As a sports fan one of the most awesome things about Melbourne is that takes sports very seriously (the front page of the newspaper is always filled with sports headlines). Part of me does miss being in the States during football season since ESPN Australia only plays a few games each week, but that’s easily made up for by embracing Aussie sports.
Over the last six years in Melbourne I have actually found myself enjoying their sports more than the American ones, and today my favorite sport in the world isn’t something I grew up watching.
Australian Football (or footy as Australians call it) is the most popular game in all of Melbourne, and becomes a huge part of a person’s identity. When arriving in the Country people will ask you what footy team you barrack (pronounced barrot) for, at that point you will have three weeks to choose one. If after three weeks you have not chosen a team they will immediately have you deported (just kidding…but seriously do be careful about which team you choose).
Footy is best described as a combination between football (NFL) and soccer and one of the fastest and most exciting games you will ever watch. Don’t believe me? Go now and type the word AFL into you tube…go ahead I’ll wait….wasn’t it awesome!
While I miss the footy there are some very important rules that must be observed to ensure going to the game is an enjoyable experience. So as a public service to Americans I am sharing some ideas on what to do (and not do) when going to the footy.
1. You must eat a Four N’ Twenty meat pie with a small amount of sauce (ketchup) in the middle while watching the game
2. If anyone asks who you barrack for then the correct answer is “anyone but Collingwood” if however they wearing black and white then be prepared to run for your life
3. It’s necessary to stand up and scream ball as loudly as you can when a player goes down..nobody knows why this is done, it’s just part of the game
4. It isn’t necessary to call a player by his name, just add an A or Y to the end of their last name
5. Under no circumstances should you call Footy weird, strange, weak, or ridiculous
6. Don’t entertain your companions with a fifteen minute discourse on why NFL football is the only real sport
7. When a goal is scored you are required to jump to your feet, raise one arm in the air, and scream “on ya matey”