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A little boy’s pilgrimage:

Matabele

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A little boy’s pilgrimage:

When I was two days old I first wore my Manly jersey. We’re a Sea Eagles household. All my friends pick and choose their side according to who is winning. We don’t. We value loyalty, and we picked the side with the best pedigree in the first place.

Okay, so Dad wrote that first bit, but I want to tell you about my big weekend adventure.

We get birthday cards from the club, signed by all the players. We watch all the games. But nothing beats the excitement of us boys from the bush driving to Sydney to see our heroes play for the first time!

We drove a long way. It’s 400km to Sydney, but six hours in the car. It was amazing. I have never seen so many cars and big buildings, and there were people everywhere and they all looked soft. I couldn’t imagine them riding their bikes down by the river or having a rodeo with sheep like we do.

On Sunday we went to Brookvale Oval. There were people everywhere and all of them were wearing Manly jumpers. I thought maybe they were players walking to the game but Dad said they were supporters like us and that this is the only place in the world where you will be in the majority as a Manly fan.


The tribe invade Brookvale

We sat up on the Hill with Dad’s friends. The hill is very steep at the back and all the kids were sliding down the grass on cardboard boxes. It was great fun as the hill was really steep and you could bash into people at the bottom of the hill as they were walking past.

Our part of the hill had a great bit that everyone else was avoiding. Maybe that’s because it didn’t have much grass, but lots of shale and rocks. But the boxes went much faster over that and we had long clothes on so the grazes didn’t bleed when we fell off. (Did I mention we were wearing our Manly jumpers too?)

Mum covered our eyes when the cheerleaders ran onto the field. I don’t know why as they didn’t look scary at all.

The cheerleaders were followed by the Cowboys and then came the Sea Eagles. They were very big men but I was disappointed that Jye Mullane wasn’t there because Dad says he’s their worst player and I wanted to see what he could do.

It was so noisy when they ran on the ground – everyone shouting and whistling and music blaring from loudspeakers. I had never seen so many people in all my life. Dad said there were more people in that ground then in most of the towns we’d driven through to get there.

The crowd didn’t stay loud for too long because the Cowboys scored first. It did get louder again and the Sea Eagles started to score try after try and just before half time they scored a very long one and everyone was very happy.

At half time lots of men were walking by balancing lots of beer cans and we tried to knock them over by sliding down the hill.

It became quiet again when play started and I was on the back of the hill still but I could hear the fans moaning as the Cowboys seemed to be scoring lots.

When I came back up the Cowboys were in front on the scoreboard, but Dad and his friends were shouting “Manly� and clapping their hands to try to lift the side. I joined in and shouted as loud as I could and didn’t even get into trouble with Mum.

Then the most amazing five minutes of my life happened. Brett Stewart made a break and passed to Chris Hicks who scored. Next thing I was plucked from the ground and was swinging around and around through the air as the Dad and the crowd celebrated the winning score. Everyone was shouting and screaming and very happy, except for a few of the Cowboys fans.

And then………

The referee made two mistakes, letting the Cowboys kick off early and missing a knock-on and the Cowboys scored and we lost the game with a minute to go.

I ended up at Daddy’s feet, punching his calves and saying “why didn’t we win� as tears welled in my eyes.

I didn’t know supporting a team could be so much fun and so hard at the same time.
 

Dan

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sums it up, how much of it came from your boys?
 

Corso_Pete

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Very nice, (pete wipes tear from eye)
 

Canteen Worker

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Sensational article which captures the essence of a great day.

Bottom line is that even with a heartbreaking loss it is still a great thing to be out there supporting your team!!!

A few problems with the article:

We sat up on the Hill with Dad’s friends I didn't know Dad had any???

Our part of the hill had a great bit that everyone else was avoiding. That's because dad was there!!!

Well done Mata!!! :yeah: :yeah:
 

Matabele

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I was wondering who would be the first to point out my lack of friends.

Dan, I pulled all of that together from what they said in the car on the way home. That was their most vivid memories obviously.

(Dan's cut that the boys don't think he could ride a sheep. If only they knew)
 

Dan

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And they werent so much sliding down as being forced down by you Matas :D
 

byso

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That was great stuff Mata, I could picture you're kids as I was reading it.

I wonder what reception this article would get on MSE?
 

Dan

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That was great stuff Mata, I could picture you're kids as I was reading it.

I wonder what reception this article would get on MSE?

WHo cares. why would it ned to be posted there?
 

Matabele

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I'm sure they'd find some fault with it.

Don't put it over there as one narky remark about my kids is worth 1000 directed at me.

And there are some over there that you wouldn't want to give any ideas, if you know what I mean (given their boasts that they'd hit on under 16s).
 

Matabele

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This from Zorba's column in today's Manly Daily:

The crowd went off as Manly had seemingly come back to score a courageous win. The elation around the ground was enormous but the thrill was short lived as the Cowboys' Ty Williams scored almost from the re-start to send the ground into deathly silence.

Security reports highlighted a big number of crying children who found it difficult to come to terms with the circumstances of the loss.


Interesting.................

I wonder where that idea came from really?
 

Corso_Pete

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Can't comment on where the idea came from, but there were certainly some tears in the JT stand (other than my eagle angel). Young girl about 10 who sits next to us was sobbing uncontrollably at the end of the game.

I know you have agenda Mateble, against admin, as opposed to management but fair go on this one, my wife had tears, the young girl next to us was very upset and your young bloke was also upset, all understanbly so. So if the tears spread from the hill to the JT stand it is reasonable to assume that somewhere in between there is the likleyhood of there being others similary affected.
 

Matabele

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The onions on the caviar sandwiches up there in the JT stand must have been a little raw?

Nah, fair call Mr Chipp.
 

Utility Player

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Well my beer certainly tasted a bit salty and I only watched from afar - then again I cried at the end of Titanic :drunk:
 

Matabele

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I cried in the middle of the Titanic. Out of boredom and frustration.
 

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