Bad Religion

A coworker recently asked me what the primary religion is here. My answer: Sport. Australians worship sport here in all different forms, footy, rugby, cricket, tennis, netball, etc. They aren't a particularly religious bunch. In fact, so far in old church buildings I've seen a really bad Mexican restaurant, an Ugg boot shop, and a yoga studio.

Today was the footy Grand Final, which is basically like the Super Bowl except with way less commercials interrupting the game. Aussie rules football is interesting to watch. They score by kicking goals through the center posts for 6 points or the outer two posts for 1 point. The ball might be a similar shape to American football and they tackle people, but that's pretty much where the similarities end. In footy they don't take breaks or wear pads, they play long and hard and are really strong athletes.

I would typically watch the Super Bowl for the commercials, but with footy it's about the game (plus lets be honest, Australia is not exactly known for high-budget, original commercials. I think the fat naked guy trying to sell plants ought to be proof enough.) The players do not make millions, nor are they covered in ridiculous-looking diamonds or do silly dances when they score. There are definitely no cheerleaders either. The winners don't all receive giant rings, in fact only the members of the team who actually played in the game receive medals. Footy is a lot more about the game than the industry behind it, and that is refreshing.

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