Footy Fever: It’s easy to go off early

Chris Chard Columnist

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    The NRL season has begun in earnest, which means a lazy couple of hours of your weekend will now be spent watching the footy, right? Wrong!

    If you’re reading this article, it’s much more likely that the majority of your waking moments will now be filled with some sort of rugby league themed activity.

    The last four or so months may have been a fuzzy haze of thunderstorms, political pontificating and lobotomised Ricky Ponting interviews, but thankfully the footy is now back to help throw your life into focus once more.

    For starters, all of a sudden it’s a hell of a lot easier to know what day of the week it is. There’s Monday night footy, team list Tuesday, footy mag Wednesday, footy show(s) Thursday, Friday night footy and then all your weekend matches.

    Rinse jerseys and repeat.

    Throw in a fantasy team, a twitter account and an aggressive office tipping competition and you have the good foundations for a full-blown obsessive compulsive disorder.

    One potential downside to all this sudden sporting content is the easily diagnosed ‘footy fever,’ the unimaginatively named condition discovered in 1987 by Dr George Peponis. This is the condition where even the slightest perceived injustice can send you into a Luke O’Donnell style frenzy.

    Maybe your coach has named your gun fantasy recruit on the bench, or Davo at work didn’t bring in his tipping money, or heaven forbid your NRL side was undone by a borderline new law interpretation by the video ref.

    If you think this condition sounds comical, you should have a good, hard look at Phil Gould (a man who’s battled the condition since the late 80’s) next time he’s on the telly.

    Clearly footy fever is no laughing matter.

    Furthermore it is a well known fact that ‘footy fever’ peaks at the beginning and end of each season. The presence of the condition at finals time is understandable, however the hilarious over the top tirades from fans when their team wins or loses in rd 1 of the competition is something that continually baffles innocent bystanders.

    Watch in amazement next week as Eels fans threaten to burn down Parramatta stadium unless results improve. Marvel as ex-Rabbitoh stars jump off at Redfern Station to trumpet a new dynasty as they get up by two points over a lacklustre Roosters side in a muddy arm-wrestle.

    Already this morning we’ll have the Knights and Dragons season aspirations dictated to them based on last night’s performance, with one bolters for the title and the other labelled underachieving impostors.

    If recent final series have shown us anything it’s that the NRL season is a long, hard slog (my quads feel sore just looking at it) and a victory in week one means little more than pulling a few bandwagon members whose A-League team has just been punted.

    So for sure get excited about the new season, enter numerous tipping comps and spend more time on your fantasy team than you do talking to loved ones. Just try to remember that with rugby league, as Ben Hornby learnt kicking off last night and my good friend Adrian Morley demonstrates in the video below, sometimes it’s best not to go completely off the deep end straight away.

    Because hey, what’ll you do for the rest of the year?

    Chris Chard
    Chris Chard

    Chris Chard is a sports humour writer commenting on the often absurd nature of professional sport. A rugby league fan boy with a good blend of youth and experience taking things one week at a time, Chris has written for The Roar since 2011. Tweet him @Vic_Arious

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