FOLLOWING on from the remarkable success of the Wests Tigers this year, here is a story by one of our regular Forum 7?s writers who has taken a tongue-in-cheek look at their semi-final campaign after his beloved Warriors failed to make it past the regular season.
THE late French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre, expanding on the philosophical tradition most famously initiated by the German Freidrich Nietzsche, believed that the logical extension of Nietzsche?s ?Death of God? thesis was for every human to create their own lives purely through their own actions, the ?intolerable necessity? of their own free choice. Without a genuine belief in God, life could no longer be based on any solid moral or existential foundation, but must merely be choosing for choice?s sake, and living for life?s sake. Humanity no longer had an essence, and for Sartre, to continue to believe in any essence was ?bad faith?.
DON?T you just hate NRL players? Oh, I?m sure on one level you love them- you wouldn?t be reading this if you weren?t a fan, after all. But on another, deeper level, you despise them. Go on, admit it.
I?VE been a Queensland supporter for as long as I can remember. Since 1992 I?ve watched State of Origin religiously. I recall cheering on Steve Renouf and Allan Langer, two of my early favourites; I remember the excitement I felt when my Granddad gave me a ball that he had persuaded Langer to sign, circa 1993; and I remember the euphoria of one classic sporting moment in particular- Mark Coyne?s try in the first game of the 1994 series. We all have favourite Origin memories; we all remember big hits, biff and brilliance, and we?ve all experienced the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. In my case, however, it?s a bit different, because I?m not a Queenslander; I?m a born and bred Kiwi. And to make matters worse, my Grandma is from Sydney.
IMAGINE- you?re out pounding the pavement, jogging with Prefontaine-esque zeal, when suddenly a muscular 110kg powerhouse launches himself at you and crashes venomously into your chest. The force leaves you winded and bruised. As you hit the ground, the behemoth leaps on you, crushing your ribs under his weight, and then proceeds to lever himself off you by planting his palm on your face and informing you that you are the world?s biggest loser, before calmly jogging back 10 metres, to do the same to the next unfortunate jogger.
SOMETIMES I wonder why I?m a rugby league fan. Well, that?s a lie; rugby league runs in my family, and my journey to become a full-blown footy fan was mapped out ahead of me from birth (well, maybe I was supposed to stop along the way and actually be a decent player at some point- but let?s ignore that for a minute). We all stumble across hobbies, past-times, and passions in many different ways, in our piteous attempts to spend the interminable hours of our meaningless existences doing something not merely enjoyable, but also personally consequential. Or something like that. It?s not my intention to get metaphysical but sometimes I can?t help myself. As an avowed pessimist, a manic-depressive cynic, and so on and so forth, the fact that I am a compulsive sports fan in general is a constant source of fascination to me. We all know the taunts of non-sports fans, the predictable yet almost indomitable force of their mockeries of the bizarre games that we watch, the absurd rituals we go through every weekend (at least). Why do we do it? What is the meaning? Is there a God?
ALL season I?ve been posting in forum 7s. I haven?t missed a game, and the elegant prose that you are currently reading confirms this fact. I?ve noticed that I?m one of only two posters to have contributed in all 8 regular season games, and I?m starting to get a bit of an ego about it. Just last week I got out the tin foil, glitter, cardboard and elbow macaroni, and constructed a spectacular WWE-style belt for myself, emblazoned with the words ?Forum 7s Iron Man?. Unfortunately, even we greats suffer from writer?s block from time to time, not to mention the scourge of ever poster?s existence, Ican?tbebotheredwritingsoI?lldoitinthelasthalfhour syndrome (see how I cheated my way to thirteen extra words there? Oh?damn.)
IF international rugby league is to develop, then we need to stop making such a big deal about State of Origin- right? It makes no sense- apart from New South Welshmen, Queenslanders, a few Kiwis who have been brought up to idolise all things Australian rugby league, and probably the whole of Papua New Guinea, who can get passionate about it? Is it really something to brag about when your game?s showpiece event is between two entities that 99% of the world?s population (and yes, I did survey everyone in the world) have never heard of?
I played rugby league for one year. The year was 1990 and I was five, and I can?t remember anything except that I didn?t like it. All the other kids were bigger than me, faster too. Most of the time I hung out the back of the action, making mud pies and waiting to taste the sweet, sweet half-time oranges. It wasn?t until 1992 that I actually realised rugby league existed, and funnily enough I?d retired from it by then, and was running in tries at will (perhaps a slight exaggeration) against typically flimsy rugby union defences.
ANZAC spirit is internationally renowned, but in sport it is often obliterated under a tsunami of nationalistic fervour. As a New Zealander I am confronted regularly by rabid anti-Australian sentiment, which despite its force tends to be good-natured. New Zealanders don?t hate Australians; we just like to compete with them, and to beat them. Cricket, soccer, basketball and league fans all revel in occasional victories over Australia, knowing that for one brief moment four million were able to beat twenty million, and big brother was humbled by little brother.