Friday, September 10, 2010

Listening to and reading about footy

I woke up a half hour earlier than usual this morning. I had to -- the GOLD COAST TITANS open the NATIONAL RUGBY LEAGUE footy finals against the NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS, and the match coverage is available via 2GB 873 online.
I can't miss the finals, now that I have become exposed to what league fans call "THE GREATEST GAME OF ALL."

One of my prized acquisitions during my recent SYDNEY trip was "THE HISTORY OF RUGBY LEAGUE CLUBS," a 448-page tome devoted to the story of Australian rugby league by Ian Collis and Alan Whiticker.

Thus far, I have read the comprehensive histories of the "foundation" clubs -- those that got their start in opening year 1908 -- the Sydney (Eastern Suburbs) Roosters, the South Sydney Rabbitohs, the Western Suburbs Magpies, the Balmain Tigers (now merged with Western Suburbs to become my favorite club, the WESTS TIGERS), the North Sydney Bears and the Newtown Bluebags/Jets.

The story of the clubs also provides insight into the history of Sydney, with the impact of the World Wars, legalized gambling, immigration and gentrification changing the game as much as they changed the city.

Who knew a book about a simple, ruthless game could provide such depth?


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