Is there really a difference between jealousy and envy?
Jarrod Saffy, myself and about 90,000 others looked on as the Bombers took on the Pies in the blockbuster Anzac Day match.
From behind we looked more like rock apes, squeezed into every part of our plastic stadium chairs, but from in front the looks on our faces resembled cave men recently dropped into civilisation.
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It’s like when you rock up to a party thinking your pretty hot stuff, until you see what everyone else is wearing and realise you are nowhere near the mark.
I wanted to be someone else, or in fact somewhere else, out there in the centre square.
I’m sure I wasn’t the only one, I am sure every injured player, every non Essendon or Collingwood player, even James Hird, Eddie McGuire or anyone else in that stadium would die to have the chance to be part of that footy match.
‘Saff’ and I were no different.
“We’re playing the right game aren’t we Saff?”
He turned and looked at me as if he was watching a racehorse he tipped, but didn’t back.
“I think so? I wouldn’t mind a piece of this action today though .. This is out of control!”
As I sat there and tried to comprehend what the blazes was happening, I thought of many things about my game of rugby, and how far away we are from this very spirited encounter.
Daytime rugby has seems to be a thing of the past, with the ‘good day out’ factor fading away as we search for better TV ratings.
One fan behind me made it her ambition to scream the word ‘Pies’ for a new Guinness world record, while the other in front seemed to make a human gun noise every time a Bomber had a disposal. Fanatical, to say the least.
I continued to ponder. How far away is rugby from ever achieving these feats? When will a rugby audience have the luxury of this fine demonstration of Australian sport?
Then, as I was deep in thought, as if I was having a very bad day dream, an imaginary bucket of ice water across the face was replaced with a very real beer down the back.
The joys of live sport, although the “sorry mate” didn’t feel that joyous at the time.
With my back now becoming a bar mat , it was the unpleasant event I needed to knock some sense into me.
Why are we always comparing?
We are allowed to like different things.
Rugby has many true qualities, it just took a clumsy, but passionate spectator to remind me.
One of the great things about Super Rugby, which my Rebels team mates will experience on Tuesday, is their first South African Tour together. When the thought of travelling to Perth appears challenging, we hop on a plane and head to a different continent.
Many players who elect to play, or come across to rugby, highlight the opportunity see the world as part of their sport.
The joys of rugby aren’t better, nor worse then that of AFL, its just different.
We are long way from ever hosting a spectacle such as the 90,000 I witnessed at the ‘G’ that day, but when, for a split second, I briefly contemplated whether I had chosen the right sport, I saw the light.
As much as there is beauty in a packed MCG, there is also beauty in witnessing a good old Kiwi haka at a packed Etihad Stadium. Never would I ever trade that in – not for twice the audience.
Words cannot express the feeling of representing every man, woman and child who plays rugby in this country in my first Test against Argentina at River Plate Stadium.
Never would I trade in the fact the I have seen nearly every inch of the globe with my code. That I have played with and alongside Greg Somerville, but also George Gregan. That my best mate captains another state and another plays in New York city.
Some of my worst enemies were born in South Africa, while some of my best friends were also born on the same continent.