I always find it funny when some Rugby League supporters believe they are more important than others. That just because they occupy a patch of dirt in a certain area they are more entitled to be listened to the games administrators.
I am a Penrith Panthers supporter that lives in Penrith. I’m a New South Wales supporter and I love my Australian Kangaroo’s. I’m an no more or less important than any other supporter anywhere else in the world.
I’m no more or less important than the bloke in Italy that keeps talking about this strange game with 13 players to his mates, showing them YouTube clips from Australia in an effort to get them to try this weird sport out.
I’m no more or less important than the mother in Rhode Island that is going from shop to shop trying to buy the same boots that a guy called “Greg Inglis” wears because her son or daughter heard about him during a school coaching clinic the other day.
I’m no more or less important than the bloke sitting in a pub in Wales that pipes up when people are talking about the nations Rugby Union team, telling everyone that hears him that a bloke called Billy Boston would run rings around today’s current players.
I’m no more or less important that the girl in Perth that turned her back on netball because she loves playing mixed touch football on the weekend instead.
If you are a Rugby League supporter anywhere in the world, you are important to the game. As long as you love your sport, the sport will be alive and well.
That is why games such as the the one played on Saturday night between Samoa and Fiji are important. Games like this aren’t about a diehard Maroons supporter in Queensland or some egotistical Australian Kangaroo’s supporter from Penrith. It’s not about some administrator in Brisbane or some short sighted journo thats heaping rubbish on the game on Fox Sports News.
It’s about people in Samoa who want to see their boys in the Four Nations at the end of the season. It’s about people in Fiji that will sit down in front of their televisions and watch their 2013 World Cup semi finalists defend what they believe is their rightful place against Australia, England and New Zealand at the end of the year.
It’s about propagating what is an incredible influx of players from both nations. About trying to grow this great game we all love so much.
This match might be the moment the next Akuila Uate falls in love with Rugby League. It might be the game that gets the next Masada Iosefa down to the local oval to play Rugby League.
As much as I’m looking forward to Samoa taking on Fiji, I know it’s not about me. It’s about fans of those nations that finally get a chance to cheer for their own players with pride. To stand there on Saturday night and sing their national anthems before watching a game that really does have a lot riding on it.
Why should the Samoan and Fijian supporters be denied an opportunity to cheer on their nation when I, an Australia, will get to do the same on Friday night? Why is it more important for the Aussies to get their chance in the spotlight than it is for Samoa or Fiji?
Put simply, it isn’t. The Australian Kangaroo’s are not more or less important than Samoa, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, the United States, Tonga, the Cook Islands, Wales, France, Scotland, Kenya, Germany, England, South Africa, Canada, Ireland or any other nation that starts to play this great game of ours.
Where ever Rugby League is played, and who ever is playing it, it is an important moment for the game. Some people need to start celebrating this fantastic, diverse game of Rugby League instead of asking themselves what’s in it for them.