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You think you know pain? We are Wallabies supporters, doomed to live in hell forever

Ah, so you think you know sadness? Do you think you know misery? Think you know PAIN?

I’m telling you that unless you know what it is like to have been a Wallabies fan for the first two decades of the twentieth century, you don’t know ANYTHING.

Being a Wallabies fan back then is knowing how Prometheus felt, being chained to a rock and having his liver pecked by an eagle every day. Except it’s actually worse, because at least Prometheus hasn’t had to deal with new coaches who show up every few days to promise him that under their leadership his liver would definitely beat the eagle this time around.

This is the purpose of supporting the Wallabies: in a way, it is the absolute apotheosis of John Cleese’s observation that “I can handle despair … hope is killing me.” Because really, hope returns regularly for the Australian rugby team.

Hope in the form of an exciting young player or a rugby league signature. Hope in the form of a new coach with an energetic and inspiring manner.

Hope in the form of impressive wins at the start of the season – perhaps even a courageous victory over a touring team after seeing a player unfairly sent off the pitch?

Hope, on occasion, in the form of surprising late-season victories: a flawless triumph over the Great Enemy can really make you think positively about the future.

And yet, whatever form hope comes in, and no matter how positive the Wallaby fan feels because of it, ultimately every year the All Blacks show up and kick you. in the stomach until you spit out your hope, then they force you to kneel and make you eat your hope, so they can kick you in the stomach until you do. spat again.

(Photo by Getty images)

For the All Blacks are to be hoped for as a furnace is to an ice cube; as a Sherman tank is for a crippled duckling; as a professional NRL team is for the Wests Tigers. They don’t just extinguish hope: they strangle it, chop it into small pieces, set the pieces on fire, throw them on a compost heap, and burn the compost heap in the sun.

If we lived earlier we would keep our kids well behaved by telling them that if they did shit the All Blacks would come in the middle of the night and play rugby against them.

But the strangest thing about the hope that New Zealand destroys year after year is that it exists. Because if hope springs eternal in the chest of the Wallaby fan, it also exists somehow next to the certainty that victory is impossible.

How is it so? How can we, of this unhappy race, know at the same time that misery is inevitable while letting ourselves believe that relief is possible?

Well, this is why following the Wallabies is so particularly horrible: We have mastered the art of maintaining two mutually exclusive beliefs at the same time, which both make us deeply sad.

Because we know. Of course we know. We know there is no light at the end of this tunnel.

If the definition of insanity does the same thing and expects a different outcome, everyone involved in Australian rugby should have been separated years ago: in this case, the “different outcome” being to win the game. Bledisloe Cup ”and the“ same ”play rugby union against New Zealand.

At this point, they might as well try something different: it can’t be said that the odds of winning the Bledisloe Cup by challenging the All Blacks to a hot air balloon race around the world are much worse than the odds of winning it in playing rugby.

Matt Toomua Wallabies You think you know pain? We are Wallabies supporters, doomed to live in hell forever

(Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung / Getty Images)

Yet we still watch, and we still follow, and we still believe – in a pathetic, shriveled, masochistic corner of our withered souls – that better things are possible. No matter how many times we see the Wallaby easily moving backwards by their brutal black-clad counterparts, we believe.

No matter how many times the New Zealanders roam around the defense of the Golden Horsemen, fending off tacklers like an elephant might fend off a mongoose’s frontal assault, we believe.

No matter how many Aussie range shots miss their mark, no matter how many passes hit the ground, no matter how many scrums fall apart, no matter how many times a simple backline move goes horribly wrong, resulting in a counterattack. radical of the All Blacks who finished 80 meters far behind the posts of Wallaby… we believe.

Because we are Wallaby fans, and as such we are sick in a very specific and painful way.

I laugh darkly when I think back to the 1990s, when Australia and New Zealand faced off on an equal footing and the Wallabies often came out victorious.

Looking back, I can see that the 1990s were a way for a vengeful god to ensure that his punishment for Australian rugby would be particularly painful, creating the illusion that better things are possible. My memory assures me that I used to be happy: my rational brain tells me not to fall into such tricks.

And the point is, we can’t even count on the All Blacks to get bored with the consistent win and let us win. For New Zealanders, beating Australia is like sleeping with Angela Lansbury: you can do it every day until the end of time, but it will never be boring.

Evidence suggests that over time, in fact, New Zealand continues to find its dominance of Bledisloe more and more fun.

Every now and then the All Blacks will even play a prank on the Wallabies by playing dead in a match, resulting in a series of articles in the Australian media about how the tide has turned and the era is over and finally the long national nightmare is over.

And then, in the deciding game, the All Blacks will play better than ever, smearing the Wallabies on the pitch like so much weak, tasteless mustard, and laughing all summer at the funny little Australians who actually thought that they had IMPROVED, bless them.

It’s a bit like a billiard room con artist, who will lose a match against a young rube to make him believe he has the wood on the other, but after lulling the youngster into a false sense of security, l The con artist beats him to death and struts his head on the end of his tail.

Because the lesson of the last twenty years is simple: Australia never improves. Likewise, New Zealand never declines. No coach is capable of putting together a winning Wallaby team. No player is able to raise the level of the team enough to defeat the All Blacks.

No matter who Australia chooses, they will drop the ball, drop tackles, kick the ball aimlessly and by the end of the series suffer an almost total collapse in their basic motor skills. No matter who chooses New Zealand, they will stomp the Australians ahead of them into the ground and barely sweat while doing so.

And on the sidelines, we Wallaby fans will keep watching them, turning every now and then to each other to say, “You know, if we can clean up our troubleshooting work and reduce handling errors, we could question ourselves next year. ”

But inside, we’ll know that’s not true. Inside we will know there will be no challenge next year, as we are supporters of the Australian rugby unions, who long ago committed an unforgivable sin, and therefore we are doomed to live in hell, forever.

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