American Football in Australia

In August this year, my family and I travelled to Sydney, Australia to watch a game of American College Football (we bought tickets for my brothers Christmas present as he plays gridiron here in Canberra and loves it).

Us Kids at the Game
Us Kids at the Game

We drove two cars up; which is about a six hour round trip. Even though Canberra is that capital of Australia, we are tiny compared to Sydney (and basically every other Australian capital). We knew when we hit Sydney as the traffic become quite painful as we attempted to get into Sydney Olympic Park (Sydney hosted the Olympics back in 2000) to watch the game.

The Game
The Game

Once we got into the stadium, the crowd was going off! The game was between the University of California Golden Bears and the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors. Our entire family was cheering for the Rainbow Warriors! Woo!

The Marching Bands
The Marching Bands

Now, I have never watched a game of American Football on TV, not even the Super Bowl (I will get there one day) so this entire show was quite new to me and so very different! First up was the battle of the marching bands. They were so great to watch the formations as they moved closer together and how they integrated into one all while playing catchy music! Just before kickoff, they also played the American National Anthem.

The American National Anthem being performed
The American National Anthem being performed

I am use to watching Rugby League/Union or Australian Football so when the two teams ran out onto the field I was gobsmacked at how many people are on the team!! The players just kept running out!

Cheerleaders
Cheerleaders

While the two teams battled it out on the field the cheerleaders were performing flips and chants from the sideline. The stamina these guys must have to continuously perform is quite impressive. There was also a random guy in a bear suit running around…

Dancers during the Half Time Show
Dancers during the Half Time Show

The half time show was a bunch of talented dancers that had people dressed in giant kangaroo suits jumping around the place.  American Football really knows how to put on a show!

Jumping Kangaroo!
Jumping Kangaroo!

One of the highlights was when the Bears got a touchdown they would fire a cannon. Even though they put a warning up on the big screens it still scared my poor mum every time! One of our favourite things to do is to scare our mumma bear (eg hiding behind a door and popping out when she walks past), I guess us kids are just kind of cruel… So we would always watch her with anticipation of her reaction. Eventually she caught on and would have this smug look on her face to just say ‘that cannon doesn’t scare me!’

Warnings about the Cal Cannon!
Warnings about the Cal Cannon!

There was even a marriage proposal at the game!

Proposal
Proposal

Another highlight was the metre long hotdogs! They were so delicious and a great novelty!

Deliciousness!
Deliciousness!

The end score of the game was 51-31 to California with a total of 61,247 Australians turning up to watch the game. I would hope that this becomes an annual event and I will gladly travel up to Sydney to watch another American College Football game.

Hawaii Flag
Hawaii Flag
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28 Comments

  • Angie (FeetDoTravel)

    September 17, 2016

    I love that you are up for watching a sport live when you have never even seen it on TV – because that’s exactly what I did when I went to watch Brisbane Lions v Sydney Swans AFL! I had no idea what was going on but somehow it’s still fun to be a part of the crowd isn’t it! Love those giant hot dogs man – yummm! Thanks for sharing your fun family day out with us!

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      September 24, 2016

      Haha, yeah it was good fun watching a sport I didn’t know much about. AFL isn’t the easiest game to understand either so that could have been quite interesting 😉 The giant hot dog was delicious!! Thanks for the comment.

  • Garth

    September 17, 2016

    Looks and sounds like you had a blast!

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      September 24, 2016

      It was a blast. Thank you for your comment!

  • Lisa

    September 18, 2016

    Glad you enjoyed the fotball game. Here in the states people are very passionate about the game. Then theres the beer & hotdogs !

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      September 24, 2016

      Thank you for the comment. I can’t say no to beers and hotdogs so I think I will fit in quite well to the crowd watching the game!

  • Jem

    September 18, 2016

    Such an awesome experience to watch a game in a big stadium. Hope you had fun.

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      September 24, 2016

      Thank you for the comment. It really was an amazing experience!

  • Paul

    September 18, 2016

    We love watching different sporting events when we travel, we watched a baseball game in both New York and Tokyo and loved them both, but we have never watched an American football game before but would definitely love to one day!

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      September 24, 2016

      Thank you for the comment. I haven’t watched a baseball game before so I guess that one will be the next one on the list.

  • Punita Malhotra

    September 18, 2016

    Live football…wow, what a treat it must have been. Several memorable moments and great excitement of being in the midst of all the action!

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      September 24, 2016

      Thank you for the comment. It was a real treat being in the middle of all of this.I really did enjoy it 🙂

  • Travel Lexx

    September 18, 2016

    NFL is very popular in the UK and there are a number of regular-season games held in London every year. Didn’t realise there was as much demand for American Football in Australia. I am guessing Jarryd Hayne’s stint in the States helped raise its profile too. Thanks for sharing!

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      September 24, 2016

      I didn’t realise that the NFL was so popular in the UK. Haha, I was wondering if someone was going to mention Jarryd Hayne!! I think you may be right -I did see his NFL shirt being worn a fair bit!!

  • Karla at GlobalETA

    September 19, 2016

    American Football is super fun and I am lucky to live in a state with one of the best teams in the NFL – the Green Bay Packers! Glad you got to have this experience and share it with uss!

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      September 24, 2016

      I would really like to experience more NFL games- I might have to check out the Green Bay Packers!

  • Barry

    September 19, 2016

    Interesting – I never knew there was any American football game played Australia. Having said that I went to watch Tottenham Hotspur play football at the Melbourne cricket grown a couple of months ago…

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      September 24, 2016

      I didn’t realise that the Tottenham Hotspur was at the MCG! Well there you go. They are looking at making the game an annual event 🙂

  • Ferna

    September 19, 2016

    I have no idea how to finish that long meter hotdog. that must be a lot! I’m not familiar with this kind of game, but reading what you share here is giving me an idea how it looks like.

    All The best!

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      September 24, 2016

      Thanks for the comment. I may have had a little bit of assistance in finishing that hotdog!!

  • Evan Kristine

    September 19, 2016

    Oh sweet! It must have been quite an experience. I would also want to experience super bowl!

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      September 24, 2016

      Thank you for the comment. Maybe one day we will get to experience the super bowl!

  • Jem

    September 19, 2016

    Cool! I have never watched football in a stadium. Must be so exciting.

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      September 24, 2016

      Thanks for the comment. It was great fun. I would highly recommend going to the football in a stadium.

  • Carol Colborn

    September 19, 2016

    Meter-long hot dogs! Must have been such a great experience…American college football in Australia!

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      September 24, 2016

      It was an intense hot dog haha. It was great fun. Thanks for the comment.

  • Castaway with Crystal

    September 20, 2016

    Looks like a real fun day! Great post 🙂

    Crystal recently posted… 10 of the Dumbest Tourists Ever!

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      September 24, 2016

      It was a great day. Thanks for the comment.

Comments are closed.