Turns out that I'd left some gum in my jeans and it had gotten out and stuck to my Sharks jersey. So until I can afford another one (i.e. maybe in my next life) my only fan gear is an old hat and scarf from the Raper era.
Nevertheless, I'll still be making the trek across Tom Ugly's this Saturday to watch the boys in the black, white and blue play the Manly Pond Pigeons. Not just cause it'll be my first ever Sharks game (a story in itself) but also because it's fucking Manly.
I hate Manly.
You hate Manly.
Everyone hates Manly.
The funny thing is, I could just as easily have become a fan of theirs. My father has been a Manly fan pretty much ever since he came to the country 20 odd years ago. My mum's side are all Parramatta fans and they took him to an Eels-Eagles game. Manly won and he became a fan, despite the reaction of some of my uncles (I think they tried to stop the wedding).
When I told him that I wanted to become a Cronulla fan, I think he wanted to disown me.
However, I could never have been a Manly fan.
Cause to me, going for Manly is like backing the favourite every week. Sure, you may win every time, but constant winning as a fan is bad for the soul. You gotta know the pain of losing to truly appreciate the euphoria of winning.
We Sharks fans know all about losing. Which makes the successful years - 1999, 2001, 2002, 2008 - even more memorable and special.
And when we finally win that premiership...there will be parties in the Shire for weeks and I'll pass out naked in the middle of Tom Ugly's with my scarf around my balls.
Manly fans are the same people who go for the Lakers in the NBA, Man United in the EPL and Geelong in the AFL. Some are legit (like my Dad) but most are complete fuckwits.
Peace out, bitches and never forget, UP UP CRONULLA!