Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Dreamtime at the G

Round 10 of the AFL season is the Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round, where the league raises awareness of Aboriginal culture in Australia. The term 'indigenous' refers to the people already living in Australia in the late 1700s when the British started colonizing. The history between settlers and Aborigines has often been unpleasant, so this is a great chance to bring people together and bring about a deeper knowledge and understanding. Doug Nicholls was a prominent Aboriginal Australian who played for the old Fitzroy Football Club in the 1930s.
Flag of the Aboriginal peoples of Australia. 

Additionally, each AFL team wears specially designed guernseys to commemorate the week.

The 'Dreamtime at the G' match is the highlight of the round, played at the end of Reconciliation Week by Essendon and Richmond each year since 2005. The two sides were chosen because their combined team colors constitute the colors of the Australian Aboriginal flag. Both sides wear black jumpers. Richmond adds a gold sash, Essendon a red one. There were two groups of Aborigines who performed ritual dances prior to the start of the game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, known as 'the G' by the locals.

Richmond seems to be getting things turned around a bit, picking up their third straight win with their victory over the Bombers.

My other match of the week was North Melbourne/Sydney. One old AFL memory I have is of John Longmire playing for the Kangaroos many years ago. He now wears the red and the white of Sydney as their head coach. The Swans ended North's undefeated run to start the season, but the Roos are still a game ahead of Sydney, and two games ahead of five other teams that are tied for third position on the ladder.

On tap for week 11-- another tough test for Richmond as they play North Melbourne. I'll also check out Port Adelaide at Collingwood. Interesting fact: Mason Cox played college basketball at Oklahoma State and is getting minutes with the Magpies. We'll talk about him more next week.

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