Routing and cheering for the Stormers as they battle the Crusaders at DHL Newlands Stadium.
Before moving to Asia I considered myself a faithful football fan. I watched as many games as possible, I played fantasy football, played every year of Madden video games since 2000, and also while still a younger boy I played backyard football every opportunity I could.
I have finally found another sport that I can love equally and enjoy as much as football. Growing up, I actually played a little rugby. When I was in Elementary School (Primary School), the local Police Station sponsored a rugby team to give the students a way to stay out of trouble after school. Being one of the fastest kids in school, I played a Wing position.
So being here in South Africa, I was excited to get into Rugby. It is an International Sport, even America has a National Team, which has been getting better lately, but Americans don’t really follow them or know much about them.
Catherine’s family don’t support the local team, the Stormers. Instead, they are Blue Bulls fans. The Blue Bulls play in Pretoria. Surprisingly many people in Cape Town rout for the Blue Bulls even though the great distance of them between their “home” team. Our friend Clinton, and another friend Claiborne are a couple of examples of friends who cheers for the Blue Bulls.
Thanks to these two wonderful people, Rudi & Bronwyn, the sport I had spent the last six weeks watching was being brought live to my eyes.
Before the game we went to Spur for lunch with Bronwyn, Rudi, and Rudi’s parents. It’s difficult to find parking if you arrive to the stadium too late, so we drove there early and went for a bite to eat.
After lunch we went to a Stormers gathering across the street from the stadium. There were some clothing, food and beer vendors. This was our equivalent of a beer garden before the game. While walking from the car to lunch and to the stadium, it felt as if we were in the U.S.A. There were people tailgating, drinking, and just having a great time in anticipation of a great rugby game.
Catherine showing her support!
There was a rowdy group of guys that were pretty entertaining. After a couple more drinks, I might be able to join them! 😉
Speaking of more drinks…. here Rudi and I come with them!
Since it was Easter Weekend, the Easter Bunny was out handing goodies to the little kiddos.
DHL had people walking around passing out free Stormers paraphernalia to help all the fans. They passed out these signs for us to hold up whenever the Stormers scored a try.
Just before we were leaving this guy showed up and had everyone’s attention. For some reason, he had a toothbrush and razor on his hat. Maybe he was going to get so drunk, that he might need these if he wakes up in a gutter before work the next day.
What a great panoramic view.
The drinks were reasonably priced at the stadium, which was great for this American.
Everyone was super excited for the action!
Rudi and his best friend Andrew.
(This was the part of the game where Andrew was still awake)
I am blowing up my “bang sticks”. I’m not quite sure what they are called, but there are two of them and they bang together. Hence my made-up name, bang sticks.
Catherine and I at my first rugby game.
Bronwyn was a great storage for when the bang sticks weren’t needed.
Dirk & Sandy
Rudi’s parents are amazing! We got to spend some quality time with them and they treated us like their own kids. We miss you!
The Stormers and Crusaders get in for a scrum.
There were some great moments from the game and I really enjoyed myself.
It’s time to go, but I only got to use my sign once….
A nice treat for Rudi to watch the game live instead of all the way from London as he usually does.
I had a plan for all those Stormers flags in my hand.
As mentioned earlier, Catherine’s family supports the Blue Bulls Rugby team, so when we returned home, I placed these flags we received from the game on Moose’s computer. He laughed when he came home, but only because the Stormers lost. He told me that if the Stormers won, I would have to sleep outside in the garden. Good thing the Stormers lost!
For me, the day was amazing and really brought me back to my time in University where we would do this for football games. Sometimes it doesn’t matter if your team wins or loses the game, as long as you are with your friends, it turns out to be a great day!
Thank you to Rudi, Bronwyn and their Family!!