I'm a self-confessed sports nerd. I always have been and probably always will be. As a kid whose eagerness far exceeded talent, I engineered fictitious cricket, Australian Rules Football, soccer, basketball and other competitions solo and with friends in the backyard. I built stadiums out of lego (which came second only to airports on my list of absolute favourite things to make). Then in my teenage years I designed all manner of customised competitions in far too many computer sports games to name.
As an adult, a few years ago I felt I needed to know a bit more about Microsoft Excel to help me in a slight change of job roles. The only way I could give myself the motivation to really follow through? Well, old interests and habits die hard. Though the only thing more geeky than creating an Excel based fictional sporting competition? Creating two Excel based fictional sporting competitions. But on the other hand, I've never understood the appeal of Star Wars, so maybe these things even out.
There is also, I have realised, the fact that the older I get the more disillusioned I seem to have become with the ever-spiralling financial figures that really drive the sports I have followed. It feels somehow liberating to create something of my own based on pure probability, with no overbearing mega-rich owners, salary cap rorting, match fixing or drug scandals involved.
I'm no artist or graphic designer, so while designing fictional team nicknames, mascots, emblems and uniforms certainly appears to appeal to some people, I'm more interested in watching eras unfold in league ladders and tables. Teams that grow from humble beginnings to become powerhouses, teams whose glory days fade all too quickly into the distant past and, perhaps most of all, teams involved in elite competitions that geographically represent where I grew up (something that really didn't happen so much in real life).
The truly national football league that Australia has never had, starting at the time of Federation in 1901. A fictional competition inspired by the pyramid structure of European football/soccer leagues.
Fifty universities compete in five conferences across the entire Oceania region, culminating in a sixteen team finals series. A fictional competition inspired by the NCAA college sporting system in the United States.