My roommate Palmer seriously sprained his ankle while playing basketball a few days ago. Since he is not very mobile, he, Azeroth and I all decided to hang out and watch some TV over beers at the apartment. Somehow this turned into a cultural sports exchange.
Palmer is a huge fan of Australian Rules Football, which is a “get the ball over a line” team game that looks like a mix of American football, rugby, and soccer. Palmer showed us a DVD of the 2004 Grand Final game between Palmer’s favourite team, The Port Adelaide Power, against the Brisbane Lions. It was my first time sitting to watch a full game of Aussie Rules, and it was a lot of fun! Aussie rules is a fast paced exciting game, and easy to understand for first timers.
In exchange, I pulled out my Don Cherry 16 DVD and introduced Palmer to the world of hockey. For those unaware, Don Cherry is very outspoken former hockey player and coach, who provides colour commentary between periods on Hockey Night in Canada. He also releases a DVD every year featuring the best hockey highlights from the previous season. Don Cherry DVDs have been my regular Christmas present from my mom for the past 6 or 7 years.
Palmer was impressed with the speed, violence, and skill of hockey. I was just happy to have someone to watch Don Cherry with.
Expand your horizons – get out there and watch another country’s popular sport. It’s a great way to learn about another culture, and a good excuse to have a beer.