Australians love their sports. Pick up any daily and the front page invariably has a huge picture of yesterday’s match or event. Based on attendance figures, their top two sports are Australian Rules Football and horse racing. We were lucky to do both this weekend and they were great fun while very different.
On Saturday we journeyed under the crisp fall sun to Clare Valley to the relatively small Clare Racing Club. The horses were fast and the races short. In between they had various events like best dressed contests for kids, men and women.
Truth is, there was another sport underway off the field that day. Well over 75% of the attendees were under the age of 25, all dressed to impress in style and flirty outfits. Trust me, the young men were checking out the girls and vice versa.
For Easter Sunday we took the train into Adelaide and watched the Port Adelaide Power take on St. Kilda. Home team Port Adelaide won 133 to 100 in their opening match of the season. As one who is used to U.S. football the two sports have little in common. ‘Footy’ (as they call it here) is faster paced, very different in play, high scoring and quite athletic. While the rules take some learning, it is a great spectacle and frankly, more exciting to watch than soccer or a number of other field sports. But I still prefer college football (GO DUCKS). If you’ve never seen Aussie Rules Football in action, check this video for a sample of what it’s like.