I recently had the pleasure of watching a documentary by the name of The Call of the Wallaby in the catalogue on Kayo. I highly recommend! It explores the highs and lows (mainly lows) of being a supporter of the Wallabies. At the time of publication, The Wallabies had lost 11 Bledisloe Cups in a row, weren’t those the golden years! Do you remember anticipating victory like a fool?
In any case, when you consistently lose, your pool of followers tends to diminish. The group of men and women in this documentary sought to reignite the passion of Wallabies fans via a variety of means and determine once and for all whether Wallabies fans are only interested when we are winning.
The fair-weather fan is a reasonably common occurrence. When things are going well you get people jumping on the bandwagon. And when this go poorly, they jump off. It makes sense and is always going to happen.
But what is unique to Australian Rugby is the sheer number of genuine fans, who are passionate about the game, yet protest with their feet, staying away from the game when we are in a form slump. It begs the question; what does it mean to be a genuine follower?
I might be old school, but to me being a true fan means sticking with the team through thick and thin. When they are winning, and when they are getting smashed. You can see a picture of the last jersey we won a Bledisloe cup here, it’s ancient isn’t it. Not quite before decimal currency, but closer than we’d like. It might be old, but I wear mine with pride, and will continue to do so until we win again.
Fair-weather follows are no followers at all.
Jesus had his fair share of fair-weather followers, who followed him through the good times, some of them were healed, others got a free feed with water views. But as soon as the pressure started to mount, they made themselves scarce. Only interested in the benefits and not the costs. It’s no way to follow, but as Jesus faced his greatest challenge, crucifixion, he faced it alone. Even his closest mates abandoned him in the face of persecution. One man, alone, facing the sins of the world.
Lucky for us that was not the final chapter in Jesus (or our) story. He would conquer death, raise to life, appear to hundreds and start a movement with billions of follows millennia later. It’s hard to imagine the dark days for Jesus, but they had a purpose.
I’m glad he wasn’t a fair-weather Saviour.
“See folks, it only takes one [to make a difference]”The Call of the Wallaby Documentary.