I had a 'friend' once, she was studying computing science. She was an attractive brunette who liked hippy clothes and lifestyle.
Once I asked her about what motivates her, what does she want to do in her life?. She replied: " I want to know what makes people tick, what motivates them."
I thought about this answer, I thought it strange that a computer nerd would have such an interest for matters so remote to their occupation. But then again, I suppose most of us footy fans do as well.
She played a song on a tape-recorder to me once. It was a love song to her.
"Oh Sarah (not her real name) I love you blah, my heart is yours and yours alone te dah." on and on it went. A home made love song.
Here's this moaning, love-sick schmuck with his dischordant guitar and wailing voice.
She sat there waiting for my reaction. I looked at her and wondered whether she was trying to make a congratulatory point about herself. A little disguised tab about her deirsability? I am still not sure! Maybe thats too mean an inference.
Of course, it was woeful, full of meaning for the songwriter, but crap to me!
So it began as a giggle and then I just laughed and then roared.
Of course she was bitterly offended and tried the temporary distance thing. Good grief, I was being honest!
And thats the thing about diplomacy in relationships. Just forget about it. Go with your gut. Diplomacy is for lawyers,politicians and used car salespeople.
Of course she hated football, she liked "art things."
Fugging art is Merritt is scoring a try for mine!
She liked folk music I liked Iggy Pop.
She didnt even support a team. I introduced her to Souths. She didnt even support a team after that either.
Up until recently and for awhile now, following Souths has been a bit like having a girlfriend who wants you to be diplomatic and romantic.
You want to say, "Well why the fug did you come last again?, What kind of players are these?, What happened to premierships? Is this a footy club or a retirement village? Why do I 'ken bother?" But you just shut up and smile along, think of england!
But given the divorce rate etc I bet that statistically there is a better chance of following your club side for 20 years than being married for the same period.
The clubs and the NRL, they dont just expect you to wave your hand.
They want you to attend games, watch the TV game, buy merchandise, buy the paper to read the NRL news, listen to the radio etc They want your dollar.
And on this code relationship, my mate and I worked out (with very basic methodology) that you could easily spend a total of 7 years of an average adult life on the footy and nothing else. If you watched the games, listened, read and otherwise engaged, 7 years.
No family, work, kids, no lager, just sucking in a total football existence (TFE).
And what do we get out of it? Strip all the hoo-ha away, whats at its core?
I reckon its Feelings.
A happy feeling, a sad feeling, an embarassed feeling, a lonley feeling.
And the NRL better watch its step. Because we can get these feelings from other sources.
When the dog licks your hand=happy When you hear of a child death=sad When you find some dirt on your suit=embarrased When everybody around you is being selfish and driving you nuts =lonely.
And whats more Mr NRL I dont have to rely on you or the chances above to get these feelings. They can be supplied from soccer or the AFL.
And I suppose I hurt my friends feelings when I laughed at the tape recording.
And the NRL has got to be careful about our feelings too.
But lets say, it got brutally honest with us fans.
In that case, maybe we could just bypass any mention of a game of footy etc and just mail in our cheques to the people who own the NRL.
That way we could avoid any bad feelings and just sing love songs that people will laugh about later on.