Nobody should wish their life away, after all time is a precious gift. Yet since the World Cup finished, I’ve been guilty of just that, hoping time could just hurry up and move along…
Now we find ourselves within a week of the start of the season, and I’m like an over-excited child waiting for Christmas. Come on Thursday 1st February 2018 please just hurry up, stop taking so long!! What makes it even more exciting is that my own team get to start the new season and at home too. But for every plus there is the karma of a minus and for Warrington that comes in the form of the defending Champions, Leeds Rhinos.
For some, representative rugby doesn’t hold the same attraction as the domestic club game. So even though there was a World Cup, one that went quite well overall too, it wasn’t enough to satisfy the insatiable appetite for the club game. But why?
Maybe it’s the likes of Widnes fans cheering for Kevin Brown, a man at whom rubber snakes were thrown during the local derbies, yet seemed to find a new lease of life when wearing his England shirt. Or Wire fans praising James Roby against all of their natural judgement. In any sport the club versus country argument always runs, but I’ve often found it a little strange to cheer for someone who only weeks earlier I could only jeer. Maybe this is just sport, but maybe it says a lot more about the human psyche’ than it does about national pride. If pushed which would you prefer, England to win the World Cup, or your home club to win the Grand Final? As a Wire, I’d struggle to look beyond the primrose and blue, but I might also have to admit that one is much more likely to happen than the other too.
And for that reason, I’m excited and very much looking forward to Thursday night and the forthcoming season as a whole. There are teams that I have an affinity with, such as a free-flowing Castleford and the power game of Hull FC; there are teams that I want to do well, such as Trinity and Catalans; and of course there are teams that I want to struggle, despite knowing in my heart that they never will, I have no real need to identify these villains of the piece I’m sure.
So yes perhaps we were a little spoiled with the World Cup, but we all suspected correctly that Australia would win and they did. Super League is anything but predictable, and no team is too big to avoid a poor season. This is why people are excited, this is exactly why most league fans have wished January would just go away. For those brave enough to have gone teetotal in January (madness) then they’ll be able to raise a glass to a new day, a new month, and most exciting of all, the new season. Bring it on!