WHAT DOES LOVE MEAN TO A MAN?
How good – to have the footy back!!
Life has just not been the same without footy. I know I speak for many of us when I say I have really missed getting my weekly fix. It’s been quite weird not being able to watch the footy every week. I am a rugby league supporter through & through. I know there are many more AFL supporters south of the border hanging for their game to relaunch as well. For those diehard supporters, the countdown is on again. My beloved Parramatta EELS play the Brisbane BRONCOS first up so at least I won’t have to wait as long as many other supporters to watch their team finally get back on the field. There has been a bit of negative news around saying that the competition won’t be as good this year and that the season is a bit of a write-off. I tend to disagree and believe that once it kicks off again it will be game-on & everyone will be back into it. I think it will be even better knowing that the season extends into late October and the State of Origin is now the climax of the season in November.
Rugby league plays a huge part in a lot of people’s lives. Being a passionate supporter gives those cold months of the year some major ups and downs. If your team plays on a Friday night, the result can determine whether you have a good weekend or not. Many passionate supporters take the results of football matches so personally, it affects them emotionally. In a way, they literally feel the big hits and collisions, they tiptoe down the sideline at pace avoiding the line, they throw that flick pass to their outside back, they dive in the corner to score that try. They are so tense for those 80 minutes every week, cheering the high moments and cursing the low ones. The adrenalin & emotion that runs through their body is ridiculous. Not a lot of other things in life give you the same feelings and that is why we become addicted to it and enjoy it so much.
If your team gets beaten a couple of weeks in a row, the day after your latest defeat you are still kicking stones, the following day you have written them off for the season, you have told everyone you know including yourself that they are hopeless, the coach needs to be sacked and that half the team should be in reserve grade. As we get closer to the next game day you have already started to convince yourself that they will play better this week, the coach would have given all the players a good kick up the “REER ENDZ” and that they are a good chance to win this game if they all play at their best. If they win the game, you are back telling everyone how good your team is and why they can win the competition. You see, it’s the ebbs and flows of the game, whether they be from week to week or the momentum changes that happen in an individual game. That is where the addiction lies, that is what creates the passion.
The history of Rugby League is so important for a supporter as well. Rugby league has an amazing history. Most supporters will know a fair bit about the history of the club they support. In my case, the things that I can recollect about Parramatta are more familiar than a lot of other things that have occurred in my life. The 1980s are still a highlight for any EELS fan. Both them & the Canterbury BULLDOGS were the best teams in the 1980s. I can still name the teams that played in the winning grand finals of 81,82,83 & 86. I remember crying at a 6-years-old when were beaten by the St.George Dragons in 1977, the famous replayed Grand Final. Supporting a football team becomes an important part of your life, you miss it in the off-season and no matter how good or bad your team performed the previous season you can't wait for it to begin again.
How we start following a team can vary from person to person. A lot of us start supporting a particular team from a young age. It might have been a particular player that you idolised as a child, so you supported that team because of that reason. Your family might have been one-eyed for a certain team for generations, so you had no choice but to follow suit. You might just like the colours of a team’s jersey so that’s why you go for that team.
It doesn’t really matter, just stay loyal, enjoy the up’s and down, keep yelling at the TV, keep playing your teams song, keep idolising your favourite players and keep the banter up with your mates.
Until next time….