When I wake in the morning the first thing I see is my Brisbane Broncos capeflag blu-tacked to my wall, with Corey Parker and Sam Thaiday’s signatures on it.
I pack all my things for uni into my Brisbane Broncos sportsbag and then chuck on my Brisbane Broncos beanie to keep my delicate ears warm.
If not clear by now, I support the Brisbane Broncos while living in Sydney. There comes the issue I have with the game.
In Round 1 of this year, I went to the Bulldogs versus Broncos game at ANZ Stadium with a complimentary ticket that comes with being a Broncos member living in New South Wales. Like any diehard league fan, I was decked out in all my finest Broncos gear. While excitedly looking for my gate to enter, I walked past a lot of Bulldogs supporters who either looked at me funny or made quiet, smartarse comments that I pretended I couldn’t hear.
Then I passed a couple who may or may not have been under the influence.
The woman looked me up and down and spat out “You’re in the wrong f***ing state,” while the man laughed. I kept walking and tried to ignore them but she kept going. “I’ll f***ing kill you!”
Yes. My life was threatened for simply supporting my team in my club’s gear in enemy territory.
Now, I can kind of understand where she’s coming from: I have been known to hurl out loud passionate chants for my team, and against the others, and that’s fine, but never to the extent that I would wish grievous harm on the other club’s players, members or supporters.
I find it difficult to have intelligent, passionate conversation about league with some people because they blur the lines of club support and passion with blind love; the kind where only their club is right and everyone else’s is wrong.
And that’s when I begin to hate being such a passionate NRL supporter.
People who bitch and whine and say, “Oh the referees had the other team’s colours on tonight”, when the officiating – from a fair and impartial viewpoint – was actually right down the middle. Then there are those who hold unfair and harsh vendettas against athletes for simply playing well against their team.
I can openly say, “Jarryd Hayne had a great game against my Broncos last night. Well done!” I can pay credit when it’s due.
Rugby league is one of the biggest sports in the country and one of the most loved games. Let’s not ruin the game with death threats and harsh comments. Open your eyes to how fantastic watching an NRL game live with a pie and a beer truly is, among a supportive crowd. There is no greater feeling.