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My team sucked last year. Seriously. They were absolutely horrible. In a 25 week season with 1 bye per team, my team won a total of 6 games. It took t...

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April 18, 2019

My team sucked last year. Seriously. They were absolutely horrible. In a 25 week season with 1 bye per team, my team won a total of 6 games. It took them six weeks to get their first win of the season too. They sucked on the field and off the field they couldn’t hide from the media attention as rumours were constantly circulating about the different players. 


My team sucked last year and yet I couldn’t have loved it any more. 


I still went to as many games as I possibly could, my dad joining me with his joint membership card in hand. We drove away from our home stadium making sure to attend as many “away” games as we possibly could. I even scheduled a trip down to Melbourne from Sydney to see my team, dragging my sister along who hates football and just enjoyed the soft pretzels. 


I pulled a sickie from work to sit in 40 degree blazing heat as my team was destroyed 54 points to zero. 


I caught a 2 hour train ride to meet up with a friend so we could drive a further 2 hours down to Canberra in what felt like below zero degree weather topped with rain to watch our team kick a 2 point penalty goal for their only points of the game. 


My dad and I drove to Cronulla to watch our team come from behind and score 16 points in 6 minutes only for our goal kicker to miss the conversion to take it to extra time right in front of us. We then got stuck in horrible traffic and had to take a detour because of a major road closure which then took us about 2 hours to get home. 


My dad and I sat in our membership seats for the last time together watching our team lose 44 to 10 knowing that it was the last live game I was going to be attending for quite some time. A time frame that we didn’t know the full details about. 


Before the new season came along, my three favourite players were no longer at my club. One was told he had no place in the team any more so he took up an offer overseas. One was told he could look elsewhere so he took up an offer at a different club. One has severe allegations hanging over his head crushing his hopes of ever playing again and shattering the hearts of his fans who adored him for so many years - myself included.


My team sucked last year and yet I couldn’t have loved it any more. 


I started a rugby league blog because I loved the game so much. I attended the semi final between St George and South Sydney from a corporate box. I attended the grand final between Sydney and Melbourne in corporate seats. I dressed up for the annual end of year awards evening for the team I loved so much and watched as my father shook hands with one of my favourite players who knew me by name. I made so many friends and so many amazing memories and for the first time in my life I well and truly felt like I belonged.


10 weeks ago I moved from my comfortable little bubble in Sydney, Australia to the crazy whirlwind of Los Angeles, USA. I packed up all the belongings I could and said farewell to my family, friends and football. So it seemed. 


I told everyone I was going to keep watching football as much as I could but with time differences and the idea of a new lifestyle imbedded in my brain I didn’t actually really believe it. I thought I would watch a game here or there but eventually the passion would dwindle. 


I figured it was for the best. Perhaps I had dedicated far too much time and energy to a product that left me frustrated far too often. Every day there seemed to be a new allegation with players who I had thought so much better of and maybe these weren’t the type of guys I should be dedicating my time idolising. 


I was in the city of angels after all, why would football matter anymore?


That was the real lie. I thought I was lying when I said I would watch football still but I was really lying saying I wouldn’t. 


10 weeks in and I’ve settled into an apartment with my room mate but am no where near settled in this venture. I am still unemployed and in every sense of the word, lonely. 


I have never been very good at making friends and it’s totally on me. I’m not very good at putting myself out there. Unless it comes to football where I couldn’t be more friendly. 


When I could easily be excused for crumbling and falling apart, I haven’t. Besides one day after a horrible job interview but I will give myself that one day. 


My sleep pattern is totally whacked out but I couldn’t care less. I’ve found comfortability in the uncomfortable with football. 


I am currently 12,074 kilometres from my team’s home stadium and I feel totally at home. 


I have watched every game my team has played, even when the kick off is at 3am.


I can still live tweet every game and go back and forth with other friends on social media. I go back and forth with my dad via text as we freak out over tries scored or balls dropped and it feels like I’m back next to him watching the game at the stadium. I can watch the games live, exactly as they’re happening, with high quality graphics and for those 80 minutes it feels like I never left. 


Do I miss going to the live games? You bet your bottom dollar I do. Will I take anything I can though? Damn right. 


I have no job, no food, no furniture and yet I have everything when I’m watching the game I love. 


It’s the greatest escape on earth. 


Not just football for me, but sport in general. 


Nothing can truly take you to a different world like the roar of the crowd or the passionate screams of the players.


Find me something better than confetti angels after the Super Bowl. The kiss of a trophy at Wimbledon. Knee slides along the grass of Old Trafford. A 3 pointer on the buzzer at Madison Square Garden. 


If you ask any sporting fan where they were, what they were doing and how they felt during their favourite sporting memory I guarantee they will describe it better than Nicholas Sparks talking about the first time two lovers met. 


They can tell every little detail about that event but wouldn’t be able to tell you anything else from that day. Any little problem at work or a fight with their significant other. All that matters was the way they felt watching the sport they love and their escape from the world. 


My team sucked last year and I moved to Los Angeles and nothing feels right yet but I couldn’t love it any more as long as I have my football.

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