It’s ok to have a second team in the finals!

This article was written by Melissa Muscat – Parramatta Eels member and 2017 Parramatta Eels Members Councillor.

My article this week almost came with an element of controversy. Thankfully the Eels face the Cowboys in this weekend’s elimination semifinal.

There is a lot of stipulation and rules about who people should support. Is it the team you supported as a child? The local team where you live? The team your partner or children go for? I have only one rule. Pick a team and stay loyal.

In saying that, it doesn’t mean you are never allowed to cheer on another team ever. I’m a firm believer that it’s ok to have another team to go for when your number one isn’t in the picture. I most definitely believe in supporting a team on Grand Final day no matter what the scenario is, although I will be struggling if Melbourne play Brisbane this year. NRL Grand Final Day is like Christmas Day for adults. I absolutely love it. Everybody is going for someone that day, even people who haven’t watched a regular match all season. The game brings people together whether they gather at the local or for a backyard BBQ and there is a sense of excitement in the air. I even go to the lengths of wearing the team colours of who I am barracking for. I stop at ever buying merchandise of another NRL team but there are a couple of teams I don’t mind seeing victorious.

The Sharks are a team I have a soft spot for. Mostly due to living a third of my life in the Shire and also being the underdog of the NRL until last year. I was at the grand final cheering them on to their first ever premiership and what a memorable night that was. I was genuinely happy for the team and their supporters. Every team deserves to experience a grand final win. I also have a respect for Paul Gallen. He does a lot for charity especially with terminally ill children, is a loving family man (congrats on the announcement of a fourth Sharkie on the way!) and is a knowledgeable commentator. He has also served NSW well and with pride. Gallen is a player who plays tough but is a man who just loves his footy and it shows in every aspect of his game.

Just to add a little more controversy, given the finals predicament the Eels are in, I also don’t mind the Roosters. Maybe I won’t feel the same in a couple of weeks, but I do love the Eastern suburbs and my closest friend goes for the Tri Colours.

Whilst the feeling doesn’t compare when another team scores or is victorious, I don’t believe there is anything wrong with wishing another team well when it can’t be yours on the winning horizons. I know for certain I am not the only person to think this way. I have had several of my wonderful colleagues approach me this week saying they are now on board the blue and gold finals bandwagon…some even said it was because of my passion which was quite heartwarming.

So if your team is no longer in finals footy contention, why not do something very Australian and cheer on the underdog over the next couple of weeks. Aussies love a good sports story and the blue and gold wagon is happily picking up passengers wanting to board.