Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The oh so scientific method of choosing a footy team

After my embarrassing conversation with the Handsome Australian's brother about which team I had chosen to support in the new and mysterious world of Aussie Rules football, I felt it was time that I put my loyalties somewhere. After all, the Handsome Australian's brother was right when he said EVERYONE had a team--everyone did. Everywhere you went, it was almost always the second or third question you'd get asked when meeting someone new--Who do you barrack for? And the obsession with Aussie Rules (in Victoria anyway) didn't have a gender divide--both women and men, boys and girls were equally passionate about their footy.

So I set about the task of choosing a team to barrack for.

Now, there are several ways one can go about choosing a football team to support:

Firstly, you might ask your friends who they support and just jump on their bandwagon. At this particular point in my Australian tenure, I didn't know too many people beyond the Handsome Australian and his immediate family. When asked about the footy, they were adamant that I would be barracking for Geelong. End of story. To do otherwise would be to fly in the face of reason and would be seen as a personal affront to the Geelong loving dynasty the Handsome one's Uncle had started so many years ago when the family first immigrated to the lucky country and fell in love with the Blue and White hoops of Geelong.

So decision made right? I know nothing about the game. I should just go along with the Handsome Australian and his family and their love for Geelong surely.

But alas, I'm not one of those girls who just says yes. I'm my own person and I was determined to decide for myself and not be told who I would barrack for (because I really cared oh so much about this life changing decision...sure.)

So I decided I should weigh up other options...

Another possible method for choosing a footy team could be based on the win/loss record at the time of choosing. You obviously want to choose a winning side and what is a better determinant of that than a winning record? Go here to see how the ladder (that's Australian for standings) ended up in 1999 (the year in which I was making this choice). You'll notice if you follow the link, that Geelong finished number 11 out of 16. Do they sound like winners to you? No, I didn't think so either. So that cast even more doubt on Geelong being the right choice. I'm not a loser, I'm a winner!

The ladder was a good way to become acquainted with the different teams--the ones near the top that is. But you can't just choose on record alone.

There are many other important factors that must be considered, like the guernsey (that's Australian for jersey) colours and design for instance. Yes, I think that is an extremely important factor indeed.

It wouldn't be right if I didn't take note of the fashions on the field right? So I had a look at the teams in the top half of the ladder and began to take a critical look at their guernseys. Here were some of my choices (I won't bore you with them all, but if you are keen you can follow the link and have a look at all of them here).

This is the Essendon Bombers guernsey. They finished at the top of the ladder, but didn't go on to win the Premiership (that's the Aussie Rules equivalent of the Super Bowl). The red slash seemed a bit severe.

This is the North Melbourne Kangaroos guernsey. They finished number two on the regular season ladder and made it through the Finals to the Premiership Game and staged a convincing win. So they obviously played well, but I just couldn't cope with the vertical stripes.

This is the guernsey for the Carlton Blues. They finished number 6 on the ladder during the regular season, but valiantly fought their way through the finals for a berth in the Premiership Game. They lost to the North Melbourne Kangaroos by 35 points, but have a look at the guernsey--crisp, classic. I loved the CFC on the front (for Carlton Football Club, of course). Simple and stunning at the same time. Yes, I liked the look of this Carlton team.

It would be rather shallow of me to put so much weight on the look of the guernsey. I thought, I must have a look at the player list as well because you'd want a team with good players (or good looking ones anyway). So I started learning about a few of the players and studying them carefully--this was research, after all. I needed to choose a team.

Here's what I found...they call him SOS (pronounced sauce) and he was amazing! His real name is Stephen Silvagni. A very talented player with an impressive footy pedigree. His father, Sergio or "Serge" Silvagni also played for Carlton. Hence Stephen's nickname SOS stands for Son of Serge. Of course these were unnecessary details. I didn't need any more convincing. I was SOLD!!

So Carlton it was. They had it all, good results during the season, a great looking guernsey and a star player that knocks your socks off!

Now to break the news to the Handsome Australian...

Learn the Lingo
Preliminary Final=inital round of playoffs
Grand Final=Super Bowl
Premiership Game=Grand Final=Super Bowl
SOS=Son of Serge aka Stephen Silvagni


KLS said...

I still have the Blues scarf thingy you gave me somewhere around here! I'm so glad you started this blog - LOVE it!

Lee Anne

Annelise said...

Pass the SOS!

kristin said...

Don't get sucked into barracking Geelong (can you use barracking that way?) -- their guernsey looks like a prison uniform!

So, if this word finds its way into US lexicon within the next few months, does it mean we'll be saying "I Barrack Barack"?

suzinoz said...

Kristin I love the way you are taking to the lingo!! Well done. I think the correct usage for the election would be, "I barrack for Barack", or perhaps "I'm barracking for Barak". My personal favourite at the moment though is "Barack the Vote!" I love that.