Stereotypical

Ahh, weekend sport. The time honored tradition of rugging up for rugby. Standing on the sidelines with a sausage sizzle in your hand as you drip sauce down your front and smear it around a bit with a cheap, nasty serviette. It down not matter what you look like. You are a rugby mum and the sauce is a badge of honour.

Or is it?

It all comes down to whom you play for. And I have recently been exposed to both the Kath & Kim and the Prue & Trude school of spectating.

A while ago I was observing my nephew’s team playing Rugby. The sausage sizzle had been consumed and I must admit, the hosting club was well aware about the onion/sausage ratio. Not too much, not too little, but just right. I also appreciated the freshness of the bread. It is the little things that make all the difference.

The game started and my attention was not on the ball, but on the sideline activity.

My nephew plays for a team from an area of Sydney famed for drive by shootings and cannabis cultivation. The parents of the players favoured tracksuits and thongs, as well as smoking and coke. I hung out with these parents and was impressed with their passion and knowledge of the game. I grew up in this area, so I was a total homie.

The team we were playing were of more refined behavior, with their supporters decked out in GANT and COUNTRY ROAD and CASHMERE. They preferred a quieter type of encouragement, politely clapping and sharing lovely anecdotes of weekend skiing trips and boating activities between tries.

People watching is always one of the most fascinating thing you can do when you are slightly bored, and I made some generalized observations on the scenario.

Dogs are a must at a rugby game. The Kath & Kim canines are of mixed breed and are leash less, running around sniffing crotches and eating abandoned sausage sizzles. The Prue & Trude dogs are small, are of breeds ending in “oodle” and are on tartan leashes. And a lot of them are white.

Did you know that rat-tails did not die out in the 80’s? In fact they are alive and well on the sidelines. Really, really long ones, either plated are free flowing, or even cheekily popping out of a MONSTER FLAT CAP. The Prue & True preferred hairstyle is a bob. Full stop. No further correspondence is to be entered into.

The names being shouted onto the field were also well defined in style. There was Jayden, Brayden, Hayden, Caden, Jaden, Ayden and Barry. On the other team there was William, Will and Billy. The team I was supporting had an abundance of little brothers and sisters watching from the sidelines, a few who possessed the most colourful language I had ever heard coming out of an 8 year old’s mouth.

“Are you f*cking blind REF? YOU ARE F*CKING BLIND!!!!!” before being whacked over the back of the head with a half empty 1.25L bottle of coke, yielded by a parent.

The coach of our team stood on the sideline wearing thongs, puffing furiously on cigarette after cigarette, throwing water bottles out onto the field and yelling until he was blue in the face. The opposition’s coach stood beneath a canopy sponsored by LJ Hooker and made notes on a clipboard.

I was in complete heaven, watching two very different tribes come together, united by the love of the game. Kids sports can ignite a passion that most of us never knew possible, including me. There was extreme cheering vs extreme clapping until the end of the game, when it was declared the Trude & Prues victorious.

The result was not what our side was after and it took all but a split second for the older brother of one of our teams players to march across the field and punch the ref out.

Not cool Brayden!

As the teams waited for the police to arrive, I gathered up my kids, who had a million questions by this stage, and left. It got me thinking about tribes. We were visitors to the umpire thumping, profanity bleating, and tracksuit panted tribe. There are all sorts of tribes out there. Hipsters, goths, snobs, middle class God Fearers from the Hills District. So many tribes co-existing in the same space, but equally different and identifiable by their own appearance and customs.

I quite often visit the Eastern Suburbs and wonder, Where the hell am I?

The rugby match really was just a battle of two tribes, with a ball instead of swords and shields. I was left in the middle of the field shaking my head. Had my generalized stereotypes been played out before me as a joke?

And then I stepped in dog poo.

How would you describe yourself, stereotypically?

 

 

  • Brayden was a bad bad boy, but I admit to getting such a surprise when I read of his actions that I laughed out loud. Yeh Bad bad boy Brayden, but ta for the telling Mrs W.

  • SB

    Love it. I used to be a rugby league and rugby mum (now soccer, alas). All you describe is exactly how it happens out in the wilds of the Central west (though not the hitting, fortunately). My son’s name is Will, and, not kidding you, he has friends called Caden, Brayden and Cody. Now, pick my tribe

  • CFrance

    That. was. priceless. Society whittled down into a game. I love it!

  • What an ending 😂😂😂

  • Jeanine

    Ah, that was a very good read – thank you. I’m not sure what I am anymore, just a dag really.