A Queensland fan braves the NSW blues army. AAP Image/Darren England.
A Queensland fan braves the NSW blues army. AAP Image/Darren England.

Non-footy lover’s guide to surviving the next 30 weeks

WELL, it all begins tonight.

That time of year when they've called stumps on the summer of cricket and that surprisingly comforting 'Simply the best' video by Tina Turner starts getting a run again.

That's right, the footy's back.

If you didn't realise tonight is the kick-off for the 2020 NRL season, then you are obviously not a rugby league fan.

But don't despair.

A young female Raiders. Pic: Lukas Coch.
A young female Raiders. Pic: Lukas Coch.

There is inevitably a non-football-loving family member in every household.

That one person who, from the moment the first whistle is blown and the first Steeden is kicked, right through until the victorious captain holds the Provan-Summons Trophy aloft on Sunday, October 4, switches off.

They switch off from any, and all conversations that in any way relate to sport.

They stop engaging in conversations about the weather, just in case someone starts talking about the Storm.

They throw away their golf clubs because it reminds them of the controversial and much discussed Bunker.

They even decline a trip to the jewellers because it conjures up thoughts of the nailbiting golden point.

And who can blame them.

Footy lovers are a mad lot.

Sharks fan Jens Sorensen at PointsBet Stadium.. Picture: Jonathan Ng.
Sharks fan Jens Sorensen at PointsBet Stadium.. Picture: Jonathan Ng.

They yell and scream at their television sets and they argue with complete strangers about dodgy refereeing calls from the night before.

For 30 straight weeks, how they interact with the outside world hangs solely on whether their beloved team won or lost that weekend.

If they won, they high-five old ladies, kiss babies in the street and shout the entire bar at their local.

But if their team loses, they are more emotional than a 12-year-old girl when One D broke up.

Queensland Origin Captain Ali Brigginshaw and footy fans. Picture AAPImage/ David Clark
Queensland Origin Captain Ali Brigginshaw and footy fans. Picture AAPImage/ David Clark

So how does the non-footy lover survive the upcoming NRL season?

It might sound like a cliche, but you just take it one week at a time.

That's right, pace yourself.

Don't come out during round one with all guns blazing expressing your disdain for sports.

You'll only be met with eye rolls and shushed by corn chip laden fingers.

You have to be more strategic than that.

Beat the footy lover at their own game.

Like the great Alfie Langer in years gone by, you need a combination of smarts, footwork and strength to win over the passionate footy fan.

Smarts to be able to distinguish the difference between Cameron Smith and the referee, even though he makes the majority of calls.

Footwork to sidestep around the age-old question, 'what is the point of having scrums?'

And a great degree of strength and patience to sit through 7000 replays of an obvious no try that the video ref wants to watch 'just one more time.'

But if all that goes pear shaped, and you have about as much success winning over the footy fan as the Gold Coast Titans do of winning over the scoreboard, never fear.

There is a back up plan that, just like Kalyn Ponga, is guaranteed never to fail.

Simply conjure up all that pent up stress and frustration by yelling, screaming and swearing at the guy in the middle with the whistle.

Think long and hard about all the reasons your life is failing and let that guy in the middle with the pink shirt have it with both barrels.

Then, and only then, will the footy fans in your household accept you as one of there own.

Enjoy the exciting footy season ahead and all the best to your beloved team.

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