Ahead of Friday's #NRL game between Penrith Panthers and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, writer Rob C...
9 hours ago
This week?s Forum 7?s article is a superb piece by one of our favourite sons delving into the mind of the most ardent supporter
What sort of fan are you? When there is a delayed telecast of the game, can you wait for the replay or do you need to know the score? How you deal with this dilemma may say a lot about the sort of person you are.
Let us open the Bible of League according to St Roy and St H.G, and read from the book of Slaven, or to be more precise, Slaviticus Chapter 3:20.?There be only two tribes of footy fans, HG. Those who care only about the end result of the match (known as ?the score?) and those who care more about how the game unfolds and the events that lead up to the final siren?.
Personally, I can?t stand to know the score before the replay and will do everything in my power to avoid the result.
This quest began at my nearest club watching the replay on the Bigscreen. It only took a couple of minutes before some drunken loudmouth spilled his drink and the beans to all within earshot.
I then took to driving around while the game was on, only to find music stations also gave updates.
Then I'd go visiting friends, who respected my wishes and didn't tell me the score. But their faces give it away. You can't put on a happy face knowing your team is being flogged.
Finally I experimented by staying home alone. No TV or radio but I foolishly checked out a website to see if there were any last minute team changes and there was the score. Someone had forgot to add the word *Spoiler* in the title.
The following week I tried no TV, radio or internet only to get an SMS. Another ruined Sunday.
So why is it so important for me not to know? Imagine a train trip. For some of us it?s all about getting to your designated stop as quickly as possible. For others it?s about enjoying the journey along the way. Now imagine that train trip is your life.
Being the sort of person who refuses to spend life in a darkened, soundproof room, with earplugs, blindfold on and with as little technology as a Cambodian after Pol Pot, I decided to take a stand.
Sunday morning and I ?m up at 4 am. I get a cab to Mascot and board a Qantas plane to Brisbane.
On arrival I transfer to international and hop on a 737 and fly a further four hours to Port Morseby. The weather and humidity are quite stifling, but I manage to get a seat on an Air New Guinea Dash 8 and fly another hour and a half en-route to the New Guinea Highlands.
20,000 feet above sea level, with the odd craggy mountain piercing the layers of cloud, I can sense civilization slipping further and further away.
On arrival in Mount Hagan, I pick up a four wheel drive, and head off along a bumpy road passed coffee crops and brus farms.
After an hour or so, I estimate I?m near the Irian Jaya border and one of a handful of Europeans to see the pristine rain forest since the Spanish and Portuguese explorers of the 16th Century.
The Nissan Patrol comes to a stop and I am in the middle of nowhere. After what I've been through at home. I can?t imagine a more perfect Sunday Afternoon.
But the silence is broken by a rustling in the bush that grows into an audible hum.
First there?s 2, then 5, then 10, then 20 village people, dressed only in traditional cloths and livery. All armed with spears, except for a mean looking dude with a bow and arrow. As they mill around me grabbing my blue cotton top their leader steps forward.
Everything goes silent again.
He starts talking his low, guttural Pidgin for about 40 seconds, until he realizes I don?t understand a word. He repeats himself, but I am still at a loss. The menacing man takes his bow and arrow and points it at the icon on my chest.
?You Aussie?? asks the leader? I nod slowly, not sure if this means I am going to be invited to dinner or be the main course.
He breaks into a broad toothless grin, and in perfect English says ?How good were those Dragons today?"
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