Football Comparison: Australian Rules AFL vs. American NFL

Being from America, I have seen a fair share of football games, whether they are in my old high school stadium or on my TV on that special Sunday for the huge Super Bowl spectacular. Now I’m not saying that I really enjoyed them very much quite frankly just because I really never fully understood the game itself. However, I only have a hard time understanding American football, but Australian footy was much easier to process. I’ve never been much of a sports fanatic, but I do enjoy a competitive game every once in a while. While I was living in Melbourne, Australia, I got the chance to go to the Ethiad Stadium in the city center to watch an AFL game. It was Carlton vs. St. Kilda playing against each other, and while it was not a close game at all since it was predicted that Carlton would win because of their place on the AFL footy ladder compared to St. Kilda, it was still a really fun game to watch.

There are many differences between the AFL and the NFL, but the overall game is a similar idea in both countries. One difference is the ball. The AFL ball is softer than the NFL ball, which I like playing with more since it’s easier to throw and less painful if I, being the spaz I am, get hit with it because I missed the catch. Some other differences are their uniform and the type of people wearing it. In America, football players are normally bulky guys with a lot of large muscle and maybe even some fat. They wear a heavily padded jersey and pants, along with a helmet that has a cage-like design for the face to protect it as well. On the other hand, Australian footy players have a lean muscle build, instead of bulky. Their uniform is also much less protective than that of the American football players. They wear semi short shorts and a sleeveless jersey with no helmet or padding except for a mouth guard. Both the AFL and the NFL players can receive heavy injuries including concussions and broken bones that can hamper or completely end their career in a moment. However, with the much-less protected AFL players, they seem to be at risk for much more serious injuries more often than NFL players. I would naturally think that there would be worse injuries coming from the AFL than the NFL, but there really doesn’t seem like a dramatic difference between the two. Shoulders, knees, ankles, and hamstrings are very popular common injuries with both AFL and NFL players. Maybe the body type of the AFL helps with receiving fewer injuries.Quite frankly, the AFL players are more appealing to watch because of their uniform and build, which makes the game itself more attractive for even non-sports fanatics like myself. What was funny to see while watching an AFL game in Melbourne is that, while normally an American stadium is filled with a wide arrangement of colors in the stands, Melbournians truly do wear a ton of black because that’s the only color I saw when I looked out into the stands.

AFL footy is more fun to watch for me because the game is easier to understand. The field is smaller (50 yards compared to 100 yards), there are less players on the field than in the NFL, and the players are just easier to see because their uniform isn’t nearly as bulky, which can become hard to spot the ball. The AFL is a faster paced game in my eyes, which can keep it exciting the entire game.

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