Anyone can contribute to The Roar and have their work featured alongside some of Australia’s most prominent sports journalists.
Mitchell Pearce has provocatively made mention of Roosters crowd numbers, despite receiving specific warnings as to the topic’s sensitivity in a brief from advisers.
With tensions simmering in the approach to Sunday’s highly anticipated homecoming against his former club, the Newcastle playmaker was urged to “not mention the war”, with a specific section included in the brief in all-capital letters demanding he “DON’T UPSET POLITIS.”
The directive was served to Pearce as a reminder of the volatility around the subject of Roosters’ attendances, a long-time cultural sensitivity for the foundation club that has generated constant memes at their expense since 1908.
Advisers initially decided against gagging the former Rooster, believing he would be mindful of stigmatising a club he departed less than five months ago. Then they recalled how he once thought it wise to sledge Johnathan Thurstonand make love to a puppy.
As such, Pearce was instructed to refuse all questions about attendances, with a strict directive issued to only discuss sanitised topics such as “the boys” and “shapes.”
But despite pleading from his aides, he ignored the advice and insultingly called for a “good crowd” before mentioning how the Newcastle team “seem to get a lot more than the Roosters fans.”
The wholly accurate comparative ranking from Pearce has plunged the two clubs in to a diplomatic crisis, with the Roosters threatening to impose sanctions on the Knights such as extraditing their large number of expats, or providing shitty parking for Sunday.
The reaction by Roosters supporters to Pearce has also been swift and brutal, who despite suffering through his drunken incidents derailing seasons and AWOL performances in crunch matches, are considering his factual observation as the final straw.
Some fans have condemned his ignorant slur on attendances as one that further stigmatises their club as one “so rich it doesn’t care”, while others are directing their law firms to concentrate on suing his next three generations of family.
Roosters fans will also seek an injunction to rewrite the club’s history books to hold him responsible for the one-marker policy and the signing of Willie Mason, because you “just don’t go there.”
Additionally, all historical newspaper mountings in the club featuring Pearce will be rewritten as “the time he bummed a smoke from Craig Coleman to torch his 2013 premiership jersey.”
While acknowledging this could be a slight over-reaction to a blase and probably unintentional one-liner from a former favourite son, a spokesperson for the fans asserted that “if you take everything out of context, you’ll see he always hated the Roosters.”
“Despite representing the club in 238 games, steering them to a premiership and declaring he never wanted to leave, he always wanted to leave” the spokesperson said.
“He used and abused this club, and then callously abandoned us with nothing more than an all-time legendary halfback.”