At the commencement of the 2019 NRL season, a lot of the experts’ top eight predictions didn’t mention the Sharks.
Up until recently, not far from here was a small corner shop. For decades this store had been frequented the local kids on their way to and from school and during the 70s and 80s, it’s where those kids went to buy their footy cards.
For most of those kids, footy was held in high regard. It was where local blokes, who you might meet at that very corner shop, performed acts of amazing strength and vanquished the clearly superior blokes from that other team.
Footy was about playing hard, overcoming challenges and being a good bloke. It was about the game and what happened on the field.
It was about getting out to the footy park and supporting these guys. It was about watching it all unfold, as these local blokes ran around.
It was real and it was right there in front of you. You were a part of the excitement, you were a part of the game.
A song was written about that shop. Gary Frost penned it and the title comes to mind with regard to the AFL and NRL doping scandals – ‘What about me?’
Footy is supposed to be about the game. It is supposed to be as much about the supporters as the players.
As footy supporters, of all codes, when did we lose our voice? When did we get pushed out of the equation?
When did those charged with administering footy decide winning and commercial interests outweighed the need to bring the supporter base along for the highs and lows?
When did it become such a business that dodgy pharmacological programs would even get on the radar?
The Essendon saga is headed to the courts, AFL, the Essendon club, the supporters and the taxpayers will end up footing the enormous bills.
What about me? Who asked me if these dodgy experiments were what the supporters wanted?
Similarly, the Sharks saga will head to the courts.
What about me? When do I get a say in all this?
Footy is about the supporters and fans – What about us?
The administrators talk about it being “our game” and “your team”. When do we get a say in all this?
“What about me?
It isn’t fair,
I’ve had enough, now I want my share,
Can’t you see?
I wanna live,
But you just take more than you give…”