I’ve never been a big rugby fan, but the past three weeks I’ve found myself in front of the TV on Saturday afternoons, watching the game while chewing on a large chunk of biltong (clichéd, I know). I think the reason for that is my recent trip back home to visit my parents. In my hometown, rugby isn’t big, it’s huge.
So now that I’m back at home, where my weekends are mostly spent well, NOT watching rugby, I was surprised to find myself on the couch again yesterday (no biltong, sadly – too difficult to find in the Western Cape), ready to watch the Bulls play the Stormers. It was a pathetic game and the Bulls suffered quite an embarrassing loss (which annoyed me), but the thing I found strange was how interested in the game I had become and the fact that I was enjoying myself quite a bit. I actually knew some of the palyers, learned some of the rules and once even shouted at the TV screen.
This sudden change in my attitude towards the game made me think of a few years back, when I visited the famous “Loftus Versfeld” as part of a 1st year college assignment… we had to do something we’ve never done before and write a letter about it to our lecturer. Here’s a few extracts from my letter:
GETTING THERE “On Saturday morning my brother organised 2 tickets for me and after failing to convince even a single friend to accompany me, I was ready to just skip the whole thing and stay at home. Curiosity got the better of me though and I set out to Loftus with a group of guys I hardly knew (friends of friends) to watch my first game of rugby.”
PRE-MATCH “We finally found a parking spot and joined a group of people at Sin Bin, a popular watering hole next to Loftus. I was going to be part of every aspect of this experience and so I got my first (much needed) drink of the day and settled in to watch the highlights of the previous matches on television, while the guys tried to decide which referee was the biggest idiot (the conclusion: that they all suck equally).”
THE GAME “We took our seats on the west pavilion about 15 rows from the front and I found that the seats were all soaked after a brief shower earlier that day. I clenched my teeth and sat down, feeling the water seeping through my jeans. I was now officially very uncomfortable and the game hadn’t even started yet.”
Reading the letter now makes me actually laugh out loud, as I realise how ridiculously biased I was going into the experience. It also makes me realise how much I have changed in 4 years. So, in the the spirit of embracing new experiences (which I believe was the intention of the assignment 3 years ago), this coming Saturday I plan to once again watch “my” team play some other team… and I’m pretty sure I’ll enjoy it. Now, if I could only find some decent biltong here somewhere.