My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

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brian_muz
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My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by brian_muz » September 13, 2019, 9:36 pm

Bit of a weird post for this forum but with Canberra playing a final in my adopted home of Melbourne tomorrow I’ve been thinking a bit about my history as a Raiders fan. As I’m currently getting excited about tomorrow’s game I thought I’d write some of this all down. Not sure if this will mean anything to anyone else but here it is anyway.

I became a Raiders fan in 1989 on the day of our grand final win. I was ten at the time and the grand final fell on the day of my old man’s 40th birthday party. It was a cracking Canberra day and we decorated the house with green, white, blue and yellow streamers and balloons. I hadn’t really been into league until this point but I remember thinking that it was pretty significant that a team from Canberra could make the final against all the best teams in the country (I had a pretty warped view of Australia back then. I thought Canberra was a really small country town (which it kinda was) and Sydney and Brisbane were unbelievably huge). I had no idea what was going on and to be honest I was running around doing other things most of the day but keeping an eye on the game whenever I ran past the TV. All I remember of the game is that it felt like we were going to lose for the whole game and then we scored a try and suddenly we won. Or that’s how it happened from my memory. I’ve watch replays of the game since which seem to go a little different to how I recall.

I followed the team from that point but I still wasn’t really a huge fan. Then at some point I suggested getting my grandma a season ticket one year for Christmas. I didn’t really know my grandma very well but I knew she watched all the Raiders games and the way she yelled at the TV for 80 minutes during the games was pretty impressive. My parents weren’t the yelling and screaming type so hearing this old woman losing her **** at the refs was impressive. Anyway, my parents thought a season Raiders ticket for her and me was a great idea. I think they were surprised I wanted to spend time with her. She was a pretty tough old woman and we hadn’t exactly got on well up until this point.

We had season tickets for many years in the mid 90s and became really close as a result. It was a good time to be a Raiders fan. Two moments really stick out from this time. The first one was “kick and chase by Mullins” (if you’re too young to remember this search for it on YouTube). Mullin’s being my favourite player at the time and I lost my mind when he scored. I had no idea that it would go down in history the way it has. The other was a game, I don’t recall who we were playing, where they let fans sit behind the in-goal in order to fit everyone in. Bruce stadium being the biggest venue I’d ever been to at the time it was a pretty awesome atmosphere when filled beyond its seating capacity (side note – I’ll really find it hard if the Raiders ever leave Bruce Stadium).

A lot has happened since I was a teenager in the 90s. My grandmother passed away about 10 years ago. I moved to Melbourne for uni and stayed here. I got married. Had two kids – 2 and 5. Both of which have Raiders gurnseys and join me yelling at the TV each round. My eldest son Atticus liked to kick a footy off his bike helmet “just like Jarrod Crocker”. For a while it felt like the Raiders would never be as good as they were when I was a kid ever again, but the last few years have given so much to be excited about.

I make it to (almost) all the Raiders games in Melbourne. It hasn’t been a happy hunting ground over the last decade and I have to admit to going to these games at times just hoping we didn’t lose by too much. However, when we have got up over them it’s been euphoric. It’s not only seeing Canberra get up when I’m actually at the game. But the dislike I reserved in the 90s for Brisbane and Manly has transferred to the Storm. I realise I only dislike them because they’ve been so successful but that doesn’t stop my having a flash of rage every time I see someone wearing their purple strip. They’ve had their time. This is our time.

The prelim final in 2016 was a pretty epic day here. I heard (through this forum) that supporters were getting together at The Richmond Club Hotel. Given that I was going to the game by myself I thought I’d rock up and see if I could make some new friends. For anyone who wasn’t there it was an insane day. The RCH is spread over four levels and it felt like the entire place was full of lime green that day. Every two minutes a viking clap would break out, there were old Raiders finals playing on the TVs (well, some of them, some TVs were showing the AFL) and I met a ton of new mates. It was a great day and a tough game and the result was totally gutting. On top of this the Melbourne fans showed their usual humility. It was a pretty tough walk home.

Anyway, I’m 40 now. Same age my old man was when I first started following the Raiders. It’s been a long time since I watched our last grand final in 94 with my grandmother. I’m still hanging out for our next premiership and from what I’ve seen in 2019 there is no reason why we can’t win the whole thing this year.

So, that’s the 30 years of history I’ll be taking to the game tomorrow. And the RCH beforehand. Generations have been watching every game patiently seeking our next premiership. I’ll be riding every play as if I were on the field. Sitting on the sideline with a bunch of green strangers, wearing my Grandmothers old Raiders scarf.

Go Raiders!

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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by greeneyed » September 13, 2019, 10:20 pm

That’s an AWESOME post! One of the best of the year! If you see us at Richmond Club Hotel, please come up and say hi. It probably won’t be as big as 2016... but hopefully we take over most of the hotel!
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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by Begbie » September 13, 2019, 10:36 pm

Atticus could be our next Finch if he develops as a half.... Great post!

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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by Billy Walker » September 14, 2019, 12:04 am

Great post Brian - I really enjoyed that read. I remember the Mullins try against the Broncos very well and imagine the other game you recall would have been Mal’s final game - against the magpies possibly but not 100% on that. Hope you have a cracking day and the boys get the result for you!

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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by Bay53 » September 14, 2019, 12:32 am

It was a great post.

I did the opposite to you. I grew up in Melbourne and used to go every week to the Essendon games with my grandmother.

I then moved to Canberra at the start of 2004 and have missed very few Raiders games ever since.

Essendon won a final in week 1 of 2004 and haven’t won one since. During that time the Raiders have won three finals.

I reckon I am due success.

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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by Martini » September 14, 2019, 1:10 am

Great story! A little similarity to myself so thought i would reply seeing i know too live in Melbourne.

Been a Raiders fan ever since i can remember. Was about 7 or 8 and saw them rout Souths on friday night football 36-6 and was a fan ever since. Still have my jersey from when i was a kid. Took it along with my newer jersey last time we had a final in Melbourne. A fellow fan was pointing out how he had the OG jersey, so I pulled out my kid sized one to show him as well. And was given the thumbs up.

Sadly i have to work tomorrow but will be watching a stream soon as i finish work. Got a good feeling about this after our win a few weeks ago and the last final down here. Also i had a dream we one the grand final a few days ago, albeit it was against the storm. Hopefully a good omen all the same!

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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by brian_muz » September 14, 2019, 7:03 am

Thanks for the replies guys. Great reading that others have had similar histories with the club.

Often people will tell you that "it's just a game". Which is kinda true. But when you start developing this kind of layered history over your lifetime and over generations of family, well things just take on a whole new level of significance.

Love the support the club have in Melbourne too. If today at the RCH is half the event it was in 2016 it's going to be a really incredible day.

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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by Coastalraider » September 14, 2019, 7:49 am

Someone from the Raiders needs to print this out and pin it up in the dressing rooms today.

This is what it’s pike to be a raiders fan. Emotion, loyalty, and patience waiting for the good times to come back.

Awesome post.

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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by dubby » September 14, 2019, 8:08 am

Great post Brian. I really enjoyed reading it.

We need more posts like this.


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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by T_R » September 14, 2019, 9:22 am

Good post

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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by Kryptonite » September 14, 2019, 12:50 pm

Great Post, Great Story, it’s a hell of a journey being a Raiders fan! :thumbsup

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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by -PJ- » September 14, 2019, 12:56 pm

Geez Brian's getting plenty of love..
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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by dubby » September 14, 2019, 1:36 pm

We love you too, PJ

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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by Azza » September 14, 2019, 1:42 pm

No we don't

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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by -PJ- » September 14, 2019, 1:59 pm

Azza wrote:
September 14, 2019, 1:42 pm
No we don't
oh dear, I thought we were tight..

I've invited you to my garage..yet nothing..free piss..still no Azza !

Come around big guy...
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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by -PJ- » September 14, 2019, 2:00 pm

dubby wrote:
September 14, 2019, 1:36 pm
We love you too, PJ

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Cheers dubstar.
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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by Azza » September 14, 2019, 4:20 pm

Ok fine we love you. Raiders by 5

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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by dubby » September 14, 2019, 4:39 pm

Y'know, I'd love nothing more than a drink with PJ, Bonehead and question

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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by bonehead » September 14, 2019, 5:22 pm

sounds horrendous
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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by gangrenous » September 14, 2019, 5:37 pm

I’d prefer a premiership myself

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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by -PJ- » September 14, 2019, 8:24 pm

dubby wrote:
September 14, 2019, 4:39 pm
Y'know, I'd love nothing more than a drink with PJ, Bonehead and question

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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by Lucky » September 14, 2019, 9:05 pm

Good post. My story: Became a raiders supporter in 94. Ive been waiting 25 years for another crack at the glory which everyone seeks so desperately. A quarter of a century, surely thats long enough! This has to be our year. We are so damn close!

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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by bonehead » September 15, 2019, 8:14 am

-PJ- wrote:
dubby wrote:
September 14, 2019, 4:39 pm
Y'know, I'd love nothing more than a drink with PJ, Bonehead and question

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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by Sid » September 15, 2019, 4:17 pm

great post, thanks for sharing your story brian_muz
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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by The Rickman » September 15, 2019, 5:51 pm

dubby wrote:Y'know, I'd love nothing more than a drink with PJ, Bonehead and question

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Yeah, fine then, I didn’t want an invite anyway.

I’ll just go... and drink with, ummm... Billy Walker and boomercn and Last Raider then, so there!
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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by dubby » September 15, 2019, 5:57 pm

Nickman i offered to buy you a beer at the gold coast years ago

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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by The Rickman » September 15, 2019, 6:12 pm

dubby wrote:Nickman i offered to buy you a beer at the gold coast years ago

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I offered YOU a beer and you said no! You were too busy lurking under the stairs

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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by pickles » September 16, 2019, 1:46 pm

I'd say there are a few of us who are around the same vintage where the 89 grand final was the match that consolidated our love for the Raiders. The next 5-6 years then consolidated. I also spent many a game sitting on the hill at Bruce watching the raiders through those years with my dad and they were some great times. One of those seasons from memory we didn't lose a home game.

I'd also agree that supporting the raiders is about much more than supporting a team and it is now something that my family genuinely bond around as we have ridden the roller coaster of the last 25 years. The downside of that is that my Dad now has developed a persecutory delusion that the NRL deliberately cheats to make the Raiders lose but we are hopeful that a grand final win this year will cure that!

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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by Mullos » September 18, 2019, 4:55 pm

Great post Brian!

Certainly, brings back memories for us all! and I thought I would share part of my Raiders story – belatedly!
I’m a long time GH member but enjoy sitting back and reading more than the contribution aspect!

My story started with the family moving to Cooma in 1984 and whilst I was given a Eastern Subs Roosters pyjamas at a young age didn’t have a team that I could really identify with. The Raiders and the Steelers came in the NSWRL at the same time and early on were the whipping boys of the comp. I kept an eye on the Raiders as they were only an hour away and at same time were local and I started to follow on a more regular basis – despite never getting to Seiffert. But the day Raiders rolled Easts in the 87 Final was the day the love for the Green Machine was born. Big Mal running over David Trewhella and then qualifying for a Grand Final against a star-studded Manly team, I recall making the GF was almost as good as winning it! Despite our best efforts, we fell short and Cliff Lyons toyed with us. Not long after later in 87, the family was off again due to parents work – this time the destination was Queanbeyan!

I vividly remember seeing in the local Qbn age, the trial dates in early 88 against the Steelers at Seiffert under lights and pestering the old man to attend... I went along and once the fulltime siren blew we ran onto Seiffert and got to meet the players – Backo, Henjak,Peter Jackson, Ash Gilbert, Chris Kinna and so on and that was it – I was hooked and did not miss a game at Seiffert for the remaining 88/89 Seasons even as a loner! Obviously the 89 GF was unbelievable, and I had the misfortune of having to attend my father’s school reunion in far nth NSW so missed the game live and had to rely on Hollywood and Zorba – I might add it was a great call… lucky I taped it!

The move to Bruce was a tad harder to get to but I found a way and was totally hooked and very rarely missed a game.

I was also very fortunate enough to have Brent Todd move into our street in mid-88 just done the road, he would often have the boys over for a BBQ. I’d be that pesky kid with his Woodger’s jersey on stroll over with my autograph book and get this signed in his backyard – the whole team virtually there – many times over. This then turned into several training sessions on Tuesday nights and Thursday nights, Brent was good enough to take me down to Seiffert on a few occasions. What more could a kid dream of! Unfortunately, Brent, moved out toward the end of that year and then Steve Walters moved in!

Anyway the 6 degrees of separation continued on a number of fronts with having Ricky as a PE teacher at my old school in Canberra and I very fortunate enough to stay in QBN until mid to late 90’s during the halcyon days and periods we were on the rise and almost unbeatable on our day. I built some great friendships and Raiders have been a big part of my life since. I have been in Sydney since the mid – late 90s, married, 2 kids– but still a massive fan - away member and always will be. My wife and eldest son are Panthers fans and my youngest is a Bunny so the GH can sometimes be the only outlet for us long suffering fans to visit. Ill be there next Friday and have GF tickets reserved and can only hope we can finally raise the grail as its been 25 long years and many long off-seasons!

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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by greeneyed » September 18, 2019, 5:55 pm

Great post Mullos!
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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by The Rickman » September 18, 2019, 6:08 pm

Great post Fergus!
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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by reptar » September 18, 2019, 6:38 pm

Hi, Super Nintendo Chalmers!
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Re: My history as a Raiders fan and what tomorrow means to me

Post by -PJ- » September 18, 2019, 6:56 pm

Great post Nickman.
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