After Helaine went to bed I stayed on the sofa, playing a little poker and watching TV. As is typical of late Saturday night there was nothing on. Click.
On one channel some guy was wielding a pneumatic wrench assembling a brand new Corvette as the real workers looked on. There’s a confidence builder for potential buyers! Click.
The Seth Rogan making a porno movie I lost interest in a few weeks was back. Click.
John Stossel. Good grief he’s pissed at everything. Click.
And then, finally, I hit ESPN2HD.
The first thing that caught my eye was the LIVE font. There’s not much live overnight especially in daylight. It was Australian Rules Football live from Etihad Stadium in Melbourne (or maybe near it… I don’t know if Docklands is a neighborhood or separate city). Carlton was playing Hawthorn.
Australian Rules Football is crazy. As far as I can tell there’s no padding and the action never stops. They don’t even break for commercials except at the end of each quarter.
The Wikipedia entry has two sentences that puts it all into perspective.
Unlike most similar sports, there is no offside rule, and players can roam the field freely. Possession of the ball is in dispute at all times except when a free kick is paid
Get the ball and you’re a target. There’s no “in the grasp” crap here. The NFL is a sissy league compared to the AFL!
The field is immense. The teams are 18 a side and as far as I could see nearly all young, muscular, fearless and Caucasian.
May I be honest? The real reason I enjoy Aussie Rules Football is watching the umpire signal a goal. He thrusts out his arms which are bent at the elbow. It’s tough to explain except it’s reminiscent of Isaac the bartender’s move on the opening credits for Love Boat.
Today’s game was a blowout. The Blues crushed Hawthorn.
Back in the early days of cable Australian Football was an ESPN staple. I haven’t seen it in a long time. It’s like an old friend is back.