Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Sing When You're Winning

There were rare scenes of joy in our house this past weekend with the unexpected breaking of a longstanding drought; a sporting team I support actually won something. Despite over 25 years regularly watching all manner of teams playing a fair few different sports, I've never ever seen any of them win anything of note.

The team in question was St George Illawarra - the Dragons. Some of you may have heard of them. Most of you will not. They won the NRL Telstra Premiership, Australia's top rugby league club championship. They are the toppermost of their particular poppermost. Look, here's a picture of them... winning things... yay!

My long wait for the Dragons' win (11 years in my case, 31 in theirs) was just one part of what could be called the Custard Curse. At its most basic this means whoever I want to win, will not. In all my years watching Sunderland, they have won only the Coca Cola Championship - twice. I won't pretend I wasn't pleased at the time, but since one needs to be relegated to win this second tier trophy it's one I'd rather never win again.

Similarly with my oldest team Hull Kingston Rovers, the rugby league team everyone in my family was born into the misery of supporting. Their last moment on top was 1984, tantalisingly out of my adult memory's reach. Thankfully I do remember sitting in the hotel bar at my aunty's wedding two years later watching Rovers lose by 1 point at Wembley in the Challenge Cup final; the moment my sporting path was set.

Of course I have experienced the distinct pleasure of watching Ricky Ponting's face contort with rage and frustration at the hands of the English Cricket Team - twice. I've also had many happy moments watching South African, Indian, Sri Lankan and Kiwi players slap the Aussies around the park a bit, especially in the past few years. That said a few weeks in summer following national sides are not enough to wipe out the pain of following the fortunes (or unfortunes) of your own useless team.

So thank you Dragons for bucking the trend. I'm more grateful than you know. However, whilst I'm at it I should apologise to the newly formed A-League team Melbourne Heart. You see, you play in red and white and well, I need a football team to support over here, and I refuse to go for Melbourne Victory and I never really cared much for Sydney FC. So, well, I figure since you need fans and I need a team well... you know... how about it? After all you're only as good as your last game right, and tonight, for one night I am a champion...

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