Off-Season: Why AFL Is Great

Beautiful Sunday afternoon isn’t it? The sun is shining, the temperature is at a warm twenty degrees and the wind is cool as it breezes through my hair. This is almost your perfect Sunday afternoon isn’t it? Added to the fact that Year 11 exams are over and there is no work to worry about, the world around me has finally calmed down. Furthermore, my favourite UFC fighter, Ronda Rousey is fighting IN MELBOURNE. Yes, in Melbourne. However, I can’t be there to see her extend her unbeaten run which comes with disappointment as the tickets were way out of my price range.

Yes, today is a beautiful day but there is something missing. Football. Now, don’t get me wrong waking up to this weather is superb. However, knowing that at 2 PM there is no football to watch for another 4 months comes with extreme annoyance. I love my soccer as it is actually my primary sport, I love my American sports and I love UFC and WWE but nothing compares to AFL on a weekend. Leaving school on a Friday knowing that tonight there was going to be a match-up of two heavyweights going head to head sends shivers down my spine. Waking up on a chilly Saturday or a Sunday, knowing that there would be 8 games of unrivalled competition which would set the tone for a weekend of heavy hits, big marks and spectacular goals. Soccer is great, the A-League is growing and I attend Melbourne Victory games when I can. Although, the soccer we all want to watch is televised in the early hours of the morning and only the nocturnal can survive those hours. You can tape the games, but through some form of social media, you always find out the result before watching the re-run. American sports such as Gridiron and Basketball are great but it is too stop and start, with the action coming in bursts with the lack of free flow. Whilst fighting sports you can only handle til you realise the barbaric nature of what you are witnessing.

I am a massive Collingwood fan. This off-season so far has been exciting with the added acquisitions of Treloar, Howe and Aish which only makes my hunger for 2016 to begin increase dramatically. Knowing that for the past two seasons, your team has choked in the second half of the season and missed finals stings that little bit more. Knowing that this year, we could finally make September. I sat through the trade period, fixture release and now the draft is fast approaching which only adds gas to the flame burning inside of me for football to start again. The off-season does have its perks. Great weather, a chance to relax, summer holidays, Christmas and New Year’s but it is missing the vital ingredient. Football. We all need a break from it, but the itch for seeing your team run out in round 1 excites me more than an eight year-old version of myself on Christmas morning.

Even if it isn’t Collingwood playing, I just love watching a competitive flowing game between two of the benchmark sides. For instance, the second Showdown between Port Adelaide vs Adelaide was easily the game of the season. With the added emotion which further spurred on both sides, it was a game to remember. Both teams scored over 100 and the game had everything. It’s a shame that the Grand Final didn’t live up to the hype of how the game was going to be a close affair and couldn’t reach the benchmark of previous games within the season proper. However, when you see a game which leaves you on edge for the entire game, it is something to behold. This is why our game is so special. Seeing those games which leave us with a smile and a real ‘wow’ factor.

Some sports can match that edge of the seat feeling with some soccer games matching those games in excitement levels. Even myself being a massive soccer fan, the amount of disappointing 0-0 games I have seen have been at a maximum. Even just a game without much action with just the 1 or 2 goals can be a real bummer. Now, AFL sometimes produce those kind of fizzers with some games when it is an absolute blow-out or an ugly affair can really bore the neutral supporter. So AFL can come with its real lows, but that’s with every sport. In every sport you see close ones, massacres and the ugly but that’s what makes sport so enjoyable. Unpredictability. Seeing the under-dog trump the favourite and the feeling you get when your team wins.

That is what AFL brings to all fans. Enjoyment above all else. Bring on 2016 and bring on the book launch on Thursday night! Can’t wait.

About Nicholas D'Urbano

17 years of age. Passionate Pies fan. Very opinionated. Aspiring writer


  1. Steve Hodder says

    Melbourne, when the sun shines, very special. Good writing Nicholas.


  2. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Great stuff Nicholas. Excited about Treloar, not sure about Aish and where we will play Howe. Who are your favourite WWE performers. Have been a fan since Wrestling was huge in Melbourne in the 1970s.

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