I could have known that this happens…again another week is over before I update this blog. My delays in posting are very reliable, aren`t they? 😉 More important: I am back with new stuff from the past and hopefully within the next 24 hours also with some recent stories from the present!

With this entry I have passed the 99% of the data I am able to upload for free – about 3GB. What this means will be revealed next time. No worries, this is not the end but the beginning of something new!

AFL Game at The Gabba: Brisbane Lions vs. Adelaide Crows (06.04.2013) It was raining when I cycled through the city to „The Gabba“, a cricket stadium for an audience of more than 40.000. The stadium is also used for AFL (Australian Football League) events. That afternoon the local football club, the Brisbane Lions, were battling the Adelaide crows in front of 21.305 witnesses if you like to believe the counting of the presenter. I met up with Leigh-Chantelle, the women I got to know at the Earth Hour Party (see some posts before) and some of her friends at 2:30pm. Not only it was a premier to watch an AFL game for me but also a challenge to understand the rules in this sports.

Around the stadium it looked like a fair. Dozen of boosts were assembled offering food, drinks, painting faces and applying temporary tattoos. As further attractions you could annoy fenced animals in a petting zoo, test your skills at soccer template kick, etc., etc. . Compared to German soccer events I noticed some major differences. AFL is something for the whole family including small children. The atmosphere is very relaxed and although many fans had put on their club scarfs, hats, waving banners, I could not spot a single group of fanatics or hooligans. Also during the game I wondered how laid back people reacted when their club missed to make a goal or was even about to lose the match. Of course they were gutted about the miss but they kept up their good mood and whenever their team succeeded or just accomplished a good move, they enthusiastically cheered again as if nothing happened before. I found this mentality very inspiring. I was delighted about the ban of alcohol in most of the stadium areas and the smoking prohibition. It really irritates me if I am forced to inhale smoke and smell beer when I am at sports events.

What can I report about that particular game? The Brisbane Lions in bordeaux, blue and yellow faced the Adelaide Crows, playing in dark purple, red and yellow which looked for me like the German flag. That nearly lured me into switching my sympathy in favour of the Crows but I withstood and applauded only for the Lions. Leigh-Chantelle gave me a extractable banner with a goal slogan on it which I happily used when appropriate.

How is Australian Football played? You can read it on Wikipedia or elsewhere online but I found this compressed introduction very helpful as an overview: http://www.upfromaustralia.com/ausrulfoot.html

I was surprised how fast this sport is and how fair it is executed. Australian Football is a full body contact activity so I expected some rough action up to a brawl. Nothing like this happened. Even if a player was tackled against the rules he showed sober-mindedness and continued without going for a skirmish. Only two times players seemed to be really upset, started grouping and approached the other team with an attitude of infuriation. The umpires (I counted at least nine on and around the elliptical-shaped field) did a good job and were always in control of the situation. A curiosity of Australian Football (at least for me) is that a ball off the field is not brought back into play by one of the teams but by one of the umpires. They stand behind the outline, turn their back in direction to the field and threw the ball high over their head . This assures that the umpire can`t see where the players stand so he can`t be accused to give intentionally advantage to one team. During the halftime break kids teams were taking over. Children between maybe between four and twelve years old played on smaller fields using small poles to subdivide the big field. Under the surveillance of proud parents they had a big moment to play Football in a huge stadium, watched by 20.000 people. Later on teams from all over Queensland (maybe even from other Australien states) were marching around the field parade-style, waving their team flags and trophies they had won.

After the third quarter it looked quite good for the Lions and I was hoping for a close, suspense-packed game. But Australian Football isn`t soccer where it is unlikely that a team leading with two or three goals loses the match clearly in the last twenty minutes. This is what happened to the Lions. Like all the other fans I was slightly disappointed since I already had sympathized with Brisbane’s local team. I can`t say they had played poorly. It was a mixture of bad luck and a lack of final determination.

Anyway, I enjoyed my first Australian Football League experience and would like to attend at any day again, preferably watching a game of big relevance in a full stadium with 50.000+ spectators. On my way home I had to pass under the William Jolly Bridge which was illuminated by some projected art drawings. I was able to take some nice shots which outweighed for the lost Football game.

PS: Nobody complained that I haven`t posted yet the photos with multiple mes and Teagans which I announced in the Sunrise Shooting post. Nevertheless I liked to keep my promise and photoshopped them today… here they are! Location is the top of the cliffs at Kangaroo Point.