Confessions of a rugby fan

2012-07-20 13:19
Stormers (Gallo Images)
Ever since the age of nine I’ve been a sports fan enthusiast. How I know specifically that nine years of age was the beginning point is easy to explain: I had lived overseas in Buenos Aries, Argentina between the ages of five and nine and upon moving back to South Africa, my dad introduced me to the wonderful world of South African cricket and rugby.

My first sporting moment that I can remember was at the end of 1997 when my mother’s beloved blue and white striped Western Province team won the Currie Cup against the Free State Cheetahs (to be honest, I had to look up the runner up as that little detail wasn’t embedded into my memory.) My mother is a Capetonian, born and raised, while my father was born and raised south of the Jukskei River in die Ou Transvaal (that’s Johannesburg for those of you who are geographically challenged) which of course implies that he is a Golden Lions fan. Living with a set of parents that were on opposite ends of the rugby fan base meant that their children’s loyalty for a rugby team would naturally be vied for. Let’s just say that my father lost not one, but both of his kids to the blue and white stripped victors of 1997.

The following year in 1998 my beloved Western Province team were yet again in the Currie Cup finals but this time against the Blue Bulls of Pretoria at Loftus. Even though I have practically lived my whole life north of the Jukskei River (in other words, Pretoria itself) I chose to pledge my allegiance to the Cape Town based WP team based on their win in 1997 when they were crowned the champions…and that wasn’t about to change. Two scenarios unfolded at the end of that 1998 final: 1. My WP team lost to the Bulls and it made ten year old me cry and 2. A deep seated hatred began brewing inside of me for the Bulls….which I still uphold today. Although “hatred” is a very strong word, I’ll elaborate to substantiate my claim. I will wear any other provincial rugby jersey to cheer on a team (which of course is totally void if the team plays WP) but you cannot even pay me enough money to wear a Bulls jersey. I find absolute delight when the Bulls lose a game, even if it’s against an Australian or New Zealand Super Rugby team and I proudly boast about. Obsessive...who me? Nah!

During a hang out session last week Thursday night, our group was enjoying the small talk when I uttered a rugby quip of some sort, to which my fellow WP buddy, looked at me big eyed with a smile and said: “You know very well that we are all rugby fans in this room but you’re obsessed!” I immediately laughed and provided a rebuttal that his statement wasn’t true. He further emphasized: “Yes, you are!” **Laughter** My comeback? “But I’m emotional, that’s how I am!” I personally, would not call myself an obsessed rugby fan. Sure, I know the players, their positions, the rules of the game, who won what the previous year and who played against who but I would say that’s just being well informed. OK, so I’m a girl who has WP rugby bumper sticker on my car whilst driving behind enemy lines, I still argue that the last year’s Rugby World Cup was fixed and that the All Blacks are the “engineered” current world champions. Obsessive…who me? Never!

Last week Saturday I found myself in front of the TV, in which I watched four rugby games, which were all crucial to view as three of the games were deciding matches to see who would advance to the playoff rounds. Obsessive…who me? No ways! I was just keeping track with what’s going on. In between games, I was checking out the log and trying to figure out which team would play which team if this team loses or if this team wins. I was deciphering the point system on the log to come up with potential results to see who would fall out and who would advance. I was determining that if my team wins, they will either play the winner of this team if that team loses to that other team and….oh snap…maybe my friend was right…perhaps I am obsessed?

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