I LOVE MEN WHO PLAY RUGBY LEAGUE
I was born a rugby league tragic.
Some of my most cherished childhood memories include Saturday afternoons spent at the Sydney Cricket Ground, watching the match of the day with the extended family. Or going with my sister to Belmore Sports Ground to support the Berries while my brothers headed off to Kogarah to watch St George, and other members of my family went to Lidcombe to cheer on the Magpies.
I took my passion for the game seriously, spent hours trying to explain the rules and intricacies of the game to my female school friends so they could understand why (as they were all developing teenage crushes on pop stars), my head was filled with footy players.
My marriage may not have lasted, but my love of rugby league did.
Marriages fail all the time. Rugby league was not the cause for mine faltered. Be he butcher, baker or footy player, it just wasn’t meant to be.
Bill Tupou (left) is congratulated by Warriors’ team-mates Kevin Locke (centre) and Konrad Hurrell after scoring a try against the Parramatta Eels.
What being married to a first grade professional footy player did show me was that the player you see on the field is not always that man in real life. Some of the most likeable, friendly and generous men I met were, in fact, the same ones the media like to portray as the bad boys of league.
Passionate and competitive on the field, for sure. Hated by the opposing fans for the impact they had on their team’s loss, maybe. But once away from the playing arena they were just men, with all the usual human frailties. They made mistakes like the rest of us.
You never read about the 21-year-old butcher being thrown out of a club for getting drunk! Who would care? It would seem butchers don’t make good role models, but if you are a footy player it’s part of the job description and you are held accountable, publicly.
Not that I condone anti-social behaviour. There have been times I’ve been shocked and disappointed about behaviour of a violent nature. But in every walk of life there are those that do the wrong thing. I hate hearing people judge all rugby league players by the actions of a few. So much so that, with all that teenage romanticising in my background, I took my love for rugby league and my respect for the men who play and wrote a series of romance novels with that sport as the backdrop. (To be released soon, stay tuned!)
Romance and rugby league—it’s a perfect match. What better alpha than a fit, masculine male who spends a lot of his time in shorts and skin tight tops, which beautifully showcase bulging biceps and impossibly broad shoulders?
More than that, though, I was able to add some insights into the pressures these modern day gladiators face when they play at the highest level.
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