The Big League: Confessions of a bleeding heart
Let me start by saying there are times when I'm not a very pleasant person to be around at football games.
I mean, I can have a laugh and a chat – that’s never a problem in my life – but if I care about a team or a certain player and they're not playing well, I get a little… intense.
I can't tell you exactly where this passion comes from, but I’m working on the theory that being a child of blue-collar immigrants means I'm permanently rooting for the underdog. The problem with this is they're usually the underdog for a reason. And I’m also hugely competitive. Thus the intensity.
The point of this boring dribble about my personality is I have a real problem with how the first couple of Rounds of the 2016 season have played out – and that's the Warriors.
Now that the Cowboys have won their premiership, my underdog focus has shifted over the ditch and watching them struggle through their first couple of matches has been torture.
When RTS and Issac Luke signed with the club, I couldn't wait to see what happened on the field.
But naturally, like most rugby league fans, I jumped the gun. I got too excited and expected razzle-dazzle football with a side of great dummy-half running and about a million Tuivasa-Sheck-Johnson plays to delight my soul.
I do think these things will come for the Warriors, and like people backing Manly and the Knights, patience is the key.
Unfortunately for the Knights, success may take a little bit longer to achieve than the former two clubs. But I can't cop talk about coaches feeling the heat, or being threatened with the sack this early in the season.
Like a mistake in a magazine (not that I know anything about that, ahem), humans don't always have all their stuff figured out all the time and they can only wait until the next time they hit the field – or have a deadline – to rectify what has happened.
I think we saw that with the Warriors last week. They didn't win and their attack was somewhat suffocated by the Broncos, but we can all agree it was a much more complete effort and their fans would be proud of the effort they put it, especially considering the Broncos will definitely be there come finals time.
As rugby league's favourite cliché goes, we can only take things one week at a time. I'm looking forward to settling on my couch on Sunday, flicking the Warriors v Storm game on and spending a couple of hours screaming at my TV.
And another thing… It would be remiss of me to not plug one of the great features in Big League this week. We do a thorough investigation into why no team in rugby league has won back-to-back titles in over 20 years, talking to experienced coaches and former players like Michael Hagan, Stephen Kearney and Michael Hancock, who was part of the 1992/93 premiership-winning Broncos sides. Can the Cowboys do it? I say yes, so long as nobody digs this column up in October.
The Round 3 issue of Big League is on sale now at newsagents and at the ground. The Digital version is available through Zinio.
Maria Tsialis is the Editor of Big League.