This utterly confused Australian man is the world’s best NFL writer

Tuesday September 15th, 2015

Former Australian rugby league star Jarryd Hayne made his NFL debut for the 49ers on Monday and thank god we had an Australian there to help us make sense of it all. 

The Guardian assigned Sydney-based freelancer Matt Cleary to live-blog the game from Levi’s Stadium. “I don’t admit to knowing a motherlode about American football,” Clearly admitted at the start. Good, because his ignorance made for a delightful reading experience. It was a million times more enjoyable than the typical American hot takes. Please, please read the whole thing.

Cleary was in awe of the size of the players: “Vikings ... throw to Ellison in the middle, another massive human, he grasses it. Straight at his chest. Dropped it colder than tea.”

Watch: Jarryd Hayne fumbles on first NFL touch​

He took a few jabs at the officials: “[T]he refs are talking to each other, there’s forty of them, it’s a committee meeting.”

It wasn’t long before Americans started taking notice. 

• ​OBJ’s new haircut is as meme-worthy as Antonio Brown’s​

Cleary kept going on like this all night, oblivious to the particulars of what he was seeing but nonetheless extraordinarily enthusiastic. 

Our own Robert Klemko came up with a brilliant idea, which we totally support.

Come on. Wouldn’t you read a weekly column on The MMQB from Matt Cleary?

- Dan Gartland

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.