Where no American has gone before

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By AllSports, AllSports is a Roar Rookie

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    So you have an opportunity to play a code of football at the highest level and yet you have so many questions.

    Well, you can be expected to run a half marathon over the course of the game, play on a field that is twice as long and three times wider than any NFL field has to offer and yet has more in common with basketball than American football.

    You’ll require a nutritionist simply to get you through the game and a heightened level of awareness, as no offside rule exists.

    Scoring is the most frenetic of all of the football codes that any country has to offer. Time outs only occur when players are removed from the field by a stretcher and the crowd only ever dares to leave their seat at the end of each quarter break. The one fact that you have the most trouble with is the size of the playing field. You will take photos and tweet about it. It’s just enormous.

    The vast majority of the 310 million born and bred sporting mad people that populate your country have never heard of this code and not one of them has played at the top level.

    Of the 229,000 people that populate your home city, not one person you know has ever heard of it, with YouTube your only friend.

    And yet it has been around since 1858. To the Americans who have no idea, they will call it rugby. To those who know a little, they will call it Aussie rules. To Australians, it’s simply known as footy.

    While the five years of college have been good to you, things haven’t gone the way you expected.

    But opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat.

    So when your agent calls with this bizarre opportunity you grab it with both hands. A corporate job and the life as Mr nine to five will be there for life but this small window to create history and become the first American to do so is yours for the taking.

    This is the true story of a 24-year-old American by the name of Eric Wallace. Today it become official, he is now in the hot seat to become the first born and bred American to play in the Australian Football League.

    The North Melbourne football club have provided him with this opportunity. Finally, the Roos have stepped up to take on the role of building an international recruit. If Eric had been drafted by the Sydney Swans his debut would have been a formality.

    If I had to choose one other club that is capable of making this work, I would have said the Kangaroos. I say this for two reasons. First, Eric is already patient, honest, fair and loyal. This is the shinboner spirit and is what the Kangaroos expect of their players.

    This is a fantastic fit and will be an awesome story. Secondly, Brad Scott is a no nonsense coach who wouldn’t take on a player unless he knew it was going to work. Already it has given the Kangaroos a lot of publicity and once Eric plays his first senior game, I have no doubt the jumpers will be flying off the shelf in the USA and it will increase the North Melbourne global fan-base.

    And finally, Eric becoming the first American to do something, there will have to be a movie about it at some stage. I’m not sure who would play Eric, but I’m thinking Tom Cruise with some shoe lifts would be a good fit for Brad Scott.

    To Eric I say good luck mate. If they don’t make a movie about you, you may just open the flood gates for more young basketballers who want a different path.

    Start a kicking program for American High Schoolers, you could make a fortune.

    This video could win $10,000!

    It's one of the favourites to take out the Club Roar most popular video award on Monday!

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    The Crowd Says (160)

    • December 21st 2012 @ 4:41pm
      Brewski said | December 21st 2012 @ 4:41pm | ! Report

      Dikembe Mutombo never picked up a basketball till his late teens ……

      Career history
      1991–1996 Denver Nuggets
      1996–2001 Atlanta Hawks
      2001–2002 Philadelphia 76ers
      2002–2003 New Jersey Nets
      2003–2004 New York Knicks
      2004–2009 Houston Rockets
      Career highlights and awards
      4× NBA Defensive Player of the Year (1995, 1997–1998, 2001)
      8× NBA All-Star (1992, 1995–1998, 2000–2002)
      2× NBA rebounding champion (2000-2001)
      3× NBA blocks leader (1994-1996)
      All-NBA Second Team (2001)
      2× All-NBA Third Team (1998, 2002)
      3× NBA All-Defensive First Team (1997–1998, 2001)
      3× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (1995, 1999, 2003)
      NBA All-Rookie First Team (1992)
      2× J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award (2001, 2009)

      Points 11,729 (9.8 ppg)
      Rebounds 12,359 (10.3 rpg)
      Blocks 3,289 (2.8 bpg)

    • December 21st 2012 @ 6:49pm
      Adam Brown said | December 21st 2012 @ 6:49pm | ! Report

      Dean Brogan actually won a NBL title BEFORE playing AFL.. admittedly he played both sports growing up.. but surely big E would be chatting to him regularly

      • December 21st 2012 @ 7:06pm
        AllSports said | December 21st 2012 @ 7:06pm | ! Report

        I agree. I would put my money on a basketballer before Mike Pyke. And Mike is now a great player. Surely the Big E can be even bigger.

        • December 21st 2012 @ 10:18pm
          Floyd Calhoun said | December 21st 2012 @ 10:18pm | ! Report

          Mike Pyke is now a ‘great’?!! On a slightly different, but related topic, anybody remember Sanford Wheeler who played for the Swans when they were bad? Sanford wasn’t very good. No offense, but that’s how it was.

          • December 21st 2012 @ 11:36pm
            AllSports said | December 21st 2012 @ 11:36pm | ! Report

            Ok, maybe I should have said that he is a good player who had a great game in the GF. Surely you can’t disagree on that.

    • December 21st 2012 @ 11:13pm
      Brewski said | December 21st 2012 @ 11:13pm | ! Report

      I am sure Mike Pyke thinks he is pretty good !!, and good for him, but as Jack Dyer would say …. Pyke is a good ordinary footballer.

      • December 21st 2012 @ 11:51pm
        Floyd Calhoun said | December 21st 2012 @ 11:51pm | ! Report

        I think Jack Dyer also said ; ‘The longer the game goes on, the big blokes don’t any shorter’. Or something like that. Good on Pykey I say. What say you Harry?

        • December 22nd 2012 @ 12:07pm
          Harry said | December 22nd 2012 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

          I think it is great that Pykey can convert his limited Rugby skills into an elite AFL playing premiership winner. There must be many, many more moderate athletes out there who can excel at Aussie Rules. I applaud the AFL for giving these poor devils a chance to play professional sport.

          As for Brewski: I don’t hover around my computer after midnight sweating on every post made on The Roar. I actually have something called a LIFE, you might want to try it sometime. As for now I’m off to do that other thing called WORK.

          • December 22nd 2012 @ 7:59pm
            GoGWS said | December 22nd 2012 @ 7:59pm | ! Report

            Hold your (feigned) applause for the AFL…please. You make it sound like these ‘poor devils’ make up a large proportion of players…how many converts are in AFL squads? Half a dozen players out of 18 teams of 38 players per team, i.e not even 1%? That my guess….

            This is an interesting and newsworthy piece on Wallace…and as interesting as it is, it was also very predictable that some people on these forums would jump on and trot out the tired old line that anyone can play in the AFL all the while ignoring ample evidence that ALL recent converts have in fact struggled, and none have excelled…

    • December 22nd 2012 @ 12:10am
      Brewski said | December 22nd 2012 @ 12:10am | ! Report

      @ Floyd, Harry will be back, he just has some unresolved issues, the main one’s being , he is just constantly confused and wrong. 🙂

      Got some Dyerisms, some which are quite funny.

      “He keeps getting where the ball aint”

      “I won’t say anything in case I say something.”

      “Bartlett’s older than he’s ever been before.” (1980).

      “Johnston missed one from the 10 yard square – it was impossible to miss that.” (1981).

      “The only way to tackle Justin Madden. I don’t know.” (1981).

      “Henshaw passes the ball to Kelly and Kelly gives a Henshaw to Glendinning.” (1982).

      “That’s the beauty of being small – your hands are close to your feet.” (1982).

      “There weren’t too many best mans on the ground.” (1982).

      “He’s tuckled strongly by Tack.” (1983).

      “He sets himself for a high mark – actually, that was a low high mark.” (1983).

      “He’s put the game beyond result.” (1983).

      “Bamblett made a great debut last week, and an even better one today.” (1983)

      “The ball goes to Marceesie … Marcheson … McKann, er …” before co commentator Ian Major interjected: “Actually, Jack I don’t think Marchesani was in that passage of play.” (1981).

      Dyer once observed a player was “carrying a bit of a knee” and noted that “They’ve got a couple of good players in Harvey”.

      And then there was “a rather difficult goal kicked very easily”.

      “Diamond Creek was a long way away once.”

      “Mark Lee’s long arms reaching up like giant testicles.”

      “Flanagan’s trying to use some pace that he hasn’t got.”

      “They should have kicked 12 goals in that third quarter because they were right on top and hardly doing a thing right.”

      “The goal posts are moving so fast I can’t keep up with the play.”

      And once, on the long-running Sunday television show World Of Sport, Dyer declared that Fitzroy had “copulated to the opposition”.

      • December 22nd 2012 @ 12:41am
        Floyd Calhoun said | December 22nd 2012 @ 12:41am | ! Report

        And, speaking at an event one night when looking back at his career; ‘ When I was a young bloke from Yarra Glen starting out on a football career with Richmond, I never planned to be a champion player, a living legend of the game, and a household name……………………………………………it all just turned out that way’. All done with humor of course. I think he also said that he hated Collingwood so much, he refused to watch a black & white TV. Corny, but good. You had to be there. Mid seventies.

    • December 22nd 2012 @ 9:31am
      Shae McNamara said | December 22nd 2012 @ 9:31am | ! Report

      You’ve never heard of me??? Get your facts right my man! Also, we have another cat who got picked up 8 months ago…Alex Sterling! Look him up! (Swans). Check out my site. All the best and no doubt you’ll be seeing me continuing doing promotional work for the AFL for the states, if you haven’t seen it already…oh yeah, you didn’t!

      Shae

      • December 22nd 2012 @ 12:00pm
        AllSports said | December 22nd 2012 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

        Shae, I actually mentioned you in the origional version of this article. They have taken it out for some reason. Just for you Shae, this is they cut out, . “To the American that was almost the one, Shae McNamara. Start a kicking program for American High Schoolers, you could make a fortune. ”
        And just a side note Alex Starling was cut from the Swans, he has injury troubles. I’m hoping he makes a come back at some point. I’m hoping they don’t censor this comment.

    • December 22nd 2012 @ 2:22pm
      Brewski said | December 22nd 2012 @ 2:22pm | ! Report

      Harry said |
      As for Brewski: I don’t hover around my computer after midnight sweating on every post made on The Roar. I actually have something called a LIFE, you might want to try it sometime. As for now I’m off to do that other thing called WORK.

      You make plenty of assumptions, and to a tee, your wrong, your first one is that AFL is so easy to play, that everyone can do it, i proved that argument comprehensively wrong and then as usual you skulk off

      Secondly you wrongly assume that everyone is on the same time frame as you (probably Eastern states DST), therefore when we were having our little discussion last night i was probably 3 hours behind you in the West, so it was actually you up very late posting. 🙂

      Thirdly, come back any time to discuss a sport that you seriously don’t like, i am more than happy to talk about a sport i like, and then we can work out who is wasting their time.

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