So what I'm about to say may be a bit blasphemous to a LOT of Australians. I've lived here for 11 years now, and up to a year ago, had never been to the footy.
Australian Rules Football, for those of you not in this land down under, is a hugely popular game here, particularly in Melbourne. It's a way of life, a culture, and sport that grips the entire nation. Most people, even if they don't follow the footy avidly during its season, at least have a club that they barrack for.
I had no interest in any of it, whatsoever.
I don't love sport generally, and haven't ever watched a whole lot of it on TV or live. Footy, to the uneducated eye, can seem like a messy game (especially when you see it on tv, and don't even know the first rule about it).
However, since being with S, I have unwittingly been dragged into the footy culture. S is a HUGE sports head, and is passionate about following, it seems, almost every sport around the world. Footy is one of them. At the beginning, I was perfectly happy to let him enjoy this passion undisturbed and leaving me to "more time for ME stuff!"
Over time though, he wore me down about coming to a game, citing my love for dance and physical form as the one thing that would make me appreciate it. So finally, I acquiesced. After all, I had nothing to lose - I'd have a handsome man next to me and a whole swarm of handsome men on the field to watch. WIN-WIN.
It is testament to S' amazing ability to make anyone excited about even the most mundane topics, and his absolute talent for explaining sports so clearly, that I was not only able to follow the game, but even grew to appreciate and love it. Since then, he's taken me to a few more games, and I gotta tell you, I'm slowly starting to enjoy it, even getting a bit emotionally involved in the games I'm watching.
I haven't hit the moment where I've chosen "my team" yet though. S has a theory that I should, as a good girlfriend, simply follow HIS club, but I like to taunt him by telling him I'd like to choose Essendon because they have lots of cute men on their team.
On Sunday, we took my daddy to HIS first footy game, and he adored it, thanks again to S' passion and great explanations.
It was a fabulous experience, where Dad got super into the game, even cheering for the team we'd picked to support!
It was a ripper of a game, with plenty of heart-stopping moments and a super close result. Our team barely made it, but we won, and there was genuine jubilance. There's something about sport that makes you truly believe you were in the game with the players, particularly with 30,000 other screaming fans in the stadium with you.
It was a wonderful afternoon, and a super fun one at that. Yup, the footy is definitely growing on me.