7 August 1858: The First Game of Australian Rules Football is played.
Victoria’s Cricket Captain, Tom Wills, is credited as the main inventor, developer and driver of the Australian Game. (He wanted something to keep the cricketers fit during the winter off-season).
On 7 August 1858, the first ever recorded match was played between Melbourne Grammar School and Scotch College, held (appropriately) at the Richmond Paddock.
The game ended in a draw (a goal apiece).
One hundred and fifteen years later, of course, the ne plus ultra of the sport would play out in Adelaide…
It has become something of a money-drenched circus, thanks to Pay-TV and the almighty advertising dollar, but, for those who don’t know the game, it is still very beautiful – chaotic, fast, spectacular, extremely demanding, and the rules feature a lot of grey areas. Also, it can get a little rough. Bite on this example from the 1986 South Australian Grand Final between Glenelg and North Adelaide…
In L.A. recently, in a bar, TVC overheard two lads from Newcastle scoffing at the local soccer on TV. “I suppose you lads think Newcastle United could take this lot with one hand behind their backs?” quoth Peter. They answered in the affirmative. One of them, curious, asked about football in Australia, which prompted his mate to say: “They play a different game down there.” “What ‘s it like?” his friend asked.
“Utter carnage,” he replied.