Cleat Geeks

2015 Australian Rules Football (AFL) Season Opens

U.S. Sports Fans are Missing Out


Ok sports fans I am no expert in this preceding topic but since my discovery of it recently, I have become infatuated with it. First off let me ask all you. Do love sports? NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, NASCAR or College athletics of course you do those are a given. Now dig deeper are you one of those next level fans? I`m talking MLS, Arena Football, Boxing, UFC, MMA sure those are highly popular in our country and a partner for conversation can easily be found. Ok now go deeper, what PGA, FIFA, Barclay Premier League, Champions League Fu`tbol? Now I`m sure I am starting to thin some of you out, but there are a lot of you out there. Now here is the big question. What do know or have you ever heard of Australian Rules Football (AF) a.k.a Footy?

I have been a sports fan for a better part of 20 years and I have just learned of it a couple of months ago. I learned the rules, then teams, the history, the players and now I have chosen a team. This game and its action is extravagantly complied of mesmerizing athleticism compared to some U.S. sports, in fact it could compete with U.S. sports.  The concept of the gameplay/rules are extremely unique and is beyond any other sport that circulates through the world such as soccer, hockey, baseball or basketball. Yet, it seems the American sports media has absolutely sheltered this game from us and Australia has kept it all to itself.images (7)

I did not learn about this game from surfing the web, YouTube or happen to be channel surfing in the international sports tier on DirecTV. I was simply asked about it from a young Australian co-worker. His description of the game peaked my interest, he showed me some YouTube clips and I was hooked.

I began to wonder where this game has been. Well for starters it’s been around since the mid-1800`s and began as an off season sport for pro cricket players. Over time it grew in popularity and the rules evolved into the pro sport it is today. Still this amazing sport is sheltered. It has not been professionally adopted by Europe, Asia, South America or Africa. Australia is the only country to sustain the excitement and league of the highest athletes. The AFL in Australia is what the NFL is to America and the Barclay Premier League is to England.

We are a country that will absolutely suck up any sport of whatever we can. Heck even the whole country proved that it can get on board with a new sports fad, when last year everybody had World Cup fever.
If given a growing chance, the AFL could easily take on U.S. popularity. With the similarity that the league system utilizes, is what the U.S. is use to. For instance the games are played on weekends, it is 17 weeks, and there are playoffs with seeds and wildcards.  The playoff teams are determined by the top 8 who finish. The post season teams are all trying to get the Premiership Grand Finale, which is the Aussie equivalent to our Super Bowl.
I cannot explain the rules or game play in this article, for it might be confusing and way too long. However it is worth looking into and reading about. I suggest watching AFL Explain and reading the official AFL entry on Wikipedia.

The game will most likely never become a huge pro sport in this country, however there are college teams and professional teams. That’s right our country has a pro Aussie footy teams in major cities. If you check it will give you a list of what cities have teams and the season schedules. Actually some of the U.S. pro players have been invited to compete in the real AFL. There are a number of American players that play in the AFL. The sport is absolutely crazy. It has wild catches, incredible kicks, mangling tackles, strategic rules and four ways to score!images (8)

If you are looking for that next obsession or interest related to sports, then check out the Australian Rules football. Right now is the best time because the 2015 preseason has just begun and the official season start the first week of April. Take a look, learn the game, the players, pick a team and become a footy fan!

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