24 June 2006

Its just about the round ball

Love it when the Poms give their sage wisdom about the Australian pysche, as in this article in the Guardian. Its even more annoying when those clever tea-sipping intellectuals are more or less right.
"This intense passion of Australians for a football code they are still trying to decipher is part ambush, part national sporting fanaticism. Many Australians absorbed every moment of every sport in every Olympic Games since Melbourne in 1956 because of national pride in their own men and women contesting something considered important by the rest of the world. . ."

"With the southern and eastern European migration came soccer, a game derided as 'wogball' by the chauvinistic and racist society of the late 40s, 50s and 60s. It was played in dirt paddocks, not on groomed sports ovals. There are anecdotes of immigrant schoolboys being caned for daring to play the game, as well as for speaking in their parents' tongues to each other, in the playgrounds."

Thanks to null device for the lead
And while on the topic. Its a tad lame when normally decent Aussies try to take the piss out of the game. Like the Chaser last night on TV, doing a re-enactment of the over dramatic drops players do when there's kick to the ankle/calf etc. Cute when guys who usually parody aggressive Aussie culture get sucked into the "toughness" cliche, which is supposed to be part of all our national endeavors.

One of my most vivid memories of watching (SA)NFL* was when one guy literally walked onto his opponent's head in studded boots, while the other guy was on the ground. After the play has moved on. Actually in the old days of the league when there was only one or so cameras on the enormous pitch, the real men used to take a leak out on the field during play, up a sparsely populated end. Now that's Aussie. Aunty B will chuckle heartily on the day when our culture manages to make a subtle shift. Imagine applauding our boys' dramatic skills when trying to encourage a penalty on the field. Lord knows, actually appreciating the Arts might not be far behind, then... Viva Australia Latina!

*Bet you eastern states types didn't know we had our very own footy league down here. Yeh and the player was from Glenelg Tigers, I think. Thats Australian Rules btw. I still can't understand that Rugby business.

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