Melbourne Storm’s predicted fade-out is now eight years overdue, raising obvious questions as to whether the club is the climate change of rugby league.
Establishmentarians were promised that the Storm’s domination would subside after the 2010 salary cap penalties, thus returning the competition to its NSWRL glory days of being solely subordinate to the Broncos.
However, almost ten years later, the condescending comparisons to Barcelona keep stacking up.
With seasonally adjusted data now predicting relentless top-four finishes until Cameron Smith’s great-grandchildren retire, do we begin to consider the club’s domination a transient cyclical event or a permanent and irreversible man-made monstrosity?
Is their mystical culture a hoax upheld by conspiracy theorists and pseudoscience or just a routine periodical occurrence like John Hopoate saying something dumb?
As often discussed on many weekly think tanks, the comparisons between the Storm’s success and global warming are stark.
Scientists say the earth’s natural climate cycle occurs over a period of approximately 20,000 years, which is around the same time before the Storm will next miss the NRL finals.
Additionally, with global warming driven by burning fossil fuels and the Storm by Craig Bellamy, both are powered by industrial-scale emitters that have blasted holes in the atmosphere.
So will the globe cool down anytime soon? Or, more importantly, will our descendants ever witness Melbourne run a Raiders-like tenth?
The debate over both topics will rage forever, with some sides sure to selectively overlook evidence like they’re grading a Josh McGuire facial.
But whatever way you lean, it is accepted Melbourne’s domination is here to stay if Bellamy coaches forever – and you can’t rule him out running the team from the grave out of fear of appearing ‘soft’.
As the Elon Musk of the game, Bellamy is able to produce a sustainable militia with minimal resources, much like the Tesla doyen does with cars, only with more hyper-extension.
Even with loose cells like Cameron Munster and no halfback, the coach can generate power with the kind of bit-part players who would only qualify as ‘NRL stars’ if they were a suspect in a tabloid crime report.
Should Bellamy keep coaching until the world is swamped in rising seas, it probably means the club’s monotonous stationing near the top of the NRL table will remain an endless phenom like Queensland’s eight in a row or a Nathan Brown rebuild.
This means all we bitter NSWRL apologists can do is continue patiently waiting for the fruit of the 2010 salary cap penalties, and rehashing it at five-minute intervals until it does.
When the Storm salary cap saga revealed the club to be throwing around underhanded sums of money like they were buying political favours from One Nation, it inflicted a black eye on the game and swathes of untold shame for the NRL. As a staunch league conservative, it was awesome.
Stripping the club of its trophies would not only help recoup lost corporate dollars with scrap metal; it would also regain control of the game from its weird new southern stronghold where veganism is celebrated and they call beers ‘pots’.
But over the years the continual forecasts of the Storm finally meeting their maker have never crystallised.
As the club shed blue-chip talent like any regular organisation obeying the salary cap, the experts told us the Storm’s demise was imminent, promised by the simple rule of averages and the arrival of Smith’s seniors card.
But again they sit undefeated at the top of the ladder, even winning matches when they’re not at their best. Just like pizza and sex, even when they’re bad, they’re still good.
Without being dramatic, it’s starting to look like we’ll never be released from the grip of the Storm. Just like climate change debate, we’re all just going to have to blame either anthropogenic factors or News Limited.