I love to pick up a program or scorecard at sporing events. I've been doing it ever since I was a kid and I learned how to keep score at baseball games. So when Inky and I went to a couple of Aussie Rules games during our trip to Oz last year, I had to pick up their program: The AFL Record.
The Record is a weekly magazine that is sold at all 8 games each and every week. There is standard content that is printed for each week, including feature stories, looks back on the history of the game and even fantasy footy tips. Then, there is the center portion that is specific to the game you are at. That section includes club records, history, stats and rosters for each of the sides you will be seeing at the ground on that day.
I'm quite sure that hundreds of copies of the Record end up in the bin at the end of each game. Some probably get left on the tram while still more make it home only to be throw away after a week or two. Not mine. I carried the two copies of the Record I picked up all the way back to the US. Once home, Inky and I read through them over and over again, since they represent our only tangible Footy media. For well over a year now, my two copies of the Record have stayed in high rotation in my WC reading repature.
I've learned tons of info about the four teams we saw live on that trip. Interesting nuggets include: who their all time goal leaders are, who they've sent to the Hall of Fame and when they won titles. More that that, however, I've had a bona fide piece of the Aussie football experience in my hands, and that has made me happy. I feel the same way about the countless NFL, MLB and College programs I've collected over the years, since each one of them comes with a story and a memory. Of course, I can go to an O's game, or a Redskins game again without too much trouble. My next Geelong game is a bit harder to pull off, however.
So, until the next time I'll just have to be content with my imported, and now out of date, copies of the Record. Thankfully, they've just started publishing it on-line, so that will have to tide me over till the next time I can hand over two gold $2 coins for the real thing.