ad?dic?tion (n.) Compulsive physiological and psychological need for a habit-forming substance.

habit?forming?substance: (n.) A material with the potential to instigate an addiction. eg. Strenuous Excercise, Pornography, Luke Covell, or a combination of the above...

I?ve recently discovered that I have an addiction also. My girlfriend thinks I have an unhealthy addiction to Rugby League.

Of course, being the sensible person that I am, I decided to seek a second opinion. Two minutes and a few symptoms later, and decided she was correct.

Your symptoms: * Energy focused on the addiction, * Absenteeism, * Glassy eyes, * Behavioral changes, * Hyperactivity, * Fatigue, * Over-spending money, * The overwhelming urge to crash through people in crowded train stations.

According to your symptoms there is a 97% chance you have an addiction. See the scores of people in your online address books, or send this test to a friend.

This was enough to get me thinking - what is it that compells my addiction? Excercise Fanatics are driven by a desire to get fit, Luke Covellians are junkies for absurd mediocrity, and Pornography addicts... well that?s fairly self explanatory. But what is about Rugby League that?s so attractive?

Larrikinism The impish disregard for authority shown by Brett Kimmorley, the indifference to social norms by Nathan Hindmarsh?s hairstyle, and the boyish punch-ups .

In other sports players are expected to conduct themselves with dignity and proffesionalism at all times, both on and off the team. Not Rugby League. Our game is reknowned for dummy spits, brawls, sledging and on-field controversy. This is what makes our game more realistic, makes it easier for your average stubbie-holding league fan to relate to the game. In AFL, on the other hand, a small disagreement between two players results in fines, discipline and weeping by all involved. And then they have the hide to call themselves Australian Rules. What?s Australian about crying? Disputes on the field should be settled by throwing wild punches and bleeding all over each other, not by sharing tears. No wonder they wear singlets...

This larrikinism extends to the treatment of Rugby League referees also. Players can get away with almost anything - from constantly annoying the ref (Brett Kimmorley), to pushing him on his arse. Without this our game would be much less addictive. We don?t want to see one scrawny little guy pushing 26 well-built athletes around. It didn?t happen like that in primary school, why should it happen now?

The Bloke on the Hill You know who i?m talking about, every team has one. The bloke who sits on the hill and has a pie in one hand and a beer in the other. The same guy who knows everything about the game, and takes personal offence to anyone who stands up in front of him. In most cases this bloke has three teeth - all furry, and his chin touches his nose when he chews. He closely resembles the man in the gutter that you don?t give coins to each morning on your way to work - except the bloke on the hill smells worse and yells a lot more incoherently.

He?s been there so many years that he?s part of the furniture. Regulars ignore him, opposition fans bait him, and he?s there so often there is an imprint of his bum on the ground. Without him football?s not football.

Adrenaline Nothing beats the rush and the thrill of the final two minutes of a Rugby League game - it?s like the best sex of your life, except it lasts much longer, and you don?t need to fall asleep after. Sometimes, in close games, this adrenaline rush can last for the full 80 minutes or longer - from the first collision of bodies until when the referee chokes on his whistle for the last time. Don?t try to tell me you?ve ever had 80 minutes of thrill from sex - it?s physically impossible.

Don?t tell my girlfriend, she already thinks I?m addicted to League and that?s bad enough, but I?d prefer a night at the footy to a sensual night with her any day. Come to think of it, I can?t remember seeing her since March...

Oh well. At least I?ve got my footy.

bach?e?lor (n.) An unmarried or unattached man.

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