Last night, I travelled into the Big Smoke, with some family members, to attend a rugby league match. Played at Allianz Stadium which is probably the best rugby league stadium in New South Wales, the game was a sudden death semi final featuring my team, the Canterbury Bulldogs.
I'm pretty passionate about the Bulldogs. I've been seriously following them for about 36 years. My dad is a bulldogs fan, and so is my son, and my daughter, though she's not quite a 'mental' as us boys. Whether it is on TV or live at the ground, I yell and talk a lot when I watch the Bulldogs play. I can become pretty emotionally disturbed. In close, tense games, my mouth goes dry and I have heart palpitations. I become totally lost in the contest as though my life depended on the result of the game. A loss can flatten me, a win can make me float for days. This is one of my great thrills: watching my team play and cheering for them. I love it.
The result of the sudden death semi final was decided in extra time when the scores were locked 17-17 at full time. I felt that the second half totally belonged to the opposition and as they came back from a 0-16 deficit, I believed they would run over us and win the game. The crowd of nearly 30 000 was going insane, the noise in the stadium was deafening, as both teams ripped into each other in the desperate battle to win the game, and the right to progress through to the next game. It was so enthralling, I'm sure I must have stopped breathing on several occasions.
When full time sounded and the teams took a quick on field drinks break before commencing sudden death extra time-what we call Golden Point- I sat there beaming. I realized that even if the Bulldogs lost, I would still always treasure that night. The thrill of the contest. The heart stopping excitement. The nail biting tension. It was so much fun. I'm so glad I was there. I'm smiling now as I think of it.
Oh, you may be wondering about the result. Four minutes into the first period of extra time, Bulldogs half back, Trent Hodkinson, kicked the winning field goal. Final score? Bulldogs 18, Eagles 17.
As for the philosophy of thrills...who cares? I'm just glad we won and I had a great night. Go the Bulldogs!! How do you get your thrills?