Australian rules football, a game which can be traced back to 160 years ago, is the most unique sport Australia has to offer to the rest of the world.
Originally devised in Melbourne as a game played by cricketers in the winter to stay fit, Australian rules football is the most popular sport in Victoria. More commonly known as "footy," AFL (Australian Football League) players share the same status as Premiership footballers in England. Of the 17 teams that compete in the league, 9 come from the Melbourne area.
Footy is played on cricket ovals, hence the cathedral of the game is the Melbourne Cricket Ground, which is simply known as the "G". With the stadium being able to seat nearly 100,000 people, the day of the Grand Final is one of the most anticipated in Melbourne. There are matches played across the city most Saturdays from the end of February with the season ending on August 28th.
If you are new to Melbourne, Australian rules football is the perfect way to introduce yourself to the real Australia and real Australian people. If you enjoy having a beer even better. It's a weird game to look at it, but once you are in, you are hooked.
I agree with your overview, our game is very Australian, and I would say no other part of our culture is more so. I have also written an article on the AFL, and believe the true national competition began approximately fifteen years ago, around the time that Fremantle and Port Adelaide entered, but now with Gold Coast and GWS arriving with such intentions, the national vibe has gone up a level.
By Chris Sutton - senior reviewer Wednesday, 3rd of August @ 03:59 am