Finally getting around to posting this item...
With the end of winter in Australia comes the end of the AFL Aussie rules football ("footy") season. The Geelong Cats defeated the Collingwood Magpies last weekend in the Grand Final. That means I have a bit of a void to fill now with no more tipping (picking the winning teams) or Dreamteam (fantasy league) competitions each week at work. (My Dreamteam lost in the Grand Final, but I consider the season a huge success as I did better than quite a few serious natives who know their game well!)
Back at the end of July, the whole family was gifted free tickets to a Fremantle Dockers AFL game at Perth's Subiaco Stadium. I had attended an AFL game a couple of years ago in Melbourne, but for everyone else this was their first live AFL game. The Dockers got blown away by the Hawthorne Hawks in this game - pretty typical of the Dockers' disappointing, injury-riddled season that was quite similar to the Minnesota Twins year.
The game was played mostly in a major rainstorm - nothing much stops a footy game. We were fortunate to stay dry the entire evening including our walks to and from the train station to the stadium, and thankfully had seats under a roof.
Photos and videos below by Peter.
When viewing the videos below, click on the button below the video to show it full screen.
The tradition in footy is for teams to enter the game through a very large banner with a motivational message on it or a note commemorating a player's milestone games. Here's the Dockers entrance:
This next clip begins with a boundary official (in red) doing a "throw-in". Throw-ins happen when the ball goes over the boundary line any way other than "on the full" or between the goal posts. Unlike most other sports, it doesn't matter who last touched the ball or forced it over the line as the throw-in puts the ball up for grabs. This video ends with a player kicking a 55-metre goal whilst on the run (through the centre posts for 6 points). 55 metres is like 60 yards, which is why some of the Aussies could make a career kicking in the NFL.
Sheets of rain coming down during much of the game:
In the last clip, the action begins with another throw-in, then leads to a "bounce". A "bounce" happens when play is stopped because the ball is tied up. Normally the umpire bounces the ball between two "ruckmen" but when in rain like this, they toss the ball instead of trying to bounce it. You'll also see in this clip how much footy is really just a big free-for-all keep away game, especially in the rain.