Every fan has a least favourite player, a least favourite team, however none of them harbour the genuine hate for one another that foundation clubs the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Sydney Roosters have for one another.
You may as well rename the teams the Capulets and the Montagues.
It's stock standard as a fan or a player to want to beat your arch-rival. It's part of the game. They scrap it out, collect their premiership points, earn bragging rights in the process, and then it's forgotten until the two sides meet again.
Not the Roosters and Rabbitohs.
A Chooks' fan could tell a member of the South Sydney faithful that the sky was blue, and if you strolled past the pair 20 minutes later, they'd still be chirping away at each other, desperate to prove the other one wrong.
They hate each other.
It's not the kind of hate that you generalise on a daily basis. Oh the ice-cream machine at McDonalds has broken down? 'I hate that'. No, no, this isn't that kind of rage.
It's the type of hate that makes you clench your fists, see red, the kind of hatred that you can physically feel bubbling away from within, the one that makes your face red. Two sides of the same coin desperate for their side to be facing upwards.
Not just because it means they're facing up, but it means as much to know the other is facing downwards.
Don't tell Sydney Roosters fans, but South Sydney are the older club of the pair. There's about a week in it. The Bunnies were formed on January 17th, 1908, while their Eastern Suburbs rivals came to life on January 24th, a singular week some 115 years ago, still spawning countless social media outbursts today.
'No, MY club is older than YOUR club,' they bellow like children on the playground, adamant their dad could beat up your dad.
Don't mention the premiership count either, with South Sydney dwarfing the Roosters 21 to 15, despite the Bunnies sitting out the 2000 and 2001 seasons.
It's why it makes players switching between the two clubs almost criminal, almost as if they'd stripped off their Coles uniform and thrown on a Woolworths smock, abandoning your side for the enemy.
Luke Keary won a premiership in South Sydney colours before snaring another two in Bondi. Angus Crichton made his NRL and Origin debut while in Redfern, while both Egan and Nat Butcher were plucked from the Bunnies' SG Ball side.
Jaxson Paulo has just made the switch across however, despite playing a grand final in red-and-green less than 18 months ago, he'll be subjected to taunts and jeers from the away crowd tonight.
However, the centrepiece of the feud as it stands is the South Sydney custodian, Latrell Mitchell.
Similarly to Paulo, Mitchell made the switch shortly after a decider, winning back-to-back NRL grand finals, neither of which could've been achieved without the dynamic then-centre.
He scored a crucial try in their 2018 grand final, before setting up the match-winner in 2019 after a brilliant flick pass to send Daniel Tupou down the touchline, finding James Tedesco back on the inside.
The same Mitchell the Roosters' fans cheered on like he was the second-coming of Arthur Beetson is the same Mitchell that's now relentlessly booed by tricolours' supporters, whether it be for deserting the club, or the Joseph Manu hit in 2021 that ended both their seasons.
Just another chapter in the Book of Feuds.
There's been 229 instalments already between the nemesis's, yet somehow each and every clash brings its own storyline, its own flavour of drama covering each clash like a marinade.
The Bunnies have claimed 120 of those 229 games, the Chooks winning 104, and five draws sprinkled between the affairs.
They met three times last, once early in the season, the first time Latrell and Manu faced off since that late 2021 clash. Then came the final regular season round, the opening night of the rebuilt Allianz Stadium.
Last but not least was seven sin-bin Sunday, the opening week of the finals that sent the Sydney Roosters packing, the same week it was renamed 'Trellianz Stadium' by the man himself.
It's been dire for Roosters' supporters in recent times, the Rabbitohs winning five of their last six between the rivals, which kicked off in Round 25, 2020 as South Sydney unloaded a 60-8 scoreline on the Roosters.
It's a game Rabbitohs fans are still talking of today, a game fans from Bondi are desperate to erase from their memories.
The sides twirl around one another like Ying and Yang, the class of Tedesco against the explosiveness of Latrell. The aggressive hitman in Victor Radley against the ever-consistent goody two-shoes Cameron Murray. The poise of Luke Keary and the flare of Cody Walker.
The stardom of Russell Crowe, and the connections of Nick Politis.
Rookie halves, running nines, bulky centres and long-term servants of the club on the left wing.
These teams mirror one another as much as they confront their rival figure.
I've sat at Accor Stadium and watched South Sydney fans kick plastic chairs and scream as Anthony Minichiello scored the match-winner in the opening round of 2012, and witnessed fans get up close and personal with each other after the Rabbitohs pulled out a preliminary final win over their rivals in 2014.
Sam Burgess steamrolls Sonny Bill Williams 😮 pic.twitter.com/bgMYaoXrqj
— Serious About Rugby League (@SeriousAboutRL) February 2, 2017
Split-second moments in an NRL match, now etched into history for eternity between these bitter rivals, desperate to outdo the other at every turn.
Fans of both sides will be riding every hit-up, every barn-rattling tackle, every miraculous four-pointer, and especially every time one of these stars gets in the face of a rival, the jersey clad over their torso like waving a red flag at a bull.
This isn't just a Round 3 encounter. This isn't just an early season litmus test.
This isn't just a game of football for these foundation club's fans, this is war.