Why loyalty DOES matter, kids!
Over the years, I’ve been told by some of the bandwagon jumping kids that I teach that I should change my sporting loyalties – mainly in the NRL and A-League, simply because I’ve moved to Sydney.
I’ve told them that once you pick a team – you stick with them through thick and thin. No matter where you go in life. And it’s a lesson they ought to learn too.
For those who are unaware of my background…..
- Born and bred in Scone, in the Upper Hunter Valley of New South Wales.
- Nearest big regional centre/city is Newcastle – 90 minutes to 2 hours away down the New England Highway or Hunter Expressway.
- We get most of the Newcastle media – namely television and the Newcastle Herald. Not so much radio, depending on how good your car or home aerial is.
- Can you spot where the influences are? The Upper Hunter was then, and is now, a target market for any professional sports team. In my case, it’s the Newcastle Knights and the Newcastle United Jets, and when they did exist, the Newcastle Falcons and Hunter Pirates.
Now, not everyone did what I did, and that’s their prerogative. I respect that.
I’ve put up with the crap that both teams have had to put their supporters through – ownership debacles, wooden spoons, player and coach scandals, you name it. But I’ve also had the good times – namely the Knights wins in 1997 and 2001 and the Jets in 2008.
Kids need to realise that loyalty is a good attribute to have. And following a sporting team is a really good way of testing that.
Where I live is within Wests Tigers territory, in fact, the Magpies were born in Ashfield. Where I work is in South Sydney territory, although we’re across the road from Henson Park, home to every hipster’s favourite team, the Newtown Jets. And as for the A-League – I think I’m on the border line between $ydney FC and the Wannabe-Ultras. This is what I live with.
And you may be wondering – but why do you proudly proclaim that you’re a Kings member? Simple, although it was a tough decision to make. The NBL hasn’t got Newcastle on its radar for expansion. No one wants to pony up the cash for a Newcastle NBL team. I love the game and it’s been a long time since anyone has managed to get me back into it in a major way. I can’t see the Falcons being reborn like the Bullets were.
But with loyality being about as frail as a china shop with a bull in its vincity, kids will sadly swap teams like they change their clothes. If there is one piece of advice I would give kids, aside from not swearing every 2nd word (are you reading year 12?), it’s that loyality is a good thing to build.by