 31,101, but I have no idea of coach numbers.  I won’t talk about the draft games (where we had unique players within a league) as I didn’t win a single premiership.

I haven’t decided if I will watch the game yet.

I think I’d rather mess about on the computer, catching up on a couple of assignments. I have to record my scripted narration for my digital story. I also have to analyze a comic strip page – ha! that’ll be fun. A writing task, or maybe two, due Monday. Coursera are having random maintenance outages over the due time period, so I’m getting everything in early. I got behind with the Climate Change course, but a bit of effort saw me catch up and do the quiz and evaluations on time. I’m glad I’ve stuck with this course as I’m learning a lot about the global warming thing.

Well, people, I hope you are having a good weekend, whatever you are doing! ❤

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41 Comments Add yours

  1. M-R says:

    I shan’t be watching online or even listening, as I want the SWANS to WIN !!! Go Swannies !!!! – and the big men fly !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ChristineR says:

      Swans are favoured to win, M-R. I’ll barrack for ya!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. M-R says:

        Goodonyermate !!! And have a pie for me, yeah ? 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        1. ChristineR says:

          I’ve got some Four ‘n Twenty beef and cheese ones for tea tonight – halfprice at our local IGA, so thought I’d give them a go since they’re weren’t any ‘normal’ ones left (packet of 6). Last night I grabbed another packet – so yummy! Mr R says it looks like Hawthorn has it in the bag – not even half time yet! 😦

          Like

  2. Oh. Football. Sigh.
    If I get in quick with a movie on the big tv, I can relegate the footy watchers to the little tv in the front room. He he he…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ChristineR says:

      Ha! I don”t believe you … seriously? Wow!

      Like

      1. Believe me.
        I just pull out the ironing board and start ironing in front of the tv and then there’s no comeback. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. To be honest, if THE team was playing, I would let them have the big tv but they’re not so it’s fair game in my opinion.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. M-R says:

      Pay no attention to her, Christine ! – she’s unnatural …

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Who? Me? Normal as the day is long, me.

        Now excuse me while I go and hang out with Captain America and press shirts.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. M-R says:

          [calls after her]
          I said unnatural and I meant it ! Next thing, you’ll be saying you don’t like FOOTBALL …

          Like

          1. Of course I won’t be saying “I don’t like football.”
            I loathe it. 😛

            Liked by 2 people

          2. M-R says:

            Oh, go row a boat !

            Liked by 2 people

          3. ChristineR says:

            Yeah, she told me she loathed it last time I mentioned football – I was ready for her!

            Like

          4. At least I’m consistent.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. M-R says:

            Took me unawares.
            I told her but, didn’t I ?
            [grin]

            Liked by 1 person

    3. Sue says:

      Your truly evil. Love your thinking. Don’t iron too quickly though, as soon as they see you having a break they’ll be “In like Flynn”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ChristineR says:

        Youse are MEAN!!!!

        Like

      2. Don’t worry, Sue. I’ve been saving up washing to fold as well. [evil grin]

        Liked by 1 person

  3. bkpyett says:

    This a very emotive topic. My beloved goes for the Hawks, so have organised my computer man to come and help me at 5pm, who is also not a football person. (most unusual in Victoria, but he’s Scandinavian).
    Chris went last week to see the semi-final which was apparently a good game. It’s an opportunity for him to meet up with his sons. We refused their invitations today to watch together, whew! Shall think of you M-R and Christine when the Swans win! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ChristineR says:

      Oh thanks Barbara. ❤

      Like

      1. ChristineR says:

        It’ll be all smiles in your household today then, Barbara! Hawthorn gets their fair share of flags on a regular basis. Good on ’em. I should have been barracking for the Victorian side, anyhow. 😀

        Like

  4. Sue says:

    Row, row, row your boat – ooh, much more interesting. Sorry but stopped being interested in footy when the idiot players started behaving like larrikans, womanising, alcohol and crass behaviour is not very sportsmanlike. When I was a kid most of the teams banned their players drinking until the season was over, but then again the players worked for a living and their ego’s seemed to be in control. Sorry luv. Hope your team wins.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ChristineR says:

      Yeah, Sue, the misbehaviour was what put me off St Kilda. Port Adelaide banned the traditional players trip at the end of the season after one of their young blokes stepped off the hotel roof in USA. Now they have a family oriented trip away with spouses along. I couldn’t barrack for Adelaide, cos my ex son-in-law does. (It had to be a South Australian one, cos I am.) And Sue, I’m sure the players always behaved like that, it’s just these days no-one gets away with anything. There’s always someone around with a mobile phone camera!

      Like

      1. Sue says:

        Alec said Hawthorn is killing them, he won couple coffees last week now he has to repay them this week. Think players used to be too tired to play up. Used to pass Collingwood grounds in train on way home from work, every night the players would be there going through their paces after they had finished work. Some of the older coaches would not put up with bad behaviour, they would ban their own player from the next game, Ron Barassi even made them get decent haircuts, had to be no longer than the top of shirt collar. Everyone have fun, have to go and pick up grandson, his dad’s working tonight. To ALL the Swans/Bloods supporters – hope they pick up for you, good luck.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m with Mosy. Don’t watch blood sports. (Don’t do the ironing, either, but that’s another question.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sue says:

      Your a woman after my own heart Helen. I use my ironing board as a bench.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mine’s in a cupboard. I’m a great believer in body heat 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    2. ChristineR says:

      Totally understand about the ironing!

      Like

    3. ChristineR says:

      Gee Helen, so much as a spot of blood and they’re off the field for a cleanup and a bandage. 😀

      Like

  6. Aussie Emjay says:

    Oh! Up there Cazaly! Nothing like a bit of Aussie Rules. Great post Christine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ChristineR says:

      Thanks Aussie! OY OY OY! Must swing by your blog, haven’t been there for ages. ❤

      Like

  7. Thanks for visiting our blog and throwing us a few likes! This was a great post 🙂
    We are currently in Spain on the Camino and had to get live updates via SMS from the family back in Sydney. It was not the Swannies year to shine sadly 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ChristineR says:

      Hello Le and David, my visit was just a quick trip (from flying goannas blog). I love that nighttime street photo, it is stunning! I’ll pop back and see how your legs are doing after that 20kms. Thanks for dropping by, and commenting. 🙂

      Like

  8. I have never watched an Australian football game, but I know it’s a tough sport. I really enjoyed your post Christine, and the photos. I would love to see the bronze sculpture. We have a big football game on today between Stanford and Univ. of Washington.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ChristineR says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Kayti. That statue is a wonderful looking bit of art. Melbourne is lucky to have some terrific sculptures about the place, and more going up all the time. I checked out that Stanford v Washington game on the web – I’m always amused by the full faced helmets and big shoulder pads!

      The statue was made by Dutch-born, Melbourne scuptor, Louis Laumen. I just found his website, you might be interested to have a look. He normally works with bronze, using the ‘lost-wax process’ whatever that is. He generously shows photos of some of his works in various stages. The one he is working at, on the front page, is Sir Albert Coates, master surgeon and soldier in two world wars. Erected in his birthplace, Ballarat.
      http://www.louislaumen.com/

      Like

      1. I’ll look him up tomorrow. The lost wax process is very old. My bronzes are cast that way. You make a mold of plaster of a wax positive, then fire it which melts the wax, leaving a solid mold into which you pour melted bronze. Extremely simplified explanation!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. ChristineR says:

          Simplified, all right! I just watched a 6 minute YouTube video about the process, which made me realize Louis wouldn’t be doing the bronzing in his studio. The whole process is very labour intensive. I looked a bit more on his website and he uses Fine Arts Foundry in a Melbourne suburb. Between them they produced ten statues to grace outside the MCG. Kayti, do you bronze your pieces at home?

          Like

  9. Sue says:

    Just remembered I had a book years ago about football, wish I hadn’t sent it to my cousin. Said how there were more fights amongst the spectators than on the field, and the chant of “kill the umpire” could be heard echoed around the ground. Couldn’t do that now, you’d be banned from games, get taken to the lock-up then charged in court, then the umpires would probably walk off and there would be no game.
    My commiserations to all the Swans supporters. There’s always next year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ChristineR says:

      Oh yes, crowds were pretty rowdy those days and I’m sure there are still fights even now, but not much more than a bit of push and shove. Since everyone gets a seat, and beer sales are limiting it has a damping down effect. I remember the first Melbourne match I went to, general admission must have been standing room only in those days. The crowd was really loud, bit of a shock to this sheltered country girl. I loved country football where you could pull your car right up to the side of the fence and watch from there – especially when it was cold. With food and thermos flask handy.

      Like

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