MY little brother Micah tugged my shirt, ?What are those gorillas doing to each other?? Covering his eyes with my hands, we made haste to the next exhibit. There a loud growl hit my ears, but it was just his stomach. ?Can we get something to eat?? I spotted a vending machine ahead and bought Micah a packet of Twisties. An avid fan of Wests since the latter half of last year, he was intent on obtaining a Benji Marshall Tazo. With the last of my change I opted for a Snickers bar ? the peanuts and nougat forming a delectable combination, not unlike Tim Smith and John Morris of 2005. ?Don?t you mean Prince and Benji?? my brother chuffed. I began to worry that with his fair-weather glory hunting attitude, Micah would turn out like Raiders fans my age.
IT started in the winter of 1999, days after my sixteenth birthday. Like most other teenagers I was having trouble at school and trouble at home, yet it paled in comparison to my trouble with Jack Taylor, star halfback of the Warragamba Wombats, my local junior football club. As he proceeded to kick the sh*t out of me, I presumed I was fast becoming the victim of a gay bashing judging by what he was shouting out. If only I was in a position to tell him I was straight. I remember though, as his assault relented, saying a line so comically cheesy it could?ve come from a Hollywood movie.
AS the wheels fall off the Parramatta Eels? 2006 campaign, there?s one man out with his jack and wrench wholeheartedly refusing to just throw in the towel and give up on the club he loves so dearly. ?Let?s get this show back on the road,? he yells out to the team before signing yet another autograph for an adoring fan.
I?M sitting outside a cosy little caf? with a nice view of Parramatta River, waiting patiently for Eels? five-eighth John Morris to arrive. The wind comes to a sudden halt and I notice a glare in the distance ? white shoes, white teeth. This has to be him. I try to compose myself, albeit quite poorly, before he makes his way over to our arranged meeting place. ?Hi, I?m John Morris. Who the f*ck are you??
I woke up with a foul taste in my mouth. Last night was rotten. I didn?t want to get out of bed. The crowd was totally against me. Did they know anything about the rules? They certainly knew nothing of tact. I looked across and my mood fast changed. There was Charlene, my source of power, my pillar of strength. I ran my hand across her back and gently whispered, ?I love you?. I gave Charlene a terse spit polish and placed her around my neck. I was now ready to tackle the day.
I have entertained many possibilities over the past few seasons of rugby league. What should I wear to the footy? How should I do my hair? Coke or light beer? Beyond this, there is another question I ask myself that is perhaps even more stunning, outrageous and radically enough, also relates to rugby league. Does Sonny Bill Williams wear illegal shoulderpads?