Could there be anything more soul-destroying than being a Warriors fan?

After Friday night's dismal performance against the Dragons, many would argue "no".

The Panthers defeat a week earlier prompted some Warriors fans to film them burning their jerseys in protest at the team's performance. But, as club member Graeme Lee explains, those fans are in the minority.

The "mild-mannered" flower grower from Tauranga fell in love with the Warriors more than two decades ago and he readily makes the 2-hour trip to Auckland to watch every home game - wearing the same costume, sitting in the same seats.


"I'm the idiot with the top hat and the big 'Warriors Proud' sign," Lee explained. "I put that hat on and it is almost like you are putting on a costume and you are a different person. It is like you have put on your kit and here we go and you're there for a good time."

But after 23 seasons of more disappointment than success, don't Warriors fans deserve better?

"My theory is you get out of it what you put into it. You go there and on game day, it is like an escape from the pressures of everyday life with work and family and you have 80 minutes of footy to look forward to," Lee said.

"It is out of your control. It is a primeval gladiator-type sport. You always want your team to win and I always want them to put in their best performance. I don't think there is any sporting team in the world that wins all the time though."

He can recall talk of the expansion of an Auckland-based side in the early 1990s but laughed it off as bar-room talk until that magical night of March 10, 1995 - a date he recalls from memory - when the club played their inaugural competition match against the Broncos.

"Our first born - that was her due date and it is also my wife's birthday," Lee said. "I told my wife I could still probably go to the game and she told me 'like hell'. I could have got up to Auckland and back home in time. She ended up in labour for 18 hours, so I had plenty of time. I don't know what she was complaining about," he joked.

Lee was elected to the club membership council and in 2015, he was named fan of the year at the annual club awards.

Although the Warriors have endured one of their toughest weeks in history, Lee recalls plenty of defeats that stung just as much as those in Penrith and Hamilton.

"Life isn't always fair. You get calls that go against you and you have disappointment ... [but] it is sport. There is going to be a winner and there is going to be a loser.

"As long as my team goes out there and gives it a solid crack, that is all I can ask for."