Eels and Panthers share the blowtorch of criticism
The rugby league family is abuzz with a wide range of emotions in light of the God-awful state of the Parramatta Eels.
After a more than encouraging opening on Friday, which included a clean slate of completed sets and a scoreboard advantage, they buckled in catastrophic style to go down to the ‘Dogs by the length of the straight.
And their situation is being chewed over by every Monday morning expert and his domestic pet today.
Some sections are offering a sympathetic ear, whereas others have determined the topic as an unfixable basketcase and therefore have conveniently inserted their head into sand.
Others are too deeply moved by their plight to even mention the subject.
There’s also a gaggle of amateur comedians who are loudly hee-hawing at the prospect of another stock-boosting week of material and some who are downright furious at the dragging down of rugby league’s image.
And I don’t even want to think of what their tormented supporters have to withstand.
Personally, I’ve offered the number of a good counsellor to my brethren in blue and gold along with the guarantee of an endless supply of personal shoulder time for them to use for bawling purposes.
My reasoning is that this is no longer a laughing matter. Being a merciful softie, I can’t continue giggling at another’s misfortune when the act goes from harmless slapstick to grotesque black humour that only the most disturbed niche market could enjoy.
However, somewhere among all of this lies one organisation that is secretly overwhelmed with gratification for the limelight-hogging circumstances that Steve Kearney and the Eels find themselves in.
It’s their next-door neighbours down the M4 at Penrith.
Their recent conduct has been at a waste level that’s comparable- if not worse – than what their counterparts further up the highway have been manufacturing.
Can you imagine the uproar at Parramatta if they went two whole matches without scoring a single point like the Panthers recently did?
Stocks of Steve Kearney effigies in Sydney would’ve sold out in a blink.
I was sucked in at the start of the year by Gus Gould’s tractor beam of sunshine and rainbows for the Penrith people. He had poached a boss from last year’s grand final, flushed the dispensables and supposedly revamped the culture.
But all he’s done so far in 2012 is send the Penrith faithful bolting for refuge in the Blue Mountains, where they hope to find some Zen-like state among the mist and hippies so they can forget that they ever followed the club.
However, all of this torment ensues that the rest of us remain transfixed on the door at Parramatta Leagues Club, waiting patiently for the bosses to come out with Kearney in the stocks and boxes of rotten fruit for flinging.
How can we stand by and blatantly ignore the Panther family suffering in silence?
Shame on you rugby league peeps. It’s time to widen the sights on your rifles of criticism and take a look at the other underachievers in this competition.