This is one of those spontaneous, off the cuff posts that I’m never really sure how well they’ll do but bear with me won’t you. This weekend I headed over to Manchester to watch the Super League Grand Final and as there’s been a lot in the press recently about pride, passion & belief, I thought I’d share my thoughts too…
I guess I am lucky being a Leeds fan (wow, there’s something I never thought I’d say 10 years ago), growing up in a city full of sport, in a family that always had sport on the TV and a stone’s throw away from a the Premiership football club.
On Saturday night, at the two Manchester Stadiums, two very different rugby matches took place. The first at the ‘Stadium of Dreams’ Old Trafford, in front of capacity crowd saw the top two domestic teams in Rugby League vie for the title of Super League Champions 2015 and the second at the Etihad Stadium, saw a slightly less than capacity crowd watch Rugby World Cup hosts England take on Uruguay in their final game of the tournament.
Many said that the latter was a nothing game, that it didn’t matter after earlier losses in the tournament saw them enter the game without a chance of progressing. However, I can guarantee that every player who pulled on that white shirt wanted to win their game just as much as those in blue & amber or cherry & white just four miles across Manchester.
You could see an immense sense of pride in every player that took to the field in Manchester this weekend, whether be in pulling on their home nations jersey, knowing that they had given their all for 80 minutes or in lifting a trophy high in front of their fans. Wherever you looked you witnessed an unbelievable amount of passion for what they were doing, some were written off, some were broken and some were clearly exhausted. But despite everything they gave it everything they had because they wanted to succeed, to prove people wrong. But most importantly of all you could could sense the belief that they had within themselves, that they had in one another and when you get a full team of players pulling together who are thinking the same, feeling the same and aiming for the same thing amazing things can happen.
It’s easy to pick out a scapegoat, to aim all of your disappointment and downheartedness at one person, but who does that help in the long wrong?
I guess what I’m trying to say is that those guys on the pitch can have all of the pride, passion and belief in the world, but sometimes they need us, the fans to have it too. We’re all part of the team, we’re that extra player they sometimes feel they could use to break down barriers and battle on through. In the words of the Leeds fans I sat with on Saturday ‘All Leeds Aren’t We’…
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