Before and during the opening round of the AFL, footy was getting attention internationally. This was due to the AFL continuing to play while so many other sports were on hold. Links to the various articles are below. While some make only brief references to footy, others are more in depth with stories about more American fans discovering footy with games played despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Articles often included brief outlines of the rules. Several journalists have already become fans and will continue to watch when the league recommences. Some of the articles have fan or Twitter comments, or video clips.
During the televised broadcast of the game between Melbourne and West Coast, commentator Gerard Healy asked if someone could explain for American viewers why it is only a point when the ball hits the goal post but no point when it hits the behind post. One of his colleagues said it was just the rules and that is how it had always been. (Click on "Read more >" to see the links.)
Here are the references:
- Sports Illustrated described the round one opener between Richmond and Carlton. It mentions the huge attendance at the MCG for last year's Grand Final compared to no fans at this game. It also mentions that a few fans tried to create their own atmosphere. One photo shows two Tiger fans unfurling a Richmond flag since the Tigers dispensed with traditional hoisting of their premiership flag ahead of match.
- This one mentions Aussie Rules in passing, with some still-operational betting agencies in Nevada offering odds on international sports.
- This is a more in-depth article to get sports mad Americans to search for a way to watch footy. It gives a thumbnail list of rules and mentions the comparison to basketball. The writer also seems to have a soft spot for Sydney and mentions Buddy Franklin as well as Collingwood and Mason Cox. The article also features a few video clips.
- An Australian podcast with the hosts discussing Aussie Rules about 27 minutes into the podcast
- Another in-depth story on the sport.
- The Chicago Tribune mentions aussie rules and the fact that it is still being played. They mention Fox Soccer Plus and got a comment from one person saying at least he was watching live sports
- A few TV times from the BBC for footy on British TV and other games still being played
- An American sports journalist is now a big fan
- ESPN got into the act with one on the rules and another enthusiastic fan
- Another about round one forging ahead with match reports and a brief outline of the rules
Sources: Referenced web links
Article last changed on Sunday, March 22, 2020 - 7:24 PM EDT