Excitement is in the air, I have been waiting for it since September. Yes thats right, this week is the start of the Aussie Rules season!
Now this season is going to be a special one for me, as it will be my first full season following the game. But as it looms over me, will I stick with it? There is a lot more that goes into 'getting into' a new sport especially one that is played in a different time zone, let alone a different country.
Now for any Aussies reading this, I am not going to insult you by making my predictions for the season ahead or anything like that. As I said earlier it is my first season, I don't know that much, I know the rules, the teams and a collection of players names. My hopes for this season are that West Coast Eagles and Essendon Bombers do well,(the reasons why I like them is explained here) I can kind of pick up more of the rules and maybe introduce some new people to it, but most importantly, to maintain my commitment of getting up for the 8am Friday morning starts to watch it.
It is surprisingly hard to try to follow a new sport. Especially if it is not something you are brought up with. Here are possibly a couple of reasons why. Maybe the brain's laziness of learning things new, when we are young (I was 5 when introduced to football) we are more prone to learning and experiencing new things, thats what life is about at that age. When people get older they possibly get set in their ways and normally get into things that they sort of already liked. Another reason could be that people innately fear change, so people are not willing to accept new things into their life, if people don't like forced change they are not likely to accept something they don't have to willingly.
My motto in life is to always try something once. This is sort of why I got into Aussie Rules. I was bored one morning, it happened to be on as I turned the TV on, I watched for a while and I loved it, but didn't carry it on until this year when I was lucky to be in Australia on AFL Grand Final day. Watching Collingwood v St.Kilda play a draw with a few beers was fantastic! A real thrill. (It also helps that I won the sweep for the Norm Smith medal, get in Lenny Hayes) After this experience and watching the replay (In which Collingwood battered St.Kilda) I decided that I was going to give it a go for an entire season.
I have the upmost respect for people who do the same. I have managed in my life to get 3 friends into new sports. My mate Rob into ice hockey just by convincing him to come to a game with me and my mate Rooksie and his brother Ste are now NFL addicts, have been to Wembley to watch it more than me, all because I got talking to him about it when we were in school and they put in the ground work.
The ground work is crucial, being prepared to sit through it without knowing fully whats going on, learning the rules, trying in your head to put them in practice, and all this at odd times in the day, such as 1am.
It is a huge commitment. Not one to take lightly. However, get the hours in and you will find yourself with a new found love in your life.
So wish me luck as I jump head first into the daunting world of Aussie Rules, just as I have the worlds of American Football, Baseball and Ice Hockey, hoping to come out the other side with another sport to adore.