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USA here to stay in Australian football, but I don't have to like it

4 14 0

I spent half of my life in the locker room of an AFL footy club, and over that time I observed American sporting culture seep up through the floor like Texas tea.

In the early days, the locker room was filled with chatter about the antics of Richo, Kouta and Co. But as the wheels of time turned the talk began to lean more and more towards what was happening Stateside. By the time our renovated football club had installed flat-screen televisions everywhere you looked, it was the NBA or the NFL that was in vogue.

From there, it was an unstoppable locomotive towards players and staff forming fantasy teams as the conversations were soaked up by the fallout and fortunes of the Patriots, Pistons and the Cavaliers.

Culture shift: LeBron James and the NBA have changed the conversation in AFL locker roomsCredit:AP

I sat back, unable to contribute much. Sometimes I would stir the pot by injecting that LeBron James was a poor man’s Dominique Wilkins, let alone a challenger to MJ’s GOAT status. But that was just a petty attempt to be a part of the banter. I often found myself thinking more deeply about how this cultural shift within the AFL playing ranks would manifest itself on the game and the league over time.

Soon enough, free agency was green-lit by........

© The Age