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How did you become a fan

Chapdog

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How did you become a fan of the greatest club there is...

For me it all started in 1999-00. I was 10 years old and a die hard North Sydney Bears fan. Love to watch Billy More, Ben Ikin and Jason Taylor.
After the league wars of 1998 North Sydney Bears had to merge with Manly and i just couldn't go for the Northern Eagles..

My older brother being a cheapskate, went to Lowes and bout a pair of discount Cowboys footy shorts for my Birthday that year. and so i said alright ill follow them.



And that's how this 30 year old from Canberra came to follow the Cowboys!
 

Jordan

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Growing up in Townsville it was simply just a case of them being the local team. I was only 9 when the Cowboys came in but I was a pretty big fan from the start. I also liked the Broncos considering most of that team made up the QLD Origin side. I'd watch the Broncos on TV and listen to the Cowboys on the radio (as we all know they never had any FTA games).

These days I absolutely hate the Broncos though lol. Not sure what happened there, I guess the rivalry became too intense and you had to draw a line in the sand as to where your loyalties lie.
 

Dream

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I was a young fella visiting Townsville in '00 or '01. Seeing the Cowboys on the local TV coverage was the first time I really saw footage of them playing, that's how poor the coverage was outside of North Qld.

I was a Broncos fan all through my childhood and watched footy a lot, but seeing the team of underdogs battling against the odds sparked something in me and really kickstarted my passion for Rugby League.

After that I began reading footy forums and listened to every game called by the Cowboys Call Team on my little personal radio.
 
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Prince Ernst of Hanover

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My older brother being a cheapskate, went to Lowes and bout a pair of discount Cowboys footy shorts for my Birthday that year. and so i said alright ill follow them.
Great story bro. You still got those shorts? They may be a collectors' item now. I still have an old cowboys shirt that my Mum picked up in a second hand store around 2005. Not sure how long it will last.

Back to your question

I grew up in NQ and played junior footy from about 7 years old. Represented NQ at schoolboy level. I still have the magazine from the State carnival played in Brisbane. Played for University in Townsville when I moved to JCU. I never played much senior footy due to higher priorities. Followed the Broncos initially and loved watching Kevvie Walters, Steven Renouf and Chris Johns do their stuff.

Then the cowboys arrived and I went to the first game. I remember also going to a lunch function at the cowboys ground. Work gave me free tickets. Johnathan Davies was the main speaker so I figure that was probably in 1995. For me, 2004 was an important year as I could see the turnaround in the club. I loved the forward leadership that Kevin Campion brought to the club in 2003 and 2004. That's why Campion is in my best ever cowboys team.
 

Chapdog

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Funny i'm one of those wankers that go for Qld in Origin although been born in ACT.. Many a time I have been told how ACT is apart of NSW apparently.....
 

Joshpryor87

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I cannot pin point the moment I became a Cowboys fan. I remember going to games as early as 95 (I was in primary school), and cheering for the boys. I remember some seasons not going to as many games, and other seasons, going to heaps of games. It all depended on my family's budget as I was just a kid.

I remember around the early 2000s that I was basically a Cowboys and Bulldogs fan. Just as I would go to many Cowboys home games, I was devastated by the salary cap and Coffs Harbour stuff at the Dogs. In hindsight, I see the punishments/backlash as needed, but I felt so hard done by at the time about the salary cap.

In fact, the year of the salary cap rort, the Dogs were so entertaining to watch, and Willie Mason and Nigel Vagana were so popular with the kids, that they were arguably my team that year. If there was a silverlining, it would be that, as a part Dogs fan, I knew about this talented kid called Johnathan Dean Thurston, and kept an eye on him whenever he played. It helped that he was a Queenslander and an Aboriginal boy, and I just was so excited by how good he could be. Who would have known he'd end up a Cowboy.

I think I had come to some kind of feeling/thinking that, the Cowboys are my regular season team, and the Dogs are my finals team (because the Cowboys just didn't even make it to finals).

Fast forward to 2004, there was something that told me we were finally going to make the finals. The likes of Matty Bowen, Ty Williams, Paul Bowman, Josh Hannay, Matty Sing, Glenn Morrison etc had already somewhat converted me. Especially Bowen and Morrisson. Instead, we started that season with a stinker and lost many of our earlier games. Anyway, we bounce back in style, and get to the finals.

When we get to the finals, it sinks in to me that is the Dogs. If there is an official moment I had to be only a Cowboys fan for the rest of my footy fan career, it was then. My uncle asked me who I was backing. He knew I would choose the Cowboys, but also knew I still liked the Dogs as well. That was probably the first time I was 100% behind the Cows (and I felt little for the Dogs). Even when three weeks later the Dogs won the premiership, I felt very little. Not even relief about their bounce back from the salary cap. I was only happy for Steve Price and JT etc, and a handful of others. I was more devastated the Cowboys weren't there after the debacle the week earlier against the Roosters. By the way, I am yet to ever see that Roosters game. I was flying back from a school trip to Japan.
 

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I think I had come to some kind of feeling/thinking that, the Cowboys are my regular season team, and the Dogs are my finals team (because the Cowboys just didn't even make it to finals).

Yeah that was pretty much like I was with the Broncos in the early days. Both teams being at the opposite ends of the ladder and the lack of Cowboys games being televised made it easier to support two teams. My heart was always with the Cowboys when they'd play though. These days even when we're not playing the Broncos I'm still deathriding them as we're usually on a similar position on the ladder lol
 

Joshpryor87

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Yeah that was pretty much like I was with the Broncos in the early days. Both teams being at the opposite ends of the ladder and the lack of Cowboys games being televised made it easier to support two teams. My heart was always with the Cowboys when they'd play though. These days even when we're not playing the Broncos I'm still deathriding them as we're usually on a similar position on the ladder lol
So the 2004 Finals was a changing moment for you...?
 

Ianc

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I‘ve loved league for as long as I could remember.I followed Parra and watched their GF wins in the 80s on a little box tv.

I’ve hated the Broncs since they came in. People telling me I should follow them because they were a Qld team just pissed me off.

When the Cowboys arrived it was a no brainer, I dumped the eels like a hot potato. I have no love for them at all. I’m a one team fan, I have no second team.
 

Jordan

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So the 2004 Finals was a changing moment for you...?
It's hard to say. I was always 100% Cowboys when the two teams would play. I remember listening to the game on the radio in 1999 when Ben Walker converted from the sideline to draw the game and being so devastated. It just felt like a loss as I always wanted to see the Cowboys finally beat the Broncos. It was great finally beating the Broncos in 2004 but I didn't hate them or anything like that back then. I still had a soft spot for them when they beat the Storm in the 2006 grand final. I think I liked a lot of their players back then too I suppose. I think I truely started to hate them when Locky retired and we played them in the finals a few times. Facebook might have been a big part of it too. You get a lot mouthy Townsville based Broncos fans and after a few beers things can get pretty heated lol. A few times I've logged on the next morning and have been like wtf.. people get more passionate about that rivalry than Origin lol.
 

Chapdog

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I kinda have a 2nd team in the Raiders and thats only cause its good for footy in canberra..

Canberra is a NRL town but the AFL are creeping in no thanks to our local government paying the GWS Giants MIllions of dollars for 3 games a season to be played in Canberra.
 

Prince Ernst of Hanover

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I don't have a second team.

But I would cheer for the Raiders in a grand final. I think Ricky Stuart has copped a lot of unfair criticism over the years. He was also a smart player. If that Canberra centre had passed the ball to an open winger Canberra might have won last years grand final. Talk about a dumb play.
 

Spacey

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Raiders fan as a kid. Had some gun players in the side, late 80's, early 90's. Fell out of love with the game for a number of years after super league. Still watched the origin, Kangaroos and finals but wasn't the same feeling. Moved to Brissy early 2000's, worked in a transport yard, all the boy were league lovers and started showing interest again almost instantly. Most were Donkies fans so easy for this CQ boy to follow the Cowboys. Couple of lean years but soon took off 2004 and of course 2005.
 

Joshpryor87

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I kinda have a 2nd team in the Raiders and thats only cause its good for footy in canberra..

Canberra is a NRL town but the AFL are creeping in no thanks to our local government paying the GWS Giants MIllions of dollars for 3 games a season to be played in Canberra.
Unfortunately, Andrew Barr is a massive AFL fan. He loves the Hawks, and loves doing anything to bring more AFL to the city.

I personally like the game of AFL, but nowhere nearly as much as league. But if the AFL keep acting like jerks, then I will stop watching it entirely.

I always feel like the game of AFL is entertaining but not fulfilling. Basically there is a battle at the ruck to win possession, and then teams are either using the wing or corridor to get the ball into a goal scoring position. The game feels like it misses something to me. I get it... midfielders and rovers do a lot of work distributing, and are challenged by taggers. Key position players take big marks, or are preventing them etc. But overall, what else is there? People will argue that the goal scoring is awesome, but that is only when you turn into highlight reels. Goal kicking in the AFL has been on the decline for decades.

League can be boring the first time you watch it (without knowing the rules), but as you get the game a bit more, you appreciate the battle of the forwards, good defence, and most importantly, the awesome backline tries set up by a halfback. There are so much smaller battles to enjoy within a game of league than there are in the AFL. In the Mango era, we could totally suck but watch the Cowboys to see him. Nowadays, we can know our backline will be boring and structured, but hey, I want to see Big Jason knock a few forwards out of the way.
 
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Joshpryor87

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I don't have a second team.

But I would cheer for the Raiders in a grand final. I think Ricky Stuart has copped a lot of unfair criticism over the years. He was also a smart player. If that Canberra centre had passed the ball to an open winger Canberra might have won last years grand final. Talk about a dumb play.
Ricky is a constant whinger. Something the average Aussie doesn't like. But on the flip side, Ricky is passionate, and that in itself can be admirable.

He might have been the coach who lost a world cup for Australia, but it was the way he worked the cameras as coach that even made test footy interesting to tune into. He made it feel like the Australian and New South Wales jerseys mattered again.

My biggest criticism of Ricky is that he is ironically terrible at coaching halves. His record is very poor, and the only times he did any good was coaching Fitler (who didn't need coaching), or developing Greg Bird and Jack Wighton (but they are not creative halves but running halves).
 

Chapdog

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Unfortunately, Andrew Barr is a massive AFL fan. He loves the Hawks, and loves doing anything to bring more AFL to the city.

I personally like the game of AFL, but nowhere nearly as much as league. But if the AFL keep acting like jerks, then I will stop watching it entirely.

I always feel like the game of AFL is entertaining but not fulfilling. Basically there is a battle at the ruck to win possession, and then teams are either using the wing or corridor to get the ball into a goal scoring position. The game feels like it misses something to me. I get it... midfielders and rovers do a lot of work distributing, and are challenged by taggers. Key position players take big marks, or are preventing them etc. But overall, what else is there? People will argue that the goal scoring is awesome, but that is only when you turn into highlight reels. Goal kicking in the AFL has been on the decline for decades.

League can be boring the first time you watch it (without knowing the rules), but as you get the game a bit more, you appreciate the battle of the forwards, good defence, and most importantly, the awesome backline tries set up by a halfback. There are so much smaller battles to enjoy within a game of league than there are in the AFL. In the Mango era, we could totally suck but watch the Cowboys to see him. Nowadays, we can know our backline will be boring and structured, but hey, I want to see Big Jason knock a few forwards out of the way.
I agree , I do like how a player like Smith or Thurston is thinking a few sets ahead . I don’t get that tactical feeling when watching AFL .
I get why kids like to play it as every kid just wants to kick a ball and run around. It’s hard to in-still structure into a 7-8 year old.

I played a year of seniors AFL and having played 12 years of league I could tackle really well. But you would chase down a player an make a good tackle around the legs and wasn’t worth it as you can’t really knock on as long as you make it look like your “passing” the ball.

I do admire there fitness though !
 

Joshpryor87

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I agree , I do like how a player like Smith or Thurston is thinking a few sets ahead . I don’t get that tactical feeling when watching AFL .
I get why kids like to play it as every kid just wants to kick a ball and run around. It’s hard to in-still structure into a 7-8 year old.

I played a year of seniors AFL and having played 12 years of league I could tackle really well. But you would chase down a player an make a good tackle around the legs and wasn’t worth it as you can’t really knock on as long as you make it look like your “passing” the ball.

I do admire there fitness though !
I admire the way some AFL midfielders can be ball magnets. Not because they struck it lucky, but because they have a match awareness of where to be to try and get their hands on the footy. But possessions in AFL is such an overrated stat line. They once gave Chris Judd 3 Brownlow points in a game Carlton got smashed by 60 plus points because he got a lot of possessions lol

Agreed. Watching JT at the end of his career was a real pleasure. He always had a plan of what he wanted to do, even early in the set. But the best thing about Johnno was that he developed his natural game before the game management came along. So in a moment like the 2015 grand final when Jake f*cks it up (lol), Johnno's instincts stick with him, and he is abandoning the game plan to get some of play happening for Morgo. The rest is history :)
 

crayne07

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This is a long yarn so feel free to skip forward.....


Growing up in the 70's and 80's in FNQ the only RL was the State League on the ABC. My parents were casual Wynnum Manly fans so when we finally got some NSWRL games up here I was looking for a team........ Wynnum.......... Manly......... Manly it is. I was instantly hooked. Those Manly teams in the mid to late 80's were great. In 1988 when the Drongo's started they had half the Origin team so I had a soft spot for them but Manly was very much my first team. Every one of my mates were Bulldogs, Broncos or Raiders fans and followed the mantra to hate Manly. This made it even better.

When the "Greatest Club on the Planet" started in 95 I was working for a company who were the Junior Development Sponsors of the Cowboys and had a Corporate Box to reflect this. Right on the 50 m line against the glass. It was awesome to have a national sporting team within 4 hours of home and I went to every game that involved any of our teams....... So of course I supported the cowboys in every game except for Manly. I also had fortune to go to a game in the corporate box. I don't even remember who they played but I remember that I had an absolute blast and found myself in the after party under the main grandstand and dribbling to actual ARL players.

For those who are old enough to remember 1995 was a turbulent year in RL. The season was full of legal action and toy throwing that led to the split of RL in 1996. Super League was born and the Cowboys joined. I had just had a taste of what national sport had to offer (and the company continued as a major sponsor) so even though Manly were in the ARL I went to even more games and once again I got to sit in the box. All of my mates teams were in SL and there was no chance that I could support any of them so I bought a Cowboys Jersey to piss them off and to wear when the Cowboys were playing any of their teams or when I was lucky enough to get a seat in the box.

The turning point for me though was when the competition came back together and (as the OP posted) Manly became the Northern Eagles........ Norths FFS. I bought a Jersey and tried to get behind them but the telling point came when I was at the first Cowboys v Northern Eagles game and I found myself sitting on the hill wearing a shithouse Jersey trying to be happy that my team had beaten the Cowboys. I found myself on "The Bus" ( my favourite memories in the early years were heading to town in the bus after a win....... If you didn't get to experience this I am truly sorry) copping a verbal and wishing I wasn't wearing my shirt. I remember catching a taxi back to the hotel and swapping my shirt......... I took off my teams colours...... This wasn't my team. I never wore that Northern Eagles Jersey again and by the time Manly came back in their own right I was a fully converted, rusted on COWBOYS TRAGIC.....

What followed was a gradual but fierce hatred of the Broncos and an indifference of every one else........

Outside of my Wedding and the birth of my two beautiful daughters GF day 2015 is the greatest day of my life......


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