Australian Rules Football, better known as Aussie Rules or, more simply, footy, has the global appeal of bullfighting or kabaddi (look it up!). Although played in most Australian States the heartland is Victoria and the epicenter Melbourne and its suburbs.
The game is played with 18 players on each side on oval fields which must be the biggest arenas for any sport played without bats, horses or engines. It’s a remarkable game of high skills and spectacle and, yes, rules.
Yesterday I saw a local grudge match between the Blues of Carlton and the Magpies of Collingwood in front of 82,000 people at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
There is no danger at all of footy catching on around the world. Any game in which the umpires (5 of them) run up to 15 miles in a game to keep up with play, and with four goal posts at each end, is hardly likely to export itself and that’s a pity. Having said that it’s fans could could care less about its global appeal and are quite happy that footy like the kangaroo, koala and platypus is not limited in its appeal by its uniqueness to Australia.
For the record Carlton administered an ass whipping of almighty proportions.