Over the years, it appears my sports fanaticism has dramatically dwindled down (how about that rhetoric though). Growing up with a basketball-obsessed family, it was only natural that I could name all the players on the 2000 Indiana Pacers quicker than I could do my time tables. I don’t know what happened, but around 2005 I started getting over the NBA… by 2008, my father and brother yelling at the TV during the playoffs became intolerable. I have a Paul Pierce Jersey somewhere (when he was on Boston before the grandpa days), can’t tell you where it is now. I stopped paying attention, and had absolutely no interest in watching the sport anymore. I can’t really trace what the cause was, but what I can tell you is that the Fifa World Cup of 2006 captured my attention. I was back on the map as a sports fan of sorts, only now the ball my eyes followed was black, white, and smooth. I remember getting so into it… I must have seen every single match, and the ones I missed would replay on the specialty channels my dad ordered for the event LOL. Our TV guide at home has so many lists… it’s all coming back to me now. There was my list, which was had all the channels where reality tv and talk shows would play. My mom’s, all the arabic dramas, as well as christian channels, bless her. Then my father’s lists (plural). He had one list dedicated to basketball, which had all the NBA league pass channels. The World Cup soccer list, the tennis list, the movie list, and miscellaneous. Then you’ve got my brother, the listless, also the only one with an active gym membership, sigh.
Anyway, after the world cup was over, I went on to be a true fanatic. Following all of my favourite players in their respective clubs, buying all the soccer paraphernalia I could afford. Of course Manchester United was my team… but that lasted until 2010 I believe. Not bad, a 4 year run of playing fantasy league, Facebook status updates and ESPN. Can’t tell you why I got over it either, I guess I just get bored really easily. Same thing happened with bands that I’ve been obsessed with (not naming any because it’s just embarrassing). For the sake of this post, let’s blame my fanatic dwindling on boredom. It’s all very tragic I know, but it seems the time has finally come for my latest sports fixation that calls for a fair bit of zealously.
When in Australia, do as the Australians do. And what do Australians do? They go crazy for footy! What the hell is footy? It’s basically the umbrella name for all the leagues involving football. This includes AFL (where a bunch of dudes run around in short shorts and try kicking a ball between two tall goal posts), NRL (rugby league), and A-League (soccer). I know, I know, you think I would’ve chosen the first one to appease my boredom, but I went for the familiar by no fault of my own. Back in March, my awesome cousins came up from Sydney and spent a week on the coast. They sparked my interest when we went to a bar and watched an A-league match, where their team (Western Sydney) was playing. I wasn’t that interested as you may have guessed, but as the match got heated, the yells-insults-at-the-ref-Randa resurfaced.
Two weeks later, I went to Sydney for my mid-semester break, and it happened to be the A-league semifinals. I went with my aunt and cousins to the match, and oh my goodness did they wake the beast. WSW (Western Sydney Wanderers) won, and facing them in the finals was Brisbane’s team, the Brisbane Roar! That game was the next weekend, in Brizzy! Luckily for me, I was back home, and totally keen to watch the final. Sure I live in Queensland, but it was only right that I supported Western Sydney because that’s the team that sparked my curiosity. The match was yesterday and I went solo, as you do, sitting with the crazy WSW fans (10,000 of which flew up to watch the match! Insane!). The boys lost the finals, but they played an awesome match, and the atmosphere was well worth the hour train ride. Though the season doesn’t start up again until later in the year, I’m pretty sure this Randa is here to stay, for a few years at least. It’s so exciting to know how insignificant you are, but feel like you’re part of something major. #goodfeeling #imwandering
Semi-finals in Sydney, at Paramatta Stadium:
And the finals, at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane + my new amigos