And I Can Cook, Too

Saturday, September 29, 2007

September 29, 2007

Power Outage

When I first moved to Australia, I was still reeling from the Chicago Bears devastating loss to the Colts in Superbowl XLI. (Hey, it was there own damn fault. They failed to show up for the second half of the game). Upon my arrival in Oz, I was informed that living in Larg’s Bay automatically made me a Port Adelaide Power fan. Imagine my delight when the Power made it all the way to this years Grand Final, the Australian equivalent of the Superbowl. Naturally unwilling to simply watch the game from home, my friend Tracy and I found a vegetarian jazz club (more on that later) that was broadcasting the came with the volume down while a quartet vamped to the action on the screen. Tracy and I snagged a comfy leather couch that allowed us a bird’s eye view of both the game and the band, ordered a couple of beers, and got stuck in.

For those of you not familiar with Australian Rules Footie, allow me to explain: unlike American football players, 300+ pounds and wrapped in an additional 20 pounds of protective gear, Oz footballers are all built like American quarterbacks – lean, solid muscle, fast, and flexible. Rather than padding, their uniforms consist of tee shirts, sneakers and socks, and rather shocking and somewhat amusing short-shorts. In the game, there are 4 20-minute quarters, and the rules are, as near as I can figure, get the ball through your goal posts by any means necessary. If you have to run while dribbling the ball, go for it. If you have to kick the ball to another teammate, so be it. If you have to run over the opposing teams player by jumping up in the air, landing on his head, and squashing his face into the dirt, that’s what you’ve gotta do. No breaks, no time outs, no instant replays. This game is brutal.

And when I say this game is brutal, I am referring to this Grand Final. Over marinated mushrooms, roasted red pepper, herbed feta, and tasty yet curiously cold rice-stuffed tomatoes, Tracy and I watched as the Power was defeated in a record setting 119 point spread. Crushing.

Oh, and the jazz? It was fun – a unique way to enjoy a game. But I have to say it made it hard to yell at the tv set. All in all the day re-enforced two things I already knew: when you’re watching sports, you gotta have meat, and jazz and football don’t really mix.

But hey, I had fun, and I got a new hat.

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