Saturday, July 19, 2008

First ever AFL match

Finally, I had managed to watch a Australian Football League or "footy" match today. Footy was proudly invented here in Victoria hence its status as the most popular sport around. Nearly half the sports coverage on newspaper everyday is on Footy. And thanks to Monash Uni for giving me the free ticket.


I went to the match with G and Kush, who are amongst my best frens in Uni. We're all very active volunteers in the Global Friendship Series (that's why we got the tickets).


The match was held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground or known as the MCG. It has a maximum capacity of 100,000 and was the stadium used in the opening and closing ceremony of the 06 Commonwealth Games.


The match was between the Richmond Tigers


and Essendon Bombers


It's hard to explain a game of Footy. Basically there are 18 person per team on the field; it was played over four quarters of 20 minutes each; and there are four goal sticks on each end: kick the ball in between the centre sticks and you will score 6 points, if kick between the peripheral sticks, you will score one point.


There was a big crowd and the atmosphere was unbelievable. We got some good seats, just a few rows from the field and around 20 degrees from the centre goal post.


The Richmond team hurdle before the game. Richmond is the Home team.


The start of the game. The person in the green is the umpire. He was bent over because in Footy there have this unique way to start the game - the umpire threw the ball on the ground, it bounces up and the players fight for the ball.


If the ball goes out of bounds, the throw-in is also unique. That's what this umpire was doing - he was throwing the ball over his head with his back to the playing field.


This guy was trying to score a goal. He did score and earned his team 6 points. The match was very close - close to a classic. Richmond was streets ahead during half time, but Essendon hit back in the third quarter, scoring 6 straight goals to take a slim lead. The crowd was ecstatic, waving flags and pom-poms whenever their team scored.


The last quarter was end-to-end stuff, which both teams alternatively taking the lead. In the end, Richmond won by four points, beating Essendon 108 to 104. It was really much much closer, as Essendon missed the last four chances of the game to score.


A truly enjoyable and memorable match.


Basically, I guess what was missing to make it a perfect experience was for a streaker to run across the field. But there's this funny sight of a yellow taxi on the field just before the game started.


The driver was probably a part time Indian student with a mal-functioning GPS system installed.

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