“Oooooooooo, break his neck!”
Tonight, I lost my rugby-league-ginity.
Having been brought up in Adelaide, the phenomenon of the State of Origin only recently penetrated my AFL-dominated world.
And what better way to experience my first rugby match than to sit next to a couple of die-hard Queensland fans and to listen to their running commentary of the game.
“Geez that was a good move!”
And while I may not understand the exact rules of the game, I certainly received some helpful, albeit biased, advice.
“What you are watching,” I was calmly informed by one of the maroon-clad men, “is a classic good versus evil match.”
Now, I guess I should apologise to any readers who were hoping for any insights into the game. Unfortunately, I’m no expert on rugby league. Though the men I was surrounded by certainly thought they were an authority.
“Last thing he should have done is put his hand down like that… Good hustle!”
But, then again, the comments were not always related to the game’s action.
“I hate the pushdown socks,” one of the men remarked to the other.
There was a moment of silence as the men contemplated the screen.
“Yeah, you gotta wear them with pride,” the other finally replied.
The rest of the game passed in a blur of blue, maroon and passionate yelling at the television, with the men often trying to impress me with their knowledge and witty commentary. The commentators were even muted for a while because they were “getting annoying”.
Our small group was soon joined by a third halfway through the match.
“Flat at best,” he commented, nodding at me. “Flat at best… Flat at best? Flat at best.”
Finally, I realised why he kept repeating himself.
“Jerry,” I asked. “Do you want me to mention that in my blog?”
He blushed – yes.
This happened again during a scrum.
“It slipped out cause of all the hair gel,” one of the men said, glancing quickly over at me.
But luckily, I also got to experience the “girlfriend perspective” of the rugby game.
“That hat gear is like a padded, strapped on beanie,” my roommate said as she sat down. “It’s a bit of a fashion statement!”
She continued to give us fashion updates throughout the game.
“I find it amusing that they have advertising on their shorts,” she said. “It shows how much they are on the floor with their butt in the air.”
Her commentary was often interrupted by yelps from the boys.
And then, just when I was getting into my first rugby match, the game ended.
My teachers had shown me what good kicks, appalling throws and fantastic teamwork was throughout the game. I had even been encouraged to yell at the screen.
“All over red rover,” the men said, stretching their legs in satisfaction.
“Oh wait… Fight!”