AUSSIE rules would have to be about the greatest Aussie game involving a foot and a ball that has rules — the only way it could be improved is if it had no rules and players could wear padded rollerball suits and chase each other on mopeds with creme brulee caramelising-torches set on blue flame. And there could be emus dancing to Lady Marmalade on the sidelines, that'd be good too.
But despite its prissy, old-fashioned "rules" limitations, Aussie rules is still a great game: it's heaps better than Canada rules football, which is just sad — it's played by old Eskimos in snowshoes on a melting ice shelf. And Aussie rules is wayyy better than that Latvian rules football: the players are so amateurish — they pee in public toilets and not on the side of police buildings like proper professionals.
But even though I have a big fondness for Aussie rules, whenever I go see a live match, I still feel like an outsider. I feel disconnected because I just can't muster that passion for the game that other supporters can — that full-on footy fervour that turns civilised well-groomed human beings into shrieking spittle-lipped, Garuda-like bat-birds wearing footy beanies and scarves, wildly waving flags like they just stormed the Bastille.
Last weekend I went to see a footy game. I sat down in my seat and everything was pleasant and low-key to begin with: beside me was a friendly faced family with two small kids, and behind me a young romantic couple sharing a hot dog, and in front of me was a peaceful, polite old man, silently sipping herbal tea — I think it was Lipton's Quietly Camomile.