Footy Fever: It’s easy to go off early

Chris Chard Columnist

By Chris Chard, Chris Chard is a Roar Expert

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    James Maloney spent more than a year at the Warriors after signing with the Roosters. (AAP Image/Action Photographics/Grant Trouville)

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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

    If you could choose from any and every NRL player in the competition, who would you pick in your rugby league dream team? Let us know with our team picker right here, and be sure to share it with all your league-loving mates.

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    The Crowd Says (8)

    • Roar Guru

      March 2nd 2012 @ 5:07am
      Dan Wighton said | March 2nd 2012 @ 5:07am | ! Report

      Great post Chris.

      Going off early and footy fever are my two biggest ailments.

    • March 2nd 2012 @ 2:22pm
      JVGO said | March 2nd 2012 @ 2:22pm | ! Report

      Chris I have been scrupulously studying the Sharks draw for the last month or so. Although I concede it initially seemed a little tough I have already chalked in victories in the first 3 weeks over heavyweights Tigers, Newcastle and Manly, followed by our installation as favourites and premiership front runners before we settle into a smooth cruise toward the minor premiership. I don’t know if i am slightly delirious from the fever or I am just enjoying what is usually the best part of the sharks season, the bit before it actually starts. Unfortunately the Dragons have a win under their belt and we are chasing them already. But if I can grit my teeth and get through the first half at Leichhardt I should be OK, the fever probably won’t be terminal.

      • March 3rd 2012 @ 12:48am
        AndyMack said | March 3rd 2012 @ 12:48am | ! Report

        JVGO, agree, i love this time of year, when the Sharkies are still a mathematical chance to make the finals!!!!

    • March 3rd 2012 @ 12:11am
      royston lightning said | March 3rd 2012 @ 12:11am | ! Report


      Always great to try and pick which team will be the March premiers.

      • September 18th 2012 @ 3:32pm
        dylzz said | September 18th 2012 @ 3:32pm | ! Report

        could this really be you Royston ?? what happened to the Mackay Cutters?

    • March 3rd 2012 @ 9:10am
      Chris of Vic said | March 3rd 2012 @ 9:10am | ! Report

      Wondered what was wrong with me Vic. The wife is already making noises about not getting enough help and something about obsession, but I was too busy with the footy to know what she was talking about 🙂

    • March 3rd 2012 @ 4:04pm
      JC said | March 3rd 2012 @ 4:04pm | ! Report

      haha – good one mate! So true, so true! Eels fans already calling for SK to be sacked, and I’m scaring my wife by yelling obscenities at the tv cause the referrees are once again blind to the obvious and interrupting play unnecessarily………. ahh, just another season of footy!!!!

      • Columnist

        March 3rd 2012 @ 6:26pm
        Chris Chard said | March 3rd 2012 @ 6:26pm | ! Report

        JC? Parra Jesus, is that you?

        Ta mate!

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