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A review from a Yank

Posted: Thu 22 Jul, 2010 5:09 pm
by Sabre
SB Nation Arizona's Jose Romero might not be able to keep up with American sports for a few more days, but he's getting his sports fix far away from home in Australia.

G'day, mates in Arizona and the States (and anywhere else this is read).

As I sit here in a McDonald's in Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia at about 3:30 a.m. Phoenix time on Tuesday; my Tuesday is already over. It went something like this:

A visit to the Sydney Aquarium, checking out the sharks and sea life -- even the rare duck-billed platypus, which I read can only be found in Australia. Then a walk to the Wildlife World nearby to see the kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, kookaburras, assorted species of bugs, wombats and a huge crocodile. Then a $10 lunch of steak, fries (chips, as they are called here) and salad, and finally a trip up the AMP Centrepoint Tower in downtown Sydney, the city's equivalent of the Space Needle in Seattle.

I've been in Australia since last Friday, and have enjoyed touring the Sydney area and the Blue Mountains outside of town. Sports in this part of the country is all rugby, for the most part. The pro soccer regular season has yet to begin, though I did pick up an Australia national team jersey from the World Cup, and Australian Rules football is also going on, but Sydney has only one team.

In search of a sporting experience in Sydney, my soon-to-be in-laws took my dad and me to a major-league rugby match at a place called the Leichhardt Oval, home of the Wests Tigers, on Monday night. The home team was facing the North Queensland Cowboys, a team from another state in Australia, and if you think these Cowboys have a star in their logo, you are correct, sir.

The experience was really something. The stadium is small and located in a residential area, kind of like Hohokam Park in Mesa -- where the Chicago Cubs hold their Spring Training games -- except it's right near water, like a lot of Sydney. So parking is at a premium and we got lucky there. There is a fire code and no smoking, I'm told, but people were smoking and standing in the aisles. We had to stand on a grassy berm.

Games are 80 minutes -- two 40-minute halves -- and the action is pretty much nonstop and violent. No pads of any kind. You get the ball, you run with it, get hit and tackled and then you back-heel it to a teammate who does the same thing until one team scores or loses possession.

The Tigers (orange and black) started out flat and trailed 16-4 at halftime, and the fans were not happy. A player of what I determined to be Pacific Islander descent was running side to side a la Shaun Alexander instead of north-south when he got the ball, and an unhappy fan behind us shouted, "Run it straight, ya damn coconut!" Hmm. That just wouldn't fly in the U.S. thank goodness.

Another fan called a Tigers player a "maggot" and later labeled his team's play "rubbish." But the Tigers won their crowd back with a second-half rally.

Wests scored six tries for 24 points (4 each) and added the equivalent of one PAT in the NFL, a two-point kick. They went on to win 26-16.

Sports are pretty big here. The Aussies aren't much into American sports but they love their rugby and cricket and are pretty active as a population. And the diversity of nationalities and ethnicities is a sight to behold.

Europeans, Polynesians, Asians, Middle Easterners, Persians and a few Aborigines, plus more. It has been quite a trip for me, one I didn't think would happen so soon in my lifetime.

http://arizona.sbnation.com/2010/7/20/1 ... -australia

Good read i think

Re: A review from a Yank

Posted: Thu 22 Jul, 2010 5:54 pm
by Centaur
HAHAHA love the reference to Lote Tuqiri (I assume). I would like to know who the fan was, because whilst he does run sideways from time to time, more often than not he manages to run around a wall of defence and make a solid 10+metres.

Re: A review from a Yank

Posted: Thu 22 Jul, 2010 6:16 pm
by Geo.
:lol: :lol:

That is a fantastic find....thanks Sabre....
one PAT in the NFL,
Let's hope Benji lands 6 from 6 PAT's this week....

wonder who maggot is.... :?

Re: A review from a Yank

Posted: Thu 22 Jul, 2010 6:31 pm
by smeghead
I assume the guy running sideways who copped it was Benji.

Funny read though

Re: A review from a Yank

Posted: Thu 22 Jul, 2010 7:01 pm
by innsaneink
Naaah Lote fo sho....he was copping it from where i was sitting....more eveident from the corners i think
took my dad and me to a major-league rugby match at a place called the Leichhardt Oval, home of the Wests Tigers, on Monday night.
Never heard or seen LO with a ''the'' in front of it. Quaint. :lol:

Re: A review from a Yank

Posted: Thu 22 Jul, 2010 7:02 pm
by stryker
smeghead wrote:I assume the guy running sideways who copped it was Benji.

Funny read though
Nah Lote for sure even when he does a good run he starts of running sideways, seems poor old Fitzy copped a mention as well 8-)

Re: A review from a Yank

Posted: Thu 22 Jul, 2010 9:59 pm
by Cultured Bogan
In my experience, I find the yanks aren't all that accomodating to things outside their comfort zone. It was refreshing to read an article where they aren't panning everything here. I had an American boss at one point at my current place of employment, and as soon as anyone mentioned Rugby League he would wax lyrical about how much better US football was than League and Baseball than Cricket.

This isn't my only experience with yanks in the workplace, but this particular bloke was especially condescending towards sports & attractions in Australia whereupon he had the whole workforce offside from the outset.

Re: A review from a Yank

Posted: Thu 22 Jul, 2010 11:25 pm
by stryker
Cultured Bogan wrote:In my experience, I find the yanks aren't all that accomodating to things outside their comfort zone. It was refreshing to read an article where they aren't panning everything here. I had an American boss at one point at my current place of employment, and as soon as anyone mentioned Rugby League he would wax lyrical about how much better US football was than League and Baseball than Cricket.

This isn't my only experience with yanks in the workplace, but this particular bloke was especially condescending towards sports & attractions in Australia whereupon he had the whole workforce offside from the outset.
Thats why we call them septics.....

Re: A review from a Yank

Posted: Thu 22 Jul, 2010 11:50 pm
by Ian AKA Tiger Ted
Cultured Bogan wrote:In my experience, I find the yanks aren't all that accomodating to things outside their comfort zone. It was refreshing to read an article where they aren't panning everything here. I had an American boss at one point at my current place of employment, and as soon as anyone mentioned Rugby League he would wax lyrical about how much better US football was than League and Baseball than Cricket.

This isn't my only experience with yanks in the workplace, but this particular bloke was especially condescending towards sports & attractions in Australia whereupon he had the whole workforce offside from the outset.
Gotta' put my two bobs worth in ..I have spent quite a bit of time living & travelling in the U.S & found Americans at all times to be interested in Aussie sports always asking questions etc in fact they took me many American sports Football,Baseball , Basketball, Ice Hokey & not once did they say how much better their games were ,they would be the most hospitable people I have ever met .

Re: A review from a Yank

Posted: Thu 22 Jul, 2010 11:56 pm
by Cultured Bogan
stryker wrote:
Cultured Bogan wrote:In my experience, I find the yanks aren't all that accomodating to things outside their comfort zone. It was refreshing to read an article where they aren't panning everything here. I had an American boss at one point at my current place of employment, and as soon as anyone mentioned Rugby League he would wax lyrical about how much better US football was than League and Baseball than Cricket.

This isn't my only experience with yanks in the workplace, but this particular bloke was especially condescending towards sports & attractions in Australia whereupon he had the whole workforce offside from the outset.
Thats why we call them septics.....
I think it all comes down to the way they live though. The US is made up of 50 states and each state has its own laws, customs, history and education system and in some cases they differ greatly from one another. This would probably explain why they are so insular and so unwilling to learn about anywhere outside the US.

And Tiger Ted, I am probably guilty of generalising here based on my experiences with Americans (most of which have been less than pleasant.)

Re: A review from a Yank

Posted: Fri 23 Jul, 2010 10:47 am
by Yossarian
Apart from the racist in the crowd, a good read. Went much better than when my old housemate took some American visitors to an NRL game. Penrith vs someone out at CUA. About 5000 crowd and one of the worst games I've seen.

Re: A review from a Yank

Posted: Fri 23 Jul, 2010 10:52 am
by G. Strombolli
I really enjoyed that, great read - how on earth did you find it?

Re: A review from a Yank

Posted: Fri 23 Jul, 2010 1:00 pm
by fergiefurr
in 2004 i was watching the bulldogs/panthers semi at a pub in the city (i cant remember which one) and there was an american tour group in the pub for drinks. they were all around the 40s/50/60s age group. the pub was quiet vocal as there was a lot of dogs fans. one of the yanks was sitting near me and starting talking to me about the game. he had watched a semi the other week of the cowboys/broncos and was telling me how he had absolutely loved it and was excited to watch this game and the cowboys/roosters semi the next day. he asked me if i knew how he could watch rugby (for some reason they always call it this) back in the states as he has fallen in love with the sport despite only watching the one game.

if the nrl properly promoted the sport in the USA i have no doubts americans would love it. maybe it would be worth the nrl doing an AFL Hunt/Folau type purchase and getting a pro NFL player, then playing him in a trial game in his home city?

i really believe its a market we should try and tap into.

Re: A review from a Yank

Posted: Fri 23 Jul, 2010 7:09 pm
by hybrid_tiger
I have also had an American comment about RL, saying they think its absolutely crazy we play it without pads. Seemed to like the physical contest, and went to a game and enjoyed it.

Re: A review from a Yank

Posted: Fri 23 Jul, 2010 7:20 pm
by AndTheKungFoSing
hybrid_tiger wrote:I have also had an American comment about RL, saying they think its absolutely crazy we play it without pads. Seemed to like the physical contest, and went to a game and enjoyed it.
History has shown them to be quite violent people I guess lol

Re: A review from a Yank

Posted: Sat 24 Jul, 2010 12:05 am
by innsaneink
Kaiser wrote:
hybrid_tiger wrote:I have also had an American comment about RL, saying they think its absolutely crazy we play it without pads. Seemed to like the physical contest, and went to a game and enjoyed it.
History has shown them to be quite violent people I guess lol
:deadhorse:
Well there goes this thread on a tangent waaaay left field

Re: A review from a Yank

Posted: Sat 24 Jul, 2010 1:27 am
by alien
fergiefurr wrote:i really believe its a market we should try and tap into.
So do I. In 2004 the Australian Kangaroos went over to Philadelphia to play the USA Tomahawks. I thought that might have been the start of Australia helping the United States make the game bigger over there but the Kangaroos haven't been back.

Re: A review from a Yank

Posted: Sat 24 Jul, 2010 7:58 am
by Juro
Well there is the American National Rugby League (AMNRL) but most teams are on the NE corner plus Jacksonville Florida. There is the talk of them going professional but at the moment it is all talk.

It is growing slowly, but the Jacksonville Axemen got over 2000 crowd in recent games, which isn't bad at all for an amateur sport.

Once it gets a bit more professional, I reckon it could really take off.