Expansion means you can’t always preach to the converted
I don’t surf. I gave it a go when I was younger, but it didn’t work out. The pinnacle of my attempts was when I was in high school. I once joined some friends who loved the surf, on a trip to the central coast.
We rented a house and stayed a couple of days.
Things were going great, until one night the locals came through, found our stuff and what they didn’t destroy, they stole. Boards, wetsuits, towels, you name it.
They even left messages telling my friends and I to go home and stay away, that this was ‘their’ place and we had no right to be there.
Needless to say it ruined our stay.
Now you’d be forgiven for wondering, ‘What the hell does any of this have to do with good old rugby league?’
For mine, the answer is sadly, a lot.
Don’t get me wrong. By no means do I think this is just a RL matter.
From my armchair, this kind of attitude is part of almost any sport that has fanatical supporters. It’s just that it’s relevance seems ripe, given the amount of vitriol spewed out to the people in Melbourne after the first Origin game this year.
When some people complain about giving an Origin match to the people in Melbourne, or they complain about having expansion teams in the AFL, it makes me remember that time in my life when I gave surfing a go, and it backfired.
The common reasoning used to justify these complaints, seems to be that the public in those places are so much less passionate or knowledgeable about the game, that they don’t have any right to be a supporter of that game, and thus they are not welcome to support that game.
And yet these same people who reject the sharing of ‘their’ game with others, probably think that if only everyone saw their game through their eyes, they’d love it as much as them.
So, to any such people out there I want to ask this: When are people new to the game supposed to get a chance to do this?
If you live in Melbourne, it’s most likely a big ask to drag your attention away from the AFL. It would take something huge, like, I don’t know, an Origin match for example?
Ok, so the sports minister screwed up, and the media coverage wasn’t as intense down there as it might be elsewhere. But putting up with that’s a necessary thing isn’t it? If you’ve got kids, do you deprive them of their interest in a sport just because they know less about it than you?
Amongst die hard fans it seems that if you love one sport, you’re forbidden from loving another.
I may be unique in this, but I pretty much love all major sports and pastimes in Australia.
That is, of course, with the exception of surfing.
If only someone had helped me with it when I was younger.
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