A Rare Post About Sport

In English today, we were beginning to learn about the concept of Belonging. We spoke about different ways you can belong, what you can belong to, and the opposites of belonging. The first thing that popped into my head was “fandom”, but I soon tuned out of the discussion because it was Friday and I was bored. I vaguely remembered him mentioning sports, but as everyone would know, sport and I do not exactly mix very well, so I wasn’t exactly riveted. 

Fast forward until earlier tonight and I found myself at AAMI Park watching the Storm take on my mighty Dragons. You see, when I say I don’t like sport, I’m excluding my beloved rugby team, because I mean, when you’re named after something, you kind of have to adore it for life. The Dragons rarely play in Melbourne, so when they do we usually take the chance to go and cheer them on. The thing about Melbourne, though, is it’s a long way from Sydney, so at an average away game down here numbers of fans are very, very low, and numbers of Storm supporters are very, very high. This leads to an awful lot of solidarity and belonging, and it’s brilliant. You walk past someone else dressed in red and white, and they give you a thumbs up, cheer, or high five you. You’ve never seen them before, and you’ll never see them again, but in that moment, you’re both St. George fans, and that’s all that matters. When something goes wrong, or right, during the game, you can look across the arena and see other fans yelling, or booing, or putting their heads in their hands in dismay. You feel like you’re not alone, ‘cos even though you may be in the vast minority in the sea of purple, you belong. You can, of course, argue a fair case for a football game being a prime example of alienation as well. Walking past Storm supporter after Storm supporter who laughs, boos, or shakes their head at you reminds you that you’re in hostile territory, and not exactly welcomed with open arms.

We disgustingly lost the game tonight, but belonging came back into play when we were exiting the stadium. Other fans wearing Red Vs were there to discuss the horrible outcome and console us, and everyone else. Amongst the cheering purple crowd watching the cup being presented to our enemy, we could find solace in the fact that as a Dragons (or any other sports) fan you’re not alone, you belong, and that your fellow Dragons Fans will be there through thick and thin to give you a place where you’re always welcome. 

I guess it’s like I said the other day, fandom and sport really aren’t that different. They’re both a bit like families, and it’s always great to belong to one of those. 

frangipani princess xoxo

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