Parramatta’s late arrivals aren’t fashionable
Steve Kearney might be struggling in his search for an effective formula for winning football games, but at least his team is trendy and cool in one respect.
He’s got his Parramatta Eels arriving fashionably late on a regular basis in 2012, making his outfit uber-swanky in social circles, but badly on-the-nose with their loyal following.
Their 2012 trademark is to casually appear at parties after all of the prettiest girls have been snapped up as dancing partners and the liquor supply has been desiccated.
These late arrivals are red carpet gold and social page etiquette of the highest order, but the fans and the club’s aspirations are left with little more than a couple of leftover canapés and a half smoked cigarette in the end.
On Sunday, they continued the season of hair loss for the Parra masses when the bunch of tumbleweeds that blew out on to Brookvale for kick-off magically morphed in to a pack of angry cacti for the second half.
The Eels were 40 in the hole before deciding to kick up their heels with a late flurry of 24 unanswered points. It was a performance that some assessed as having the fleeting style of expensive skinny jeans but the substance of a stick figure’s bicep.
This performance is part of a collection this year that has club bigwigs considering changing the team song to Steve Earle’s “Johnny come lately”.
Who could forget in round eight against the Tigers when they sprung into action after the horse had bolted at 31-0?
It was a blistering final 14 minutes that involved five blue and gold meat pies and two extremely shirty coaches on the siren with the scoreboard showing a bizarre 31-30 result.
And then there was the round 10 appointment against Canberra, when Kearney’s men put in an excellent fraction of football after the emergency glass was broken in light of a 24-6 half-time deficit.
The familiar instincts kicked-in as they roared home to fall nicely within a respectable margin with a 40-34 loss.
It’s enough to have the fans asking for half-priced tickets that are only valid after oranges.
As for the club overlords, they must be sleepless trying to conjure up a method to counter this habit. What kind of hair brained scheme do they need to implement?
Play games in reverse and forfeit at the halfway point? Start the game with a 30-point deficit? Change the coach?
If only the “Bizarro” world from the Superman comics actually existed then Parramatta could ask the NRL to relocate them there. That way, their whacky way of doing things backwards would make theirs the hardest road trip of them all.
At least they can take heart from what occurred in round 13 when they faced a similar situation against Cronulla.
With the Eels feeling ensconced in the familiar security blanket of a 20-6 halftime deficit, it seemed that a wasted burst of freestyling on the way to another wafer-thin loss was in the waters of the footy gods.
Lo and behold, the mould was broken when the regular comeback blueprint was tossed by the wayside and victory was sought and captured.
With a hard grind back to parity and then a tap of the afterburners, the Eels delivered a rousing present to their fans with a famous 29-20 victory on the back of 23 second half points.
What would Kearney give to know what was in the Powerade that night?
I reckon he would happily trade his high distinction in Party Conduct 101 to know the answer.
Being chic cool with the in-crowd goes nowhere towards eradicating the pain of being considered stale ashtray-juice with the fans.
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