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The media's smears won't throw the Melbourne Storm

2nd October, 2008
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Roar Guru
2nd October, 2008
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1131 Reads

Melbourne Storm players Brett White (centre) and Michael Crocker (right) attend the NRL Grand Final breakfast in Sydney, Thursday, Oct. 2, 2008. Melbourne Storm will play against the Manly Sea Eagles in the Grand Final on Sunday. AAP Image/Paul Miller

Someone appears to have forgotten to tell the rugby league media that unless you’re a teenage girl, being unpopular and un-liked isn’t really that much of a big deal. It didn’t stop John Howard and George W. Bush getting elected a bunch of times. And it hasn’t hurt the Melbourne Storm either.

We’re currently in the midst of the smear campaign to end all smear campaigns with the latest allegations that the Storm killed Bambi and liked watching Big Brother.

Similar Anti-Storm sentiment was trotted out before last year’s Grand Final, only to disappear the second the Storm smashed Manly.

The only thing the Storm are guilty of is winning games. Surely it would take something more significant to unite the NRL, News Limited rugby league scribes, and most of the Fairfax journalists?

Typically the media like to influence a situation, even when they are writing about something they don’t fully understand, such as the GST.

The media are clutching at straws, though, if they think the Storm would be intimidated by the fact that people who normally hate Manly will be cheering them on this Sunday. You need better ammunition against a club that seems to have one of the best sporting cultures in Australia.

They share similarities with the Brumbies (before they lost their way after winning the 2004 title) and with the Brisbane Lions circa 2001-2004, when the Lions were engaged in a running war with the AFL and didn’t care what anyone else thought or said about them.

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The AFL though had the last laugh with the scheduling of the 2004 preliminary finals.

And what of Manly?

They had a golden period in the 1970s when they won four titles in seven years, but since then the last 30 years have yielded just another two. They would be desperate to win and to break the drought.

As a neutral independent observer with no axe to grind and no agenda whatsoever, the anti-Storm hysteria seems amusing. If you believe everything you read in the paper, the Storm are rude, they’re rough, and they don’t have any manners.

It’s as if the other teams have acknowledged how good the Storm are and have given up, so sniping in the media and engaging the help of willing journalists is all they have.

Once the action gets onto the field, they have no chance.

Or maybe the NRL has taken a leaf out of the WWE’s book and gotten something of a heel-face thing going on.

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As monotonous and tedious the grapple tackle story is, it is still more interesting than hearing about Sonny Bill’s French lessons.

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