Australian Football Rules!

How is it I had not heard of Australian Rules Football until a few months ago? This game rocks!

Back in May I picked up a converter box to see what digital TV looks like (since analog TV will be shut off February 2009). One day I was channel surfing and came across a game of Aussie rules football on 9.2. (Digital TV allows broadcasters to have up to 4 sub-channels, and most of the local stations have at least 2). I was confused because I didn't know the rules, but what I saw I liked. It's like a cross between soccer and rugby. I watched intently. How many times in life do you see a new sport?

After watching I went to the Internet to learn more about the game. This video explains the basics. Here's a promo for the league. Here are some highlights from 2007. But to really get a feel for it, you need to watch a game - here's the final quarter of a game.

Now when it comes on I can't help but watch. Here's what I like about it:

Fast paced - It's go, go, go for all four 20 minute quarters. No downs. Play only pauses for putting the ball back into play or injuries.

Rough - No pads and lots of collisions and scraping for the ball. It seems half the players have bandages on. I've seen a split nose and a player knocked unconscious and I've only watched 3 games. These guys are tough.

Athletic - The players are essentially running for over an hour. You can tell by looking at them, they are fit. And the kicks, handballs, running and catches take skill.

Exciting - There are lots of turnovers and many good plays. I get caught-up in the game quickly and stay interested.

The 2008 season is over, but I keep seeing games a few times a week on channel 9.2 under a program called Mhz Worldview. Looks like AFL games are on cable and satellite too. Check it out, I think you'll at least enjoy the experience of viewing a new sport.


mark said...

Kris, you're about three matches away from becoming a fan of real football, not the drug-fueled sissy (with pads) game played in our country. I'll bet one of your digital channels will show an English Premier League game one of these days. Check it out next time. Not as much blood and violence as Aussie football, but the skill with the ball and athleticism are amazing.

Go Arsenal!

Rob de Santos said...

Glad you found our TV page and schedules. There is additional info on the sport here: and here: The downloadable guide to the sport is great for new fans.

Stop by and participate in our discussions or ask questions. We welcome new fans.

Kevin Vigor said...

Careful, Kris, it's a gateway drug. Next thing you know you'll be a hurling fanatic.

// Newcastle forever.
// well, except maybe for this year.

KanyonKris said...

mark - I remember you mentioning Arsenal and English Premier League on your blog. I looked into it a bit back then and again now. So correct me, is it soccer (as we Americans would call it) but played in an English league like FIFA? Or is it a variation of soccer or some very different game? I've watched my share of soccer and it has it's charm, but I find it not as exciting as other sports to watch.

rob - Thanks for the comment and the useful links and AFANA website.

kevin - Hurling looks nuts! I watched a 3 part video series intro to Hurling on YouTube. I can dig that game. Are injuries from getting hit with the hurley would be common? It would seem so, especially the hands. Wild.