by NICOLE HAYES
I’ll confess that I love AFL.
I love the feel of a Sherrin in my hands, the smell of liniment and mud on a wintry afternoon, and the adrenaline hit that follows that first bounce — and the last one, too, if my beloved Hawks are winning.
So I’m biased. I’ll state that right upfront.
But in the months since my novel about a teenage girl obsessed with footy was published, it’s become clear to me that not everyone feels the same way. In fact, a lot of people — women, especially — feel quite the opposite. Which is a little surprising because footy is easily the most watchable of all the football codes, especially for women. And I’m not just talking about the shorts — though what’s not to love about those butt-hugging, thigh-accentuating, teensy-weensy scraps of cloth?
Wait. Where was I?
Oh right. Five reasons why thinking women should watch the AFL Grand Final:
1. The speccy. First made famous by a bloke called Cazaly, who, apparently, spent a lot of time “up there”, the speccy is probably the most acrobatic and exciting aspect of any football highlights reel. Watching a six-foot-plus bloke leap onto the shoulders of another six-foot-plus bloke, stay there long enough to catch an oval-shaped ball and then land, ideally but rarely, on his feet — without breaking anything — defies both logic and gravity, and also, if you ask me, common sense. But that doesn’t mean I don’t get a rush every time I see one.