This might seem like a bit of a tangent, but it’s been exciting to see the Bunnies get so close to an NRL Grand Final. I’ve never seen it my lifetime. And it will be a pretty huge moment when they finally make it.
The last time they played in the Grand Final, they won in 1971. My Dad was pretty young at that age too, so we’ve been holding onto hope for a long time whilst they were near the bottom of the ladder during the 90s.
The team has been pretty important to me over the years. I believe the loyalty I’ve had to the red and green is linked to my loyalty to unionism and class that my father passed down to me. And it’s quite moving being in the stadium side by side with thousands of other fans, not unlike protests and demonstrations I’ve been on.
Actually, my first demonstration was in defence of Souths when they were being threatened with expulsion from the league. There was real working class anger at Murdoch, News Ltd and Foxtel for attacking our club to revamp the league in the pursuit of TV ratings and more profit. To come from that, from being kicked out of the league for a few years in the mid-2000s to being one game away from the Grand Final seems a lot bigger to me than any other team making the Grand Final or even winning it.
A lot of people take their sport and their teams pretty seriously, and for some, that seems trivial or unimportant, but I think those loyalties and the passion people hold is a lot deeper than how it appears on the surface. I can imagine that the kind of values, like taking a side and being loyal to a club, could easily transfer to other realms of people’s lives like class solidarity and standing up for our rights.