It’s tough to see the team you support lose. It’s even tougher when the loss comes at the hands of your arch rivals.
I have followed the Manly Sea Eagles since 1967 and one thing that always made me happy – aside from all the finals and grand finals – was the knowledge that we were the best-run side in the league.
There is a John Denver song called ‘Some days are diamonds (some days are stones)’ with the following lyrics:
The face I see in the mirror is a stranger to me
More and more I can see there is a danger
Of becoming what I never through I would be
That’s how I feel about Manly right now.
I used to laugh at Souths as they lost their player to us, and Easts because they were incapable of running a professional side. Parramatta always spent heaps more than us and were hopeless. And what a joke Wests management was.
Never once did I feel for these sides, as their weak management was just not up to it.
But today Manly are a shambles. I don’t blame Canterbury, Parra or the Gold Coast for raiding us, as our management is as poor as Souths’ at the end of 1972. I just pray we don’t go the same way and take as long to recover.
But to have lost arguably the best coach, the best scout and assistant coach, and five key players does not bode well for the future.
I never thought I would see the day when we were the worst managed club in the league, especially after 50 years of success. I can see other clubs gloating and fair enough too.
My biggest fear is as we drop in the table the crowds will fall, and with the current desire by the NRL to move teams to Moore Park or Homebush I can see us being forced to play away from the beaches and surf.