You are a unique and delicate flower. There is no one else quite like you. You are special. So very, very special.
You are a Rugby League fan living in the “heartlands”. The game is belongs to you. Who cares about anywhere else, you come first and that is the way that it should always remain.
It is an interesting mind set that some people that follow Rugby League have. It is also completely wrong.
Right now there are people in Italy, the United States, Russia, Ireland, Wales, Lebanon, Western Australia, Victoria, and they all LOVE the game of Rugby League.
They go out of their way to find a game Rugby League. They play a sport that few people they know have ever heard of. They watch games on TV and online. They try to get their friends to watch it with them, but have trouble explaining why this “Isn’t just rugby”.
They choose favorite teams that play in places they have never even been too. They buy jerseys and wear them with pride, looking like a tourist when they go out in their own town wearing it.
They don’t care.
This is a game that called them, that they have within their soul. Rugby League is their game, and nothing, not even distance and isolation will change that.
So, why are they less important than you or I?
We can flick on the TV every day and get some sort of Rugby League content beamed right into our lounge rooms. We take it for granted that we can jump in the car and go and watch out favorite teams at stadiums that are close by. We don’t have to go out of our way to be a fan. Hell, for a vast majority of us, we follow Rugby League just because that was the most popular sport where we live.
How can we say to someone that goes out of their way to experience the game that we are more important than they are? That the game owes more to us than it does to them?
This is why I have never understood with some people. Many of the same people that will claim that Rugby League is the best sport in the world and that they can’t understand why it isn’t more widely enjoyed are some of the first to rubbish any moved to take the game to a wider audience.
When I see 14,000 in Melbourne cheering on the Storm, I see 14,000 who look forward to watching their team every few weeks play at their ground and they wear their jerseys. They are loud, they are proud, and they go out of their way to follow this sport in the face of zero local marketing and very little media coverage.
When I see the die hards of London turning out to watch the Broncos play, not in a big comfortable stadium with a great atmosphere, not to watch a great team or a well run club, turning up just to watch any sort of Rugby League they can get, I see fans that Rugby League should cherish!
It is easy to follow the crowd to “the big game” in town and to follow “everyone’s team”. If you are the person that follows “what?” and goes to see “who?”, you are Rugby League to your core.
The heartlands of Rugby League are anywhere the game is played.
From the cathedral of Rugby League excellence that is Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, to the fields of Russia where they play in snow and wear beanies.
It is all hallowed turf that our great game graces with its presence and we should value every single fan, no matter where they come from, and no matter how many people they bring with them.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com