The Women's World Cup in Australia (and NZ) over the last few weeks has inspired a nation! Television ratings records have been smashed as Australians have truly got behind the Matildas, the Australian women's national team, as they continue to defy expectations and are about to face England in the semi-final on Wednesday night.
Here in Canberra, where I am nowadays, the only matches on free-to-air TV have been the Aussie ones. News reports at first didn't even bother to mention that other countries might be involved in the World Cup. It was all just Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi. errgghhh
But the crowds have been big and as we now hit the serious end of the tournament pretty much all Australians have caught the Matildas bug - including those who normally hate "soccer".
"Its just sheilas playing wogball"*
The big wigs in charge of Aussie Rules have known for years that the World Cup was on... but they never bothered to change their own schedules. With just a couple of days left before the Round of 16 match against France they finally understood that all Australian sports fans were invested in the Matildas and they asked for a feed to the match to be played in stadiums where their games were being played.
All sorts of silly scenes at AFL matches... At one match there were boos from the crowd as the feed of the football match was cut as the Aussie Rules players ran onto the field. At others the penalty shootout coincided with a break in play and huge roars went out around grounds as Cortnee Vine scored the winning penalty.
Not everyone though got to see the match. It didn't really matter though as all that mattered was the spirit and the fact we won!
Former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce managed to watch the match in a pub in the rural town of Walcha.
Problem was, the whole pub were watching a replay of a friendly match from a month ago. At least we won.
Of course, Barnaby and all of his mates at the Commercial Hotel in Walcha aren't the first to watch a repeat and have no idea... Let me hand over to Desert Kanka Murat from many many moons ago.
Right then. Bring on England!
* Not necessarily a quote from an Aussie Rules big wig... but I wouldn't be surprised if this is exactly what was said.