Monday, October 12, 2009

Expat Supporters

Why is it that when one moves to another country one all of a sudden takes an interest in sports which they (rightly) previously thought rubbish.

I am referring to myself in this case. I grew up in the north of England (Yorkshire), the extent of my sporting interests were restricted to, well, football (or, *shudders*, "soccer"). My school didn't even have a cricket team as far as I remember, Rugby League was frowned upon and only the school neanderthals played Rugby Union (the thought of someone using my face to plough the pitch was not overly appealing).

As soon as I moved to Australia I took an interest in any sport involving England which also has an Aussie team. Most notably Cricket and Rugby Union. How we rejoiced in November 2003 when England beat the Aussies in the Rugby World Cup Final (which Englishman didn't shed tears of joy when Jonny Wilkinson put over THAT fieldgoal?). We jumped with Joy as Freddie demolished the Australian batsmen in the 2005 Ashes and winced with embarrassment at the 2007 debacle which followed.

I have also become somewhat of an expert on the sports too. What looks like a bunch of yeti's piling into a bar fight is now referred to as a ruck. I even know what a wrong-un and a googly is. I can chat for hours about strategy and technique with the best of them and I even know that Rugby has rules.

So why then? Why do I get a lump in my throat for glorious victory? Why do I care about going to work the day after a thrashing? I have 3 theories here:

  1. It's because I am English and I am sick of waiting for another 1966 to happen and just want to celebrate a win of some description in a World Cup (even though there is only one competition with the participation rate to be truly called "The World Cup" ... but don't get me started on that one :))
  2. It's because I am an Englishman living in Australia and I want to see Australia lose at everything because they are such shocking losers and even worse winners.
  3. I can't stand the stupid names Australians insist on calling themselves such as "Socceroos" or "Wallabies" (Not one of the Rugby team looks cute and cuddly)
Whatever the reasons ....

Come on England!!
Come on whoever is playing Australia!!

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