I’ve got! I’ve got!

I’m staring into the face if a 250 lb pound man. He’s running toward me at top speed. He wiggles to the left, then the right really fast but I just stand there and stare back. Touch. He has to stop and walk over the ball. I run backwards 10 meters thinking to myself, those shorts are pretty short for a big scary man.

This is my Monday night routine for the next 17 weeks. We’re the Milton Magic, a mixed touch rugby (football) team. I’m in it for the cute jerseys. Maybe the boys too. Also was feeling pressure to obtain that Australian hobby I’ve been promising myself and I’ve just hit my 6 month mark so needed to get cracking. Oh, and frankly, it’s fun!

I’ve got ponytail! I’ve got yellow shorts! I’ve got the big one? The scary looking one? No, you can’t say that, keep it polite when you’re screaming who you’re covering while running around like maniacs for quick 20 minute halves.

We’ve played 3 games to date and haven’t won one yet, but I swear we’re getting better. I haven’t scored a try aka goal and don’t see that in my near future, however I feel proud of learning a new sport and getting out there all team spirit and rah rah. Plus, it was a good excuse to buy new pair of sneakers from the Adidas store. Fellow Americans – I call to you – are you aware that we are apparently the only people in the world who pronounce Adidas as Uh-dee-dis as opposed to Ah-de-dahs? Humph, thanks for making me the laughing stock English teacher!

I would love to explain all the rules but will spare you the ignorance as well as love to give you the fine details of the differences between rugby league, rugby union, Aussie rules, and touch – can you believe there are so many types of rugby here! However, frankly, my eyes only see big men vs. lean men, touches vs. tackles, kicks vs. backwards throws etc. I’d say the hardest part for me is remembering to run backwards, not forwards! Whew.

Since I’m in the wild world of sports I’d also like to comment on my attendance at the Brisbane Bandits vs. Sydney Blue Sox in the ABL (Australian Baseball League) – what a joke. Played in Brissy at the RNA Show Grounds turned baseball diamond, the seats were empty, the food stalls Japanese, and the commentators American. Oh the classic American pastime brought a slight sense of reminisce but only a slight. For this one I was in it for the beer. And maybe the boys again. I’ll give the league credit for trying though. Between each pitch a small clip of the Cha Cha Cha slide “everybody clap your hands” was on repeat. They must have known it’s my classic dance party jam.

And you wonder why I was so bitter at being dubbed Sporty Spice when portraying members of the iconic group in our youth.

The true Brisbane Bandits