Australia, Ireland, US

Australia is similar to the US in that unlike the rest of the world, over the past two centuries it developed its own sports and soccer did not become one of most popular.  If you look at the attendeance figures here, you see that the most popular Australian sports are:

  1. Australian Football (#1 by far, doubling the attendance of #2)
  2. Rugby
  3. Horse Raising
  4. Soccer

Here’s Ireland:

  1. Gaelic Football
  2. Hurling
  3. Soccer
  4. Rugby

Here’s the United States:

  1. American Football
  2. Baseball
  3. Basketball
  4. Hockey
  5. Soccer

It’s fascinating how all three countries developed their own form of football different from that of the “association football” that arose from England (the “soc” in association is where the word soccer comes from).  It can’t be coincidental that all three countries are former colonies of England.

By the way, here is what Gaelic football looks like, and here is hurling.  They seem to me to be the exact same thing, except where Gaelic football is played with a regular round ball, hurling it played with a small ball and stick.  And here is Australian Rules Football.  All three look like a lot of fun, if a bit rough-and-tumble for my taste.

 

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