Nashville Kangaroos believe 'pads' is a 4-letter word

No pads. No helmets. No problem.

Australia Rules Football, or “footy” as it is more commonly referred to, is a game that’s been played for more than 150 years in Australia and has found a welcoming home in Nashville and other cities across the United States.

The Nashville Kangaroos are one of the six founding teams of the United States Australian Football League in 1997. Fifteen years later, the league has grown to 44 teams nationwide.

The Kangaroos are having one of their best seasons, winning the John Harrell Memorial Cup in Louisville in April and the Kookaburras in the Down Under Fest Footy All-Stars Cup in Georgia in May.

“We grow up playing footy. That’s just what we do,” Kangaroos first-year coach/player Clint Milner said. Milner moved to Nashville from Australia in April 2011. He said once he heard about the Kangaroos, he had to get involved. “It’s just a great way to make friends,” Milner said.

Twelve of the 38 Kangaroos are from Australia.

“You can tell just by watching them play which ones grew up playing,” Kangaroo defenseman David Harris said.

Harris, who is in his second year with the team, is a legal assistant in Nashville when he isn’t “crushing people who get close to the goal.”

“I always loved American football. I had a buddy who was on the team, and he basically told me that I was a wuss if I didn’t come out to play,” Harris said.

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