I am treading on dangerous territory.
I am about to post about … the AFL.
If there is one thing I know very little about, it’s sport, in general, and in particular, the AFL. On a scale of 1-10, my knowledge on this topic is minus five.
But this weekend was the big AFL Grand Final and it would be a shame if I don’t write about it. Even if it means that this post will be very short.
All I can say is, “you beauty!” a massive congratulations to the Richmond Tigers! It was a long stretch – not since 1982 – and I don’t expect anything less than a Grand Celebration to mark the victory. It’s going to be a year-long party for the fans!
And I have never seen so many grown men weep.
Normally, churches are fully booked on weekends. But not this weekend. Only a brave bride will be so bold as to walk down the aisle on a Grand Final weekend (back-to-back with the NRL grand final).
Herein lies my confession of guilt. I don’t support any particular team, but I have a good reason: I have an obsessive personality and it doesn’t take a lot for me to develop an addiction. I just know that if I ever do decide to back a team, my heart will break with every loss. I’m not sure I can cope. I’m a bad sport when it comes to sport.
That said, I have always had a soft spot for the underdogs. Those who have coveted the trophy for so long and never quite got there. And the past few years have been the years of the underdogs, right? I consider myself one of their lucky charms 😀 Plus, I have commiserated or rejoiced, depending on the season, with fans of the Saints, the Swans, the Eagles and the Bulldogs (do you say “the” before?).
Arguably, choosing which team you support is one of the rites of passage for many Australian migrants. Forget birth, marriage or death: you know you are fully assimilated into the society the minute you have decided to commit, for better or for worse, to a particular AFL team. Or the NRL. But that’s another story.
Last year, the NRL had its own fairytale dream come true with the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks winning their maiden premiership after 50 years (naturally, I Googled this.) Here is the cheat sheet for the big day today: NRL Grand Final: What You Need to Know About Sunday’s Showdown.
But regardless of who goes home with the trophy this year, this long weekend is a fantastic time to appreciate what my adopted country has to offer: the simple things in life are free and it doesn’t discriminate on age, gender or social status.
Whether you’re a diehard fan or a casual observer, the hearty all-Australian embrace is all the same. Now, let’s get some beer.