[thechat] disposable planet quiz

Paul Cowan evolt at funkwit.com
Mon Sep 23 01:03:01 CDT 2002

Madhu wrote:
> What on earth are you buggers talking about? :)

In my case, the Australian Rules football final on the weekend... I'll give
you some background, if you want it, or indeed if you don't, because I am
very bored. I know you've spent some time in Oz, Madhu, but most of thechat
haven't so IO'll explain it anyway!

Australian football (for those who haven't seen it), was invented in
the 1800s to give cricket players something to do to keep fit in the
off season; it's probably most like Gaelic football, but very
idiosyncratically Australian. Fast, free-flowing game, you're allowed
to use your hands (in certain ways), no goalkeepers, looks like random
thuggery but is actually VERY tactical.

You'd probably say that it's Australia's national sport; though Rugby League
is far more popular in New South Wales (where Sydney is) and Queensland
(where Brisbane is, and where the Crocodile Hunter lives :) ). It used
to be that there were three big Australian football leagues: VFL (Victoria:
where Lach and I are), SANFL (South Australia: where Isaac is from), and
WAFL (Western Australia). The VFL was always the biggest, and eventually
it expanded interstate: first with the move of the old South Melbourne
side to Sydney, then the admission of sides from Queensland, South Australia
(x2), and Western Australia (x2).

There has been a long history of emnity between the main AFL states
(Tasmania and the Northern Territory (not strictly a state) are
predominantly AFL too), but that between South Australia and Victoria has
always been particularly vicious.

Basically, for most of the last 15 years, Victorians have lived in
terror of a "Grand Final" (championship game) between two non-Victorian
sides, because it would mean our dominance of the sport was well and
truly gone. It looked for all the world like that was going to happen;
of the top 4 sides at the end of the regular season, both SA sides were
there, as well as the one from Queensland. Making up the numbers were
"my" team, Collingwood, kind of the Man United of AFL, but back when Man
United were crap. Basically, the most popular team, also the most hated,
and spending a LOT of time living off past glories, languishing at the
bottom of the ladder. Supporters are long-suffering yet very arrogant. :)

So this week, it was Brisbane (QLD) vs. Port Adelaide (SA), and
Collingwood (VIC) vs. Adelaide (SA), for the two places in the Grand

Much to my delight, Collingwood made it through against all odds (they
were expected to finish around 10th-12th out of 16 teams this year;
finishing in the top half was a surprise, making the top 2 almost
unbelievable), and Port Adelaide lost to Brisbane, effectively dumping
the South Australians out of the running in the space of 4 hours, and
making many Victorians very very happy indeed.

So next week, Collingwood take on Brisbane, where they will very much
be the underdogs (again) in the big one.

The game this week was by far the best I've been to; you haven't lived
until you've heard 90,000 people singing "Good Old Collingwood Forever"
in unison. The noise from the crowd was... phenomenal.

Incidentally, average Melbourne football crowds for non-finals games
are around 150,000/week, to (on average) probably 3-4 games; this is
something like 5% of the population of Melbourne, every single week.
We really do love our sport. Crowds of 70,000 are not uncommon; 90,000
often once or twice a year (plus finals)

So now, my mission this week: to get tickets to the Grand Final.
They are already up to $AU1500 (~$US800) a pair on ebay.com.au. Yikes.

Anyway, here endeth the discourse.


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