A couple of years ago when I was a wee little kindergartener, all bright eyed and bushy tailed, I played under-fives soccer in Sydney. My uniform was orange, and since then I have thought of good old no-arms-rugby as just that – a preschool pre-sport. It was something that would make for a fun little kick-around before the head-pounding puberty that was rugby or ping pong. You know, real sports for real Aussies. And it was never talked about again unless you knew some kid who “played for state” and thus was a mythical beast from another time. Internationally, there was no internationally. Australia sucked at soccer because Australia didn’t play it. But things are different now.
Australia just won the Asian cup. That’s right, an Australian team actually beat teams fielded by other countries, several times in a row, at soccer! Suddenly, from out of nowhere, we are an international soccer country, which “loves soccer” and has “veteran players” revered among toddlers who adorably think that Australia has some kind of institution around soccer. How did this happen? And what does it mean for this fat and lonely island we call home?
Even though it sounds like a strange sub-Saharan ruminant, soccer, or ‘football’ as it is referred to by people whose minds have been warped by living in the wrong hemisphere, has somewhat of a decent following. It is in fact one of the most popular sports in the world and is played in probably every country except Atlantis, which has different rules and was obliterated by Brazilian warships for calling the sport “soccer” as if it were just a game and not an act better than sex with the god of sex. Its popularity has even been hinted at on Australia’s own racist spy TV station, SBS (spy bloody secretly), which keeps an eye on those shady foreigners. It calls soccer “the world game”. Unfortunately for SBS, the national broadcaster the ABC has jealously stolen SBS’s soccer coverage now that the game is of great national importance. Could its international popularity have anything to do with its increasing prevalence here? Surely not, but lets look into it anyway.
Australia, as a unified country, was founded after a bunch of whiteys took it with flags in the 1800’s. However, the only ones who did were from the “British isles” or thereabouts, because it is an island, like Britain, and thus Australia’s habitat was identical to that of British and they were able to settle down nicely. This led to sports in Australia being derived from very British sports such as rugby, cricket, Gaelic football, croquet and pub-fights. The rest of Europe played games like soccer and all competed amongst themselves and the countries they beat up around the globe. Now everyone smiles and plays soccer. Population demographics in Australia has only recently started changing as the racist powers-at-be have wanted to appear trendy and let in “multiculturals” who can clean the whitey’s clothes or something, they rationale racistly. As such, soccer players from other countries have become more prevalent in Australia.
But surely this can’t explain a sudden cultural shift. No, its time for the conspiracy theories. It’s all about the money. I know now, my Dad told me. The world game is all big bucks. As a burgeoning industry fuelled by violent, gambling punters, soccer is promoted big time by the cash cows and the media and the kids that sell peanuts at matches or whoever. Australia’s sport culture may just be corporate society’s little bitch.
However, there is still hope. The rise of soccer in Australia may be more Australian than evidence suggests. As a tiny population of people who reckon they’re hot shit, Australia is a country of sport in general. But not just any sport, sports we win at. We love sport, if we’re winning it. With a little success in soccer come the masses of southern-cross tattooed dumb-shits yelling ozyozyozyyyyyy! Because at the end of the day Australians love to spend all of our material wealth on a bunch of blokes kicking shit and each other in a field, better than other blokes do. Oath.
At least we didn’t inherit competitive bloody darts from Britain.