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Hard truths: When I woke up and realised I was a casual fan

Will Israel Folau continue with the Waratahs? (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Roar Pro
2nd July, 2018
66
2196 Reads

I love weekends, they give us time to ponder things.

This Sunday was no different, as I was struck by a strange thought as I realised I had missed all the rugby this weekend.

How odd, I thought, I love rugby… Upon examination there were several likely culprits, a wedding to attend, the other small sporting event taking place right now (that France Argentina game was amazing by the by) and of course the general malaise that afflicts us all from time to time where for some reason we decide to not watch TV for a day or two.

Israel Folau celebrates

Super Rugby (Photo by Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

However, for all these reasonable preclusions, I am forced to admit that the real reason I didn’t watch is probably that I have become that loathsome creature known only as the casual fan.

Wow, that hurt to write. My understanding of these things is that the first step to recovery begins with realising that you have a problem. So at least I have that going for me, which is nice.

But at least it offers a certain freeing of the mind, so I intend to use this hopefully short time of deviance from the one true path that is forever rugby, to look with new eyes and see rugby, the game they play in heaven, the good and the bad, for what it is.

So taking a look at the game I now casually support I can determine a couple of things.

Firstly, assuming that The Roar is indeed the premier sporting website I can see that people are firmly in FIFA World Cup mode.

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And rightly so, the biggest sporting event on the planet is bound to dominate the columns for at least the next two weeks. As it gears up into the knockout stages and things get even more, hehe, fever pitch, this will only continue.

As a long time fan of the beautiful game and festivals in general, I love it! It’s great. This is not a slight on rugby in any way shape or form, it is an external influence on the game, but in all honesty, it is part of the reason I didn’t watch the rugby.

Make of that what you will, but the excitement coming from the end of a cracking international series against Ireland, combined with increasing excitement for the knockout stages of the World Cup, the inevitable come down to Super Rugby just didn’t do it for me, so as to speak.

Socceroos Mile Jedinak and Mark Milligan react after losing a World Cup game

Socceroos Mile Jedinak and Mark Milligan. (SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Perhaps if I had seen any sort of hype for any of the games it might have been different.

Secondly, the Optus debacle and the subsequent SBS pick up has confirmed my long held suspicion that rugby is shooting itself in the foot with its distribution model.

With the Premier League being on Optus, the rugby being on Foxtel, the cricket on Seven, I feel forced into making these shitty decisions regarding watching sport.

Looking at the above three as examples (and there are many, many more variables to complicate things) you have a reasonably priced Optus package, being delivered on not reliable internet infrastructure (the lagging at times is infuriating).

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An expensive Foxtel is delivered nearly always on time. Then there’s Seven – a free, but with constant gambling advertisements, service that has the highest fidelity regarding transmission.

All up, the current sporting platform wars are just too much for me to commit to being anything more than a casual fan.

Maybe that sounds a weak or lazy excuse but if I’m noticing this, and I was a rusted on Reds member from the bad old days with 92-3 shellacking at Loftus which I watched, even after knowing the score beforehand. Maybe it’s time for this to be addressed…

And finally, other people. Aren’t they just the worst? People organising events like weddings and parties and whatnot, while there is rugby to be watched are just plain selfish, I mean, what about me?

So my first observations are about not even watching the game, so this probably isn’t going all that well. It seems like this will be a multi part expose, but those are some of the initial stumbling blocks I have so far encountered.

I have come here looking to regain my fandom, help me Roar readers, you’re my only hope.