Ask a Thailand Tiger about footballing rituals and he might well say, "Yeah mate, nine bottles of vodka on the plane back from Singapore- 6 of those bottles during landing. Who cares about the results, how loose is Rowdy?” But this liking for booze and Rowdy glosses over a series of artful ceremonies and conventions at whose heart lies the concept of ‘team’.
Following a victorious series – or more recently any win they can get-The Australian cricket team gathers like prize tenors for a rousing rendition of ‘Underneath the Southern Cross.’ The honour of leading the players in song is a long standing tradition handed down through generations (from Rodney Marsh to David Boon to Ian Healy to Ricky Ponting to Mr. Cricket). Metro-sexual young hopefuls are quickly taught the value of this tradition, with any irreverence dealt with promptly by Simon Katich; who has no time for free swinging playboys and all the time in the world for his beloved Mr.Cricket.
What is little known is that this same tradition exists within our own football club. And while you probably think that you know this already, the reality is that you are mistaken.
The singing of our club song is far from a slapdash affair instigated by any bloke who has had five beers, but rather a time honoring practise watched over by a carefully anointed individual.
For mystifying reasons most blokes after a few years get told by the missus that they should probably spend less time around the club and more time at home drinking piss, wishing they still were (at the club.)
As this unavoidable fate catches up with our great song’s custodian, the by now unquestionable tiger legend must pass the torch on to a fitting clubman or reap the unthinkable wrath of watching Rugby games by himself at The Robin Hood, with his eyes pinned open by toothpicks.
Well forget all that because Ralphy eats all his Burger King on Saturday nights. He doesn’t care, he eats all of it. ‘Get *****!’ Amid an emerging trend of groups, sub-groups, groups within groups, blokes spying on groups and blokes faking fishing trips to recruit other blokes into their group; one man carries the ability to galvanise a club that on a social level is fraying at the seams. That man is Allan Sharman, but he’s going to China and has no say over who sings the song. No the man who decides when and where we sing our great song, anointed recently by Brendan ‘Festa’ “Panda’ Goose’ THE BLADE’ Cunningham, himself anointed long ago by God himself (Bob Bedford) is none other than “YOU BEAUTY”, Ralphy!
So when Ralphy says to shut up and sing the song then you better shut up and sing the song. Lest you be bent over Noodles’ BBQ by Simon Katich and his beloved Mr.Cricket.
“…Oh we’re from Thaiger land, 500 baht, Oh we’re from THAIIIGGGEEERR LAAND!”