This post is inspired by those passionate, deluded and ultimately disappointed Rebels supporters who turned up in Melbourne last Friday night for the Rebels first ever game in full team kit. As Rugby tragics go they were pretty easy to pick, though the fact they were holding scarves up in the air soccer style hints at maybe some Victory rent-a-crowd being thrown a few bucks to cheer another code.
So how do you spot a Rugby tragic or know if you're one?...
1) You turn up to your teams' first ever match with your face painted in team colours and wearing the full and expensive supporters kit. And you're over 15 years old.
2) You know the words and tune to the team song despite the team never having played a game. And you sing it.
3) You record every match of the round. And watch them all by Monday and it's not your job to do so.
4) You know every Rugby referee signal and what he awarded scrum penalties for.
5) You've kept your old videos for your annual showing of every match of the Wallabies 1984 Grand Slam Tour, and watch them even if no one accepts your invitation to join you (again).
6) You're a member of a suburban Rugby Club. And you go to matches. And you watch for the game, not for the business connections.
7) You spend hundreds of dollars flying to obscure cities, like Melbourne, to watch your team play.
8) You willingly purchase tickets behind the goal posts in the obscure hope that a player will high five you, or even better hug you, after scoring a try. Or to sledge Matt Dunning (guilty).
9) You can argue at length about the relative merits of Rugby over other codes despite never having played the game.
10) You run a Rugby tipping competition and a Rugby blog (guilty).
11) You know where all the South African Super Rugby teams are from.
12) You know what Griquas are.
13) You remember when Stirling Mortlock and Nathan Sharpe had hair.