Sorry, Mr Thurston. You’ve won every heart in the nation except for one.

Last Sunday was Grand Final day. Normally this doesn’t mean much to me, and this year was no exception. I’m not a particular fan of any football code, but if I have a least favourite it’s the NRL. I mean, really. There’s the inherent violence of a sport in which men hurl themselves bodily at one another in pursuit of a ball, their awful track record of maintaining a sick culture in relation to women, and the high proportion of meat-headed, gambling-addicted, bloodthirsty fans. Apart from all of that, someone at the NRL workshopped this scenario here and thought it was worth rolling with:

It's a man, dressed as a horse, riding a horse. WHY?
It’s a man, dressed as a horse, riding a horse. WHY?

GO BRONCOS! Sorry NRL. How am I supposed to respect you now that I’ve seen this?

It’s just possible that the only person less enthusiastic about the NRL than I am is my six-year-old son. When given the offer of a special treat to stay up late and watch the Grand Final, he responded: “No way. Football is just a bunch of silly Daddies chasing a ball around”, and stalked off to bed, disgusted that he was missing Octonauts for THIS.

My husband watched it. I glanced at it occasionally from my peripheral vision between games of Bubble Break, taking potshots at the idiotic commentary whenever I could. All of them were apparently giving it 110%, doing it for the boys, digging deep after a season of taking things one game at a time. It was sportsing at its finest. I wandered off for a while and returned, knowing I’d have access to both the TV and my husband again once it was over, and that it had to finish around 8.30. And then: something happened that was genuinely exciting! The Broncos (yes, the guys with the horse riding another horse as mascots) were in the lead by four points as the allocated sportsing time was nearing its end. Suddenly, one of the blue guys (‘Cowboys’, whatever) was running… jumping… dodging… FLYING… THE FULL-TIME SIREN SOUNDS AS HE’S IN THE AIR… LANDING OVER THE TRY LINE!! SCORING FOUR POINTS TO EQUALISE THE GAME WHICH HAPPENS TO BE THE GRAND FINAL, RIGHT AT THE LAST AVAILABLE SECOND!! Even a total non-sportser like me could appreciate this as poetry. Then some other stuff happened. Johnathan Thurston, the head Cowboy, walked up and down, up and down, up and down, then tried to kick the ball through the posts but the ball hit one of the posts so he didn’t get a point. Then everyone ran around for a bit, Thurston got the ball again and kicked it in for a goal. The team that was losing one second before the buzzer went, ended up winning the Premiership! They were pretty happy, I think.

nrl

The next morning, I tried to explain to Boy-Child how thrilling the game had actually turned out to be.

Me: So, the Cowboys won! In a thing called a golden point!

Boy-Child: What does that mean?

Me: The other team was winning, right up until the very last minute. Then one guy scored just enough points to make it a tie, right before they had to stop playing!

Boy-Child: So, it was a tie then?

Me (like I’m some kind of expert): No! A tie isn’t allowed. They had to play an extra little bit of a game to decide which team was the winner. And the guys who were losing scored a point and ended up being the winners right at the end! And it was the Grand Final!

Boy-Child: What’s a grand final?

Me: The last game of the whole year! When the two very best teams play against each other to see which is the very best of all!

Boy-Child: They won the last game of the whole year?!

Me: Yes! It was very exciting, actually.

Boy-Child: Wow, that is exciting! If it was the last game, that means I don’t have to watch the silly football with Daddy again until next year!

How do I break it to him that cricket season is next?

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2 thoughts on “Sorry, Mr Thurston. You’ve won every heart in the nation except for one.

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