[Bear Intro bit ] I’m Bear Grylls. I’m gonna show you what it takes to get out alive from some of the most dangerous places on earth. I’ve gotta make it through a week of challenges in the sort of places you wouldn’t last a day without the right survival skills. And flippin Nora, the really hard thing is having to talk it up as being really really scary when it’s often really really pissy.
[Bear voice over] I’m in the AFL. I’ve just been KOed and had to drink my own urine and I’ve got a mountain of new challenges ahead of me. Let’s see how I go
[Bear on camera] Right, I’m making my way towards the players race now. It’s a dark and cavernous passage and the smell of sweat and liniment is almost blinding. Also, strewn out on the floor before me are empty syringes and discarded peptides. Gonna be real tough getting past this Windy Hillesque gauntlet.
Ok, I can see the floodlights of the stadium now and I’m heading up the race.
‘Shit, you’re back up Grylls. Great, coach wants you out there.’
I’ve just been instructed to get back to the ground. Our team is a couple of players down and they need me back in rotation. It’s gonna be a wild ride.
I’ve just taken another bump in a tackle and rode this one well. The blighter who bumped me now wants to exchange a little biffo. He’s got hold of my guernsey and he’s now dishing out a series of jumper punches. Jumper punches are short little jabs unique to the AFL because their tribunal tolerates them. I don’t know why? They hurt like blazes. And especially when the jumper-punching blighter rips your guernsey down around your nuts
[Bear voice over] That siren signaled the end of the first quarter and enabled me to break away from the all the biffo. But as much of a relief as that was, it now meant I was going to have my greatest challenge yet: dealing with my coach’s quarter time address.
[Back from ad break.]
[Bear voice over] I’m at the MCG and I’ve just played my first quarter of Australian rules football. I’ve had many challenges so far but my greatest challenge lies ahead: keeping a straight face over our coach’s quarter time address.
[Bear on camera] OK, I’ve now huddled with all the other players and we’re waiting for the coach to rev us up. The challenge here is to not burst out laughing. These AFL coaches, especially ones like Mick Malthouse, are as moronic as they come. Mick in particular mangles the English language worse than a drunken illiterate He uses mixed metaphors and pretentious proverbs and breaks every grammatical law there is. Gonna be real tough not rolling my eyes if this coach is anything like him.
OK, my coach is half way through his address and it’s been nothing but clichés thus far. My challenge is to not laugh over how lame this stuff is, and I tell you, a couple of times there I had to really fight to hold it back. Should he detect my disdain, I’m likely to be hammered in the change rooms after the game. Coaches don’t like being made fun of, and if this one thinks he has been, I’m likely to be sodomized behind the shower block. That won’t be a good situation for me.
[Bear voice over] Luckily, that siren signaled the end of the quarter time break and reprieved me from another dire situation. I soon found myself back amongst the mayhem.
[Bear on camera] OK, I’ve just found myself in the clear and have called for a ball to be kicked to me. And here it comes. And flippin Nora, it’s a hospital pass. About 5 players are converging on me and I’m sitting like a dead duck. This could all go horribly horribly wrong.
[Back from ad break.]
[Bear voice over] I’m in the AFL and I’m sitting under a hospital pass. 5 players are converging on me, as well as a couple of paramedics and an ambulance. I’m really gonna have to dig real deep to pull through this one.
[Bear on camera] What a rush!!!.
[Bear voice over] Using a slippery maneuver I learnt in the British Special Forces, I evaded the converging players and now all 5 of them are out cold.
[Bear on camera] And look the ball’s spilled just before me! [Employing a classical one-handed pick up, Bear then scoops up the crumbs and runs toward the goal.] Whoo, the adrenalin is really pumping right now. And I’m lining up to kick and … yes it’s through the sticks! I’ve kicked an Australian rules goal. Bloody brilliant!
[Bear’s teammates are now converging on him.]
[Bear on camera] Right, now got a real challenge here. I’m about to be swamped by 17 teammates. It’ll be 17 sets of hands patting me and rubbing me and feeling me up. Also, they will be doing it with extra exuberance. A first goal in the AFL is a rites of passage moment and an achievement that all these jocks identify with. On top of all this is the gimmick factor. I have the same cache as Karmichel Hunt and we all know of the hysteria generated by his first goal. OK, better brace myself; here they come.
[Rub, pat, rub, pat, feel up, pat, rub, feel up, pat, rub, feel up, feel up, pat, rub100 ]
[Bear voice over] My over exuberant teammates eventually dispersed from these celebrations and returned to their posts. I watched them do so suspiciously, wondering which were the ones who’d slipped their hands down my shorts.
“Grylls, you’re off.”
[Bear on camera] I’ve just been instructed to leave the field by our trainer. It is to do with player rotations here in the AFL. These clueless amateurs have forgotten to recognize when a player is running hot and they regimentally interchange troops who are in the zone. Better not kick up a stink and do as I’m told.
[Bear is now seated]
Right, I’ve just been benched as part of our teams player rotations. It’s all part of this new age of sports science which fails to accommodate instinct and feel. It’s gonna be hard languishing here.
[30 seconds pass.]
Bugger, I’m itching to get back out there, but I’m still benched. Feels like I’ve been here an age. If they don’t put me on soon, I’ll go stir crazy. Feel like I’m straining at the leash.
[Another 30 seconds pass.]
Every part of me is twitching now. My fingers, my toes, my teeth. Sitting here idle is as hard a thing as I’ve done. Flippin Nora, if they don’t put me on soon I’ll self combust.
“Bear, coach wants to speak with you.”
[Bear voice over] It was just in the knick of time, too. Another few seconds on that bench and I would have broke ranks. But just as I was expecting to go back out there, I took the phone and found otherwise.
“THOUGHT YOU COULD SMIRK AT ME, DID YA; THOUGHT YOU COULD ROLL YOUR EYES YOU FUCK? WELL YOU’RE GONNA ROT FOR THAT YOU FUCK. YOUR GONNA ROT ON THAT BENCH.”
[Bear voice over] The coach then slammed the phone down his end. Evidently my disdain was detected. He’d caught me rolling my eyes [earlier]. Must have been the bit when he’d said ‘the ox is slow;’ or that malarkey about ‘killing things that bleed.’ Can’t be sure, though. These Australians all speak with such thick accents. Especially when they scream, “Don’t think – DO!!!!!’
[Out on the field, a player takes a spekky over a huge pack. Bear licks his lips.]
Flippin Nora, what it’d be like to chimney climb that!
[Itchy to the point of critical mass to get back out there, Bear remains benched … but for how long?]
Next time on ‘Man vs AFL’
Mayhem, mayhem and more mayhem. Also, Bear recollects the time he ate a Koala