I love Australian Rules Football, because it is the Australian game.
Long before Association Football was codified, Australian Rules set down its laws and made the code official. And it was a peculiarly Australian code: one that allowed for ambiguities and differences. It didn’t even have a standard field size. Nor does it, to this day. The beauty of Australian Rules football is its very ambiguity.
And so I watch the Football tonight, and I’ll likely watch it when the Socceroos play early in the hours of Monday morning. I grasp its vastness and its significance. But I can’t love it, they way I do Aussie Rules, because Aussie Rules is our game. It’s not a game adopted from an imperial power. It’s not a game adapted from a foreign force.
It is our game. It is what we do best. It is what we did first. And forever, God willing, it will be our game.