18 June 2006


Normally, soccer is about as popular here as in America. It's all right for kids, but real men play rugby, AFL and cricket. But with Australia qualifying for the World Cup for the first time in thirty two years, it's huge. Of course, it also helps that Sydney has a large number of international residents who are following their home countries. But this past week, everyone has been bleary-eyed from staying up way too late to watch a soccer match. I'm expecting a higher than usual number of absences tomorrow due to the Socceroos 2:00 AM game versus Brazil tonight. While trying to find a pub to watch Game Four of the NBA Finals Friday night, I kept hearing "What time is the game over? Soccer goes on at 10:30." The Socceroos weren't even playing. Movie theatres are charging five bucks to watch games on movie screens with a couple hundred other fans and they're packed.
Yes, the team name is the Socceroos. Most national teams here have a nickname. A full list can be found here, but a list of notables would include the Wallabies (rugby union), Wheelabies (wheelchair rugby), Matildas (women's soccer, from Waltzing Matilda), and the Mighty Roos (ice hockey (?!?)). I can't think of a nickname for any American national teams, largely because we don't get too involved in international competition. I find this unfortunate--I've enjoyed international comps for rugby and cricket in our time here. There has been a push to rename the Socceroos, however, due to the effort to start calling the sport "football" like the majority of the world. There is similar resistance to this here that is found in the US since people informally refer to rugby and AFL as football or footy. If you have any suggestions, leave a comment--I'll pass it on.


Heather said...

You haven't updated your blog in an eternity.

Heather said...

And by the way, the Socceroos were robbed.