The match was a lot of fun! If I had to compare it to an American sport, I would say it's kind of like football in that you kick the ball through goal posts to earn points-and kind of like rugby in that there are few rules, no helmets and no padding. I can't imagine these guys have very long careers based on what they endure in one game alone! I was surprised by how few injuries there were, though. Only two players had to leave the field prematurely, and both walked off on their own. Impressive! No Lebrons here! Speaking of the field, it's circular.
The sport is concentrated in and around Melbourne, although some teams have moved to other cities like Sydney. Last night's match was between Collingwood, a suburb of Melbourne, and Adelaide, a city about 8 hours to the west of Melbourne. It turned out to be a really good game! Adelaide took the early lead and for awhile it looked like it could be a blow-out. However, Collingwood came back and even had the lead for a few minutes, only to be edged out by Adelaide in the end. I don't remember the exact score, but I think it was 80-something to 70-something, to give you an idea of how many total points are scored. I took a few short videos on my
phone but can't figure out how to upload them using the Blogger app. Any ideas?
The game itself was fun, but it was more entertaining for me to watch the fans. For one thing, EVERYONE was really into it. There were tons of kids, adults, and elderly people. I didn't see any teenage girls on their cell phones-they were chanting and waving team flags. There were two women in front of us, they looked like a mother/daughter pair, that didn't talk the entire game because they were watching so intently. I've really never seen such a wide variety of fans equally engaged in a sport. Here are Adelaide fans waving flags after a goal:
I guess people do that for soccer, too, but I've never seen it in the US. Some of them are kind of cute, so I'll probably pick a team to cheer for based on their colors. Peter wants to pick a team based on boring things like stats and how they play the game :). I'll keep you updated on our footy loyalties.
We walked around the Royal Botanic Gardens on Saturday night just to get some fresh air and saw a pretty large animal run through the park. It looked like a possum but cuter. I obviously wanted a picture, so I tried-and failed-to chase it down. I googled it and I think it was indeed an Australian possum. Here's a picture of one from Google images:
We decided to head back to the gardens on Sunday before the game to see them in the daylight. We hung out on a bench for quite awhile watching the birds and ducks.
The wildlife highlight was definitely seeing multiple brightly coloured parrots in the trees!