A little boyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s pilgrimage: When I was two days old I first wore my Manly jersey. WeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢re a Sea Eagles household. All my friends pick and choose their side according to who is winning. We donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢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. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢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 couldnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢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 DadÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢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 thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s because it didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢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 didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢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 donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t know why as they didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢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 wasnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t there because Dad says heÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s their worst player and I wanted to see what he could do. It was so noisy when they ran on the ground ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â€Âœ 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 weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢d driven through to get there. The crowd didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢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 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“ManlyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? and clapping their hands to try to lift the side. I joined in and shouted as loud as I could and didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢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 thenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¦ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¦ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¦ 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 DaddyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s feet, punching his calves and saying ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“why didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t we winÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? as tears welled in my eyes. I didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t know supporting a team could be so much fun and so hard at the same time.