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It?s been an up and down year for us Bandwagon fans, following the greatest game of all. It?s been a year of heartbreak, embarrassment and fleeting success. We?ve toiled hard trying to find the right team to support, followed their ups, disowned them in their downs, and then rejoiced when they rose again.
I vividly remember, well not so much vividly remember as vaguely recall, but all the missing parts have been filled for me so it?s ok. It was some point towards the end of the season, the Broncos were in a slump, I was wearing my KFC variety bucket as a hat and was leading a chant from my pedestal a-top the pool table-?Wayne?s gotta go! Wayne?s gotta go!?. My fellow Bennett haters beamed up at me waiting for more Rugby League wisdom-?Bennett couldn?t lead a horshe to water? I slurred, I was told I fell off the table at that point, but only remember waking up on a train to Mt. Isa with no shoes, shirt or ticket, but that?s not important. Anyway, I arrived at Grand Final night with a Storm shirt on, but sometime around half-time, I had to drop a grogan, and I came back wearing a Broncos jersey. ?That Wayne Bennett is a genius? I stated later that night, ?he tricked us all! Why isn?t he coaching Australia?? I questioned, conveniently forgetting the picture of him in a ?roos shirt I had used as a dartboard last year.
The start of the season held a lot of heartbreak for the bandwagon, round one, it was the year of the Tiger, and I was going to name my son-on-the-way Benji. Then it was the year of the Knight, and I convinced my wife that Andrew was a solid name. ?First to last? I proclaimed to anyone who?d listen. ?Spoon to cup? I had as a bumper sticker, no worries that I stole it off some toothless old lady?s Sigma on my last trip to Newcastle to see my boys play, it was a beautiful sticker. But then round six came around, my beloved Cowboys beat those scum bucket Knights from down south, and my son Jonathan was born. It was a special day.
I had a few other ?sure things? to win the premiership, but one thing remained constant; my undying love for the Melbourne storm. They beat the Knights and the Dragons in quick succession, and I couldn?t be silenced about the Storm, ?they?ve always been my second team,? I told all my friends and co-workers ?and Craig Bellamy, I mean, he?s just a tactical genius?. Then in round 10 they beat the Cowboys, my stubby holder instantly acquired this funny cloud-man holding a lightening bolt on it, and my face was adorned with green and purple. Unfortunately, my wife said that yes, it was too late to change the boy?s name, no matter how sweet I though Cameron, or Cooper might be.
But I?m not only a follower of Rugby League, the World Cup was on this year, and for 3 weeks, I was an expert on Guus Hiddink, Mark Viduka?s form slump, Bresciano?s cornering technique and I always had the late mail on Harry Kewell?s injuries. ?I know I said he?d play, but my cousin?s husband?s sister?s uncle is his physio, I?m just going off what he told me!? And AFL, I?m a lover of the game, and its rich heritage. We AFL fans show so much more fortitude, always at the ground, supporting our team. I got my Swans jersey out late this year, but it got banished to the back of the wardrobe following the grand final. Our one year old-Barry was so upset about his Swans.
But I finished strongly, I finished the year wearing the colours of my beloved Broncos, who were lead by their brilliant and inspiring leader, Lockyer, who becomes more brilliant and inspiring with each game he plays. So when the final siren sounded, it felt good to know that my team had won the cup, and I could be seen proudly wearing my jersey, playing air guitar on the pool table singing-that?s myyyyyy team!
And so a successful season ends, and I hear other supporters upset that next season isn?t for another four months or whatever. Who cares I say, because its time for the greatest game of all to begin, its cricket time! Did I mention my wife?s pregnant again? I wonder what she thinks of the name Ricky?