It’s time to come clean with you all.
This blog (as well as my previous one: www.belgiumisboring.blogspot.com) have in the past often provided a cathartic medium for me to vent my spleen, to bare my soul, to share my thoughts with the unseen masses out there in Internet Land and this entry is no exception.
For you see, I've only gone and sold my soul to the devil....and went to watch a live "SOCCER" game.
Having bought the Foxtel Platinum package and further lined the pockets of Rupert Murdoch’s bulging pockets, I am facing up to the harsh, cold, reality of a lifetime of watching Liverpool and Rangers matches in the wee hours of the morning, on my own, lying on the couch with the volume turned down, so as not to awaken Krissy from her sweaty, snoring, slumber.
Ironically enough, I now see more of my beloved football than I ever did in the past. Even more games than I saw when living 20 minutes from Anfield.
OK, so I’ve maybe had to sacrifice many hours of much needed sleep to do so, but thanks to the digital revolution, Liverpool and Glasgow Rangers are now being fed into my living room on such a regular basis that sleep – or indeed the lack of it – is such a part of my “Australian way of life” these days that it’s become second nature to me.
But my life still lacks the live experience of cheering on 11 heroes as they play The Beautiful Game on the smooth, green, baize of a pitch in front of a packed stadium roaring my team on to ever greater and greater achievements.
In the absence of all this, I’ve plumped for supporting my local soccer team, The Queensland Roar, in Australia’s A-League.
Now don’t get me wrong – the standard isn’t too shabby and the stadium is fantastic but “soccer” is very much the poor cousin in relation to Rugby League, Rugby Union, Australian Rules Football and Cricket. With a capacity of 50,000-plus, Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium is a great place to watch FOOTBALL (no more soccer for me). Unfortunately, however, crowds barely trouble the 17,000-mark, which results in a lot of empty seats, much to the detriment of the game’s atmosphere.
OK – so perhaps I’ve been spoiled by watching games at Anfield and Ibrox – nay, I know I have - and with that in mind, I am quite enjoying the experience of “Roaring on the Roar”
We’re sitting pretty in second place and this Sunday, we played host to the top-placed Central Coast Mariners and we turned them over 2-1 to come within one point of them. So things are looking up for my adopted team. With a bit more success, who knows? Perhaps one day in the not too distant future, I’ll be proudly sitting cheering on my team as they pick up their league winner medals.
It’s been a while since I was able to do that.
Click on the video link to sample some of the “atmosphere”…
PS – A big shout out to my REAL home team, the Ballyclare Comrades (www.ballyclarecomrades.co.uk), as they play in their first major final for over a decade – the Steel and Sons Cup on Christmas Morning. This is an opportunity for a very young team to play in the biggest occasion of their lives. Usually, a very well-supported game (as the menfolk run from Christmas Dinner duties), here’s hoping The Wee Reds pick up the trophy and do my home town proud!