Here we are again. The rugby league off-season. The days seem longer as we all wait anxiously for our beloved sport to recommence.
For those of you reading from England, your rugby league cravings will be satisfied later this month.
How we envy you down here in Australia.
We have to get through another two dark, cold (kidding, it’s bloody hot), boring months before the greatest game of all graces our television screens once again.
So we’ve developed a guide to surviving the off-season.
(This is particularly for Australians but some of it might even apply to those of you north of the equator. Who knows?)
In England you will most likely be watching darts, football, or midget-tossing (it’s a real thing) but here in the land of Oz it’s the summer of cricket.
Rugby league fans are particularly good at watching cricket here. We have to deal with the Channel 9 rugby league commentary team every weekend, so watching the Channel 9 cricket commentary team for five days straight is almost tolerable.
As for the English, it’s one of the rare sports that you occasionally win, so that’s a nice bonus.
Yes, while the rest of the world is organizing secret Santa, putting up the tree and eating too much ham, rugby league fans have grin and pretend there isn’t a rugby league-shaped hole in our hearts.
Not that Christmas isn’t a magical time.
It would just be a whole lot more magical if there was a lot more rugby league and a whole lot less tinsel.
Some of us will spend Christmas time with family, where there is a small chance of rugby league conversation.
That conversation will almost certainly go like this:
You: Hello (insert relative’s name here), looking forward to the rugby league season? How do you think (insert team name here) will go?
Relative: Pass the pavlova. Did you see the midget-tossing yesterday? Unreal.
We’ve all been there, right?
And if you sell your kidney, you might have enough money to buy your team’s jersey and give it to yourself for secret Santa.
Making unlikely bets and predictions
This is our specialty.
Newcastle Knights to win the 2017 premiership? Worth a shot.
Lebanon to win the World Cup? Guaranteed.
Todd Carney to return to the NRL, piss in his own mouth, and get kicked out again? Lock it in.
Midget-tossing to become an Olympic sport? 100%.
At this time of the year we can let our minds wonder.
If you’re a betting man or woman your bank account might suffer, but if it gets you through the off-season it’s worth it.
Happy Christmas everyone.