In the midst of State of Origin, there’s no better time to look deep inside the wild world of NRL fans, a breed of human so wide and diverse Sir David Attenborough himself would need an entire mini-series to fully explain the breadth of their existence. Having watched many-a-game inside a pub somewhere on the outskirts of my hometown, I’m not only one of these people, but I’m very often surrounded by them. So with game one under our belt and game two fast approaching, I’d give my two cents on the various sorts of NRL fans I find most prominent in the wonderful land down under.
The Shitfaced Dude
For weeks leading up to Origin, all shitfaced dude does is banter about how much NSW suck. Come game night, he sinks so many pints he can barely speak, misses half the game because he needs to go and piss every five minutes, and winds up spending the dying minutes of the game arguing at the bar about being cut off. Whatever parts of the game shitfaced dude did see, he doesn’t remember.
The Team Player
A big game is a BIG deal for this guy, so don’t expect him to sit down for anything other than halftime. The rest of the game will be spent rallying the troops, shouting “C’mon boys!” over and over again and slapping the backs of anyone around him every time someone does anything even remotely exciting. He’ll upend the Goddamn table if things go wrong, and don’t you dare get in-between him and the action unfolding.
You can’t watch a game of NRL in a pub without a few people who spend the entire 80 minutes saying things like “That’s bullshit ref!” and “What game’s he watching!?” This sideline expert earned his master’s degree in double movements playing wing for a few years in high school. He’s also a conspiracy theorist, dead certain Ben Cummins slept with someone to get to where he is.
The Quiet Achiever
There’s always a few scholars in the pub. They’ve watched every game of the season, have a ripper understanding of the sport and aren’t so blind they spent a few minutes staring at the Keno screen wondering when the game would start. They rarely speak though, fearing chatter will attract the attention of a fighter.
He might be wearing his old jersey, or anything tight enough to show he’s kept up a fairly strict gym regime, but the real identifier of the ex-player is just how unimpressed he is every time something doesn’t go right. Every chance he gets, he’ll bring up the knee injury that ‘cost him his career’.
The exact opposite of The Quiet Achiever, The Fighter has zero interest in anything other than attacking people who support the opposing team. His taunting is rarely educated and always slurred, though it will never stop. Punch ons at the end of the match if his team loses.
The Player Hater
Usually drunk, always aggressive, the player hater’s comments are all about heaping shit on one (or multiple) players they dislike. This person hates said player(s) so much they don’t even have to be on the field for them to say something like, “he’s such a fucking grub!” Fun fact: they’re usually talking about Greg Bird.
The Dude Who Calls All Players By Their First Names
Because they’re bros.
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