Rabbitohs Members spread all across the world and come in all shapes and sizes. One Member, who hails from the Big Apple, took his experiences as an International Rabbitoh – travelling to Redfern to meet the players and watching games at ANZ Stadium – and crafted them into the latest Souths-flavoured book… Roos, Rabbitohs and Rugby League
Jared Schnabl, an American Member from Rockville Centre, New York, found his Rabbitohs passion hanging on the wall of an Alice Springs sporting goods and apparel story. He was instantly drawn to the colours and emblem of a Rabbitohs jersey on display.
Since then, Schnabl has visited Redfern on several occasions, flying 16,000km to hang out with fellow Rabbitohs Members, mainly The Burrow, who have welcomed the American into the Red and Green family.
“When I went to my first Rabbitohs game at ANZ Stadium back in 2013, it was the Minor Premiership against the rival Roosters. I was a stranger amongst fans but I was welcomed into The Burrow as one of their own,” said Schnabl.
“The love and hospitality that came from the fans (and players) was unlike anything that I had ever experienced. I was a stranger amongst fans but I was welcomed into The Burrow as one of their own.
“It wasn’t until 2012 when Adam Reynolds made his improbable last-minute try over the Roosters that I was dazzled by both the game and the team that I got into it.
“It was merely by chance that I discovered the team but my process to becoming a fan was made possible by fans on social media who found an American’s fascination with the Rabbitohs quite an oddity.”
Exuberant from his first experiences with the Rabbitohs, Schnabl followed his new team closely with an unshakeable passion for all things Cardinal and Myrtle.
Much like #RandomSouthsGuy; Schnabl is frequently spotted at New York Yankee’s games in his Rabbitohs colours and he shares his passion for the Rabbitohs with visitors to The Australian Bar in New York.
Roos, Rabbitohs and Rugby League has been a labour of love over the past two and a bit years for Schnabl. The New York Bunny wanted to let other people experience the joy and emotion attached to being a part of the Rabbitohs family.
“The process of writing this book began shortly after Souths won their coveted 21st Premiership in 2014,” said Schnabl.
“I wanted to bring to life the sense of community that all Souths fan exude not to mention capture the struggle, heartbreak, and joy that comes with being a Rabbitohs fan.
“It was no easy task. Like most writers, whether you are experienced or a first-timer, you are always your own toughest critic.
“I kept re-working ideas and cutting out many different places and people I encountered. I did not grow up with the Rabbitohs, much less rugby league, much less knew about the NRL.
Schnabl’s 300-page memoir about his experiences as an American integrating into the Rabbitohs family has all been self-funded and promoted. However, he does admit he had a helping hand in the form of his muse – Reggie Rabbit!
“If I had to pick one particular bit of inspiration for my book, I’d have to give major props to Reggie Rabbit, our beloved mascot for being one of my most influential muses,” said Schnabl.
“There’s just something so delightful about watching a giant Australian bunny rabbit lead an army of footy players into battle. As a matter of fact, I fancy myself a giant Australian bunny rabbit.”
Roos, Rabbits and Rugby League is available from Mascot Books here.