10 March 2006

Footy Season

National Rugby League began their season last night. I'm sure the questions comparing rugby to American football will ramp up at school again now. I'll post my opinion on that at a later date. For now, there are two interesting things regarding sport here I want to bring to your attention.
The first is on the field signage. In America, it has become common in the past few years to digitally place ads on the field for the TV broadcast. These are usually done in such a way as to look authentic. I am thinking of flags on the bottom of the pool during the summer olympics, or ads placed in such a way as to appear flat on the ground or the wall of a field. Here, Australians do the opposite. They paint real ads, but do it in such a was as to appear square from the camera's point of view. On the field, the images appear stretched out and larger at the top, but from the camera's point of view, they appear square on your TV. In a rugby game last night, they even had a Diet Coke ad that appeared to be standing upright on the goal line, complete with dark green area behind it for a shadow effect. To sum up: the US creates artifical ads that appear real, and AU creates real ads that appear artificial.
The second sports related issue to come up here is uniform numbers. The Waratahs, New South Wales Rugby Union team, had planned to wear their initials rather than numbers on the back of their jerseys. This idea was shot down, but you can read the story and see a photo here. I find it interesting that numbers, not initials, are still on the shorts. I'm not sure what I think about this. At first I liked it, but the more I think about it, I'm glad they aren't doing it. It is a novel idea, but I believe in Number Identity. 23 will always be Michael Jordan, 99 will always be Gretzky, 42 is Jackie Robinson. For Cowboy fans, 8 will always be Troy Aikman. For Texas fans, 10 is Vince Young (and, unfortunately, it might be his draft position (or lower) if he doesn't get his act together.) Personally, I'm a 24. It's who I am.
To end, I'll address the question you are all asking: What is a Waratah? Our rugby union team is named for a flower.

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