The Nature of Fanaticism

The Easter weekend usually means a wealth of fabulous music for me, but what with Coke deciding not to hold the Coke Fest (thanks to that pesky soccer blah blah), and me forgetting to budget for Splashy, that was off the cards. So instead, I decided to indulge in one of my other favourite kinds of fanaticism…rugby.

Yup, now is the time to admit that I am a Sharks girl, through and through. And since, actually, I don’t really know any of the rules of the game or any of that technical malarkey, I find myself wondering what it is about rugby that brings out the fanatics in us. The stadium last night was probably only half full – I’m guessing most other Durbanites remembered to save for Splashy or some other weekend away – but the atmosphere was electric nonetheless. There’s something about the love of a team that brings people out of themselves, and it seems like inhibitions fall away. If you were in any other social setting it may be deemed a little odd if you all dressed in matching outfits and kept leaping out of your seats intermittently screaming “Come on boys!!”. Or maybe not…depends who you hang out with I suppose. But perhaps that’s what we love about going to the game – that sense of community and the adrenalin as we cling to the edge of our seats, waiting to see who will win. I think you’re getting the picture – I can’t get enough of the Sharks.

Which brings me to my next point. Fickle fans. So my boys have perhaps not been having their finest season. No one likes to lose – I’m pretty sure it’s worse for the team than it is for us, given that their jobs kind of hinge on playing well – but it does my head in when the instant we lose, there’s a rush of criticism, and worse, threats to support the Blue Bulls! *spits* Personally, I don’t even understand people who support teams that aren’t their own regional teams – what makes someone from Jo’burg decide to support the Sharks (besides the fact that we’re the best obviously) or someone from Durban decide to support the Stormers? Isn’t part of being a fan tied up with a love of where you’re from? For me it definitely is. Even if I moved to another part of the country, I’d always be a Durban girl, with salt water in my veins and a love of the Sharks in my heart. I might support another team in a lacklustre manner if they represented the area I’d moved to, but the instant they took on the Sharks, my black and white colours would shine through.
So how can people who claim to love the Sharks wholeheartedly, turn their backs on them the second they start losing? I just don’t get it. Surely even the best team is allowed to have a bad season? They’re not superhuman after all. And we do this to the Springboks too, expecting a flawless record, with no room for error. Unfair much?

Luckily, we didn’t have to worry about that last night. Despite a few nail-biting minutes, the boys were on top form, and the atmosphere in the stadium went from electric to euphoric as they scored an all-important victory over the Reds. Hopefully this means they’re back on form. But even if they’re not, they have this fanatic’s heart.

3 Comments

  1. Malcolm's Uncle

    May 20, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    Who will you be supporting this weekend, miss?

  2. Bel

    May 21, 2010 at 6:27 am

    The Stormers and the Crusaders. Yes, you read that right. You know how I feel about those dirty Bulls.

  3. Malcolm's Uncle

    May 21, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Traitorous.

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