With Rabbitohs Members and supporters sprawled across the world, we caught up with visiting Rabbitohs International Member Jared Schnabl to talk all things Red and Green.
Schnabl has been a Rabbitohs fan since 2008 when he stumbled upon a Rabbitohs jersey and questioned the Rabbit logo design.
“It was December 31st 2008 and I flew in from Melbourne that morning,” explained Schnabl.
“I was wandering through the streets and I went into an apparel store and I saw all these jerseys strung on the wall and I saw one with a Rabbit on it and I thought to myself, ‘A rugby team represented by a bunny, come on’.
“I thought that was adorable but what made me laugh even harder was that I remembered wait a minute, this is Australia, a country that historically hates Rabbits and here it is front and centre on what I learned later was the oldest and most winning Club and now to this day I am happy to announce I own more Red and Green merchandise than I do any other New York sport teams in my closets. I’m probably the only yank who owns a Rabbitohs doona.”
Since falling in love with the Club, Schanbl has met other Members along the way and during the times when he visits Australia, he always has a seat reserved for him in The Burrow. These Members have had a large impact on Schnabl’s experience and he happily considers them as his Australian family.
“They are easily some of the craziest, kindest and most wonderful people I know and they are more than just sport fans. I can consider the Rabbitohs fans my second family.
“I call them my adopted Australian bunny family and they sort of have accepted me as one of their own. They sort of took a liking to me because they saw me as an oddity, an American, a New Yorker who’s into the Rabbitohs of all teams but one thing led to another and every time I come it’s like they always seem to save me a seat in the Burrow or at the Park Café. It’s just so good to come back and see them.”
Schnabl decided to document his experience and in 2017 released a book called ‘Roo’s, Rabbits and Rugby League’ which he has promoted on social media including a special tweet by Russell Crowe.
“The purpose of my book is to get more Souths fans in the States one fan at a time by showing them how maddening and whimsical and crazy the whole experience is.
“I kind of want to find a way to get more Souths fans in the States because a game this amazing and a culture this wonderful and a fan base this devoted and kind deserves more recognition especially State side.
“Another person who has been really helpful is none other than Russell Crowe who I managed to get a copy to him and he tweeted it on Memorial Day weekend back in New York and when I was awoken by it, it was such an amazing break and I can’t thank him enough for that.”
I've got mine !! pic.twitter.com/RbWpDLGVzn— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) May 29, 2017
The book is not only about the Rabbitohs but is also described as a ‘love letter to Australia’.
“But it’s not just about the Rabbitohs, it’s a love letter to Australia, it’s a book that celebrates all the things I love about Australia the most both from historical and pop cultural stand point.”
Roo’s Rabbits and Rugby League is published by Mascot Books and can be purchased on Amazon.com.