It's preseason time for the Australian Football League, so this afternoon I went to watch the Essendon Bombers vs. Sydney Swans match at Optus Oval in Princes Park. It was a practice match so a lot of the senior players didn't play, but the game was still entertaining, and it was nice to see my Bombers in action in person for a change.
I met up with Adrian and his girlfriend Helen and we caught the last ten minutes of the second quarter before halftime began. One of the great things about Aussie Rules is how accessible the players and grounds are for fans. You are allowed to go onto the field and kick around the footy ball between quarters and after the match. At today's game fans were also allowed to come onto the field and gather around to listen to the coach's comments to the players. After the match players will sign autographs as they leave the field, and are very approachable. These things would never happen at a NFL game! It's just a relaxed atmosphere with people from all walks of life in attendance.
As for the game, the Bombers really took control in the second half and won the match by over 30 points (Sydney didn't even score in the third quarter). The weather was hot, so they shortened the time of the quarters at the end. It was a good start to the season, and I hope to catch many more matches in the upcoming months.