Swimming with the Bulls

2009-05-27 08:55
Sport24 columnist Roland Schoeman (File)
Roland Schoeman

Since my first Sport24 column, the majority of readers out there have bashed me and sent their condolences due to the fact that I am an avid Blue Bull supporter.

However, here we sit with only a few days to go before the Bulls bid to win their second Super 14 title, this time at home at Loftus Versfeld. Just in case any anti-Bulls supporters out there forget, they were also the only South African team to reach the semi-finals.

But this column isn’t about bashing any other South African team. They have all showed moments of brilliance and have all had their own struggles to contend with. They’ve kept us on the edge of our seats week in and week out.

Where did it all start for me?

I was born and raised in Pretoria and from day one Northern Transvaal rugby was a culture in our household. I fondly remember attending games with my father, eating biltong and cheering on the greats at Loftus. In my eyes there was nothing better, nothing more inspiring than watching the Bulls winning.

As a youngster, the Bulls were going through a patch where they were struggling rather badly. As each weekend passed, Loftus grew emptier, but without fail you would see the faces of true Bulls supporters game after game, cheering on the Bulls hoping that would be the day they would grab an elusive victory.

My father told me that in life I would come across two kinds of supporters. Those fair-weather fans who would only support their team when they were winning and then those who support their team in both victory and defeat. He proceeded to tell me that the greater your “continued” faith is in your team, the greater and more significant their eventual success will be to you.

On Saturday I will be sitting at Loftus more nervous than I was before any of my Olympic finals. The reason for this is plain and simple. At the Olympics/World Championships the majority of things around me are controllable; my thoughts, actions, words and my own performances.

However on Saturday I will be an outsider looking in. Sitting on the edge of my seat knowing that none of my thoughts, hopes or wishes will have any impact or bearing on the game.

All I know is I will be screaming my lungs out and more than likely cursing the ref when the occasion demands it. At the end of the day, whether the Bulls win or lose, I will continue to be an avid supporter. I was born a Blue Bulls supporter and I will die one.

To all my friends at the Blue Bulls, good luck, and congratulations on an incredible season thus far.

Roland is a multiple Olympic medal winner... and an avid Blue Bulls supporter.

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.


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