In 2008, during what felt like the lowest of our lows, I am sad to admit I was a Bulldogs fan in hiding. The GF win of 2004 was enough to sustain me through Coffs Harbour and Salary Cap scandals, but from 2005 onward we endured many frustrating setbacks. On field injuries at key times often sunk our finals crusades. Throw in some board room squabbles and later on player walkouts and the later part of 2008 resulted in consecutive 50-point drubbings, with no sign of us avoided the dreaded wooden spoon (which we eventually received). The energy spent defending our good name as a fan had worn me down to the point where for the sake of my long term sanity, I had to turn away. The hurt was simply too much.
During these 8 or so weeks a spiritual rebirth of sorts took place and the Bulldogs Army single handedly restored my faith in our club.
I cant recall the game, but I do recall this much : Down 30-0 at halftime, I found myself walking past a TV with the Dogs playing. It turns out we were the first to score after half time making the score 30-4. Hazem converts and the producers cut to a shot of our fans. It was an instantaneous epiphany !
30 or so of the most courageous, loyal, go-down-with-the-sinking-ship die-hards … STILL going to games, STILL waving flags, STILL holding banners and STILL cheering purely because “we scored” – Here’s selfish me, wallowing in my own pity-pit, lamenting the fact I have NO good news about our Dogs and nothing to hope for other than to avoid the spoon – Here’s them, and they absolutely DO NOT care what the score is, or where we are on the ladder.
It dawned on me like a 10-tonne weight crashing down on my head …. “What the hell am I thinking ?”. No matter how hard it’s been for me, they stood firm and stayed strong. I vowed to help them. To NEVER let those fans down again with fledgling numbers in times of need. If they could muster the effort to attend games where cricket scores were more than likely than us having anything to cheer about … then the LEAST I COULD DO, is go to a few games, and throw my entire being into supporting the Dogs with them for 80min !!!
In fact, those “30″ inspired me so much … I felt like I owed it to them !
At Round one 2009 against Manly, fate dictated that Hazem was due to break the NRL point scoring record, and therein lied an opportunity for me to join the Bulldogs Army in our home section The Kennel. I wanted to find those banner holders, and shake the hands of those die-hards, and tell them just how much they lifted me. I’d been chatting with a few online during the off-season and by game day I had been welcomed like a lost family member. It instantly felt like the warmth from “home”.
Since that fateful day, I’ve been to no less than 25 games in attendance with the Bulldogs Army in the last three seasons. I refuse to sit elsewhere.
We are a traveling circus of clowns.
A motley bunch of rugby league loving fools.
All devoted to the cause of Canterbury Bulldogs.
We span over 50 nationalities, cultures and backgrounds (that I know of).
Our ages range from 7 to 77 (that I know of).
We’re the sons, daughters, families, siblings, relatives, friends, associates, imports and interlopers of Bulldogs Army past !
Since that fateful day in Rd 1 2009, we have gone from strength to strength as a core of supporters.
Whether flying interstate, or busing it to regional areas, we do it in co-orinated large groups.
We have our own designated, banner approved area of Cat2 seating members at home games located in The Kennel.
We have a come-one come-all open-invite policy at away games, where you simply have to “decide” if you want to join, and just like that, you’re in !
We sing. We dance. We laugh. We embrace like possessed idiots !!!
We swear at the video ref. We taunt the oppositions best, and that goes “double” for their crowds !!!
You don’t need to sign anything.
We don’t want any money.
We just want you …
Just ask yourself “Am I a Bulldogs Army member ?”
And let the answer guide you right to us