Last Saturday, I had a stupid idea. I’ve often been told there is no such thing as a stupid idea, but I assure you, that’s not true.
This particular stupid idea wasn’t stupid because of the idea itself, for the idea is pure genius.
No, it was stupid because it promised to annoy a lot of rugby league fans.
Granted, that’s not a very difficult assignment. Rugby league fans love getting upset. They will throw their toys out of the cot if you give them even half a chance. They love firing up, and they love whinging.
Which brings us nicely back to my stupid idea: ranking all the NRL teams based on the propensity of their fans to whinge. Hey, I did warn you it was stupid!
So based on some robust data and analysis, I present the NRL Whinging Fans Ladder.
Gold Coast fans definitely whinge the least.
Sure, it’s hard to whinge when you don’t actually exist, but you can’t be punished for not existing.
Otherwise we’re going to get into weird existential debate, and we’ve already wasted enough words on a team that’s going to win two wooden spoons this season. Let’s move along, shall we?
Again, hard to whinge when you don’t exist.
Settle down, Chooks fans, I’m just joking. There’s actually plenty of Roosters fans out there, they just don’t like going to the footy. But I will give the fans credit for one thing: you barely hear them whinge.
Of course, they don’t really have much to whinge about. They’re the defending premiers, are experts – ahem – of the salary cap, reside in the greatest city in the world, and a generally just a model of absolute excellence. If Easts fans can find a reason to whinge, I tip my hat to them.
Doggies fans’ main gripe is thinking Todd Greenberg is out to get them. The rest of the competition think that Greenberg gives the Bulldogs preferential treatment. Go figure.
Other than that, these fans are traditionally pretty rational and stoic. Good-looking bunch too.
Warriors fans usually only complain about their own team or players, but it’s still whinging.
There’s also the occasional moan that they get screwed because they’re just the ‘poor cousins from across the ditch’.
Show me the lie, Woe Woes…
Melbourne fans don’t actually whinge that much. What they do whinge about is other fans whinging about them. And considering that’s a lot, Storm fans whinge a lot. Even though I just said they don’t whinge that much.
My head hurts.
Brisbane fans should be a little disappointed in themselves; they should rank a lot higher than this. They’ve been pretty consistent in their whining over the years, but when you see the powerhouse teams ahead of them, it’s hard to argue with their relatively low ranking, well outside of the top eight.
Lift your game, Broncs! We know you’ve got it in you!
This is outrageous. Tenth? For Penrith Panthers fans? I can’t possibly be serious?
Unfortunately, the fact is that it’s a really talented field, and I just can’t justify having Penrith any higher. Think I’m off my rocker? Fair enough, I am. But tell me which club’s fans ranked above Penrith that you’re kicking out?
One rule: it can’t be your team.
See?! It’s not easy!
Parramatta fans should be well used to disappointment, so just missing out on the eight feels about right.
I thought they would finish higher, and that’s simply based on the amount of arguments I’ve had with Eels fans about Mitch Moses. My absolute favourite was the time a Parra fan – straight-faced – said Moses was not a bad defender. Never mind the fact that Canberra had just belted them, with the Raiders forwards running over Moses for four tries. In the first half.
Anyway, there is a lot of potential here, so don’t count out the Eels next year. Which sounds eerily like something you’d hear in the actual NRL. Every season.
I didn’t think Canberra would rank this highly. I’ve always thought there was a charm to these fans’ despondent nature.
Then I was introduced to the almighty chip on their shoulder. His name is Bruce, and he’s a big lad. He talks a lot about how the NRL, refs, Channel Nine, NSW, Queensland, Fox Sports, God, and everyone else, all hate Canberra and don’t want them to do well.
And now I know why the Raiders fans are held in such high regard in these sweepstakes.
South Sydney owner Russell Crowe had a book created which details all the grudges the Bunnies have with every other club. Called The Book of Feuds, it’s essentially just one big, bitter whinge, and all but guarantees Souths a spot in the Whinge Finals every season.
North Queensland fans really are living on past glories, I must say. The only reason they still rank this high is because they haven’t thrown out their tin-foil hats from the days of believing the NRL and/or referees wanted to dud them in every finals game.
Of late, they’ve been a bit quiet by their standards. Having said that, if I had let go of Kalyn Ponga, signed Ben Barba, and had to listen to Paul Green press conferences, I’d probably keep my mouth shut too.
5. Sea Eagles
Even Manly fans will admit this is far too low. I can only assume that the team’s unexpected brilliant performances on the field this season are playing havoc with supporters’ habitual need to rouse on absolutely everything. That weird sensation you’re feeling is called happiness, guys.
Natural order will be restored when local boys Jake and Tom Trbojevic, bolt for more money. Hopefully at the Bulldogs.
“Flanno did nothing wrong!”
“Gallen isn’t a grub!”
“The peptides scandal was a beat-up!”
“We don’t want to move to Perth!”
“Josh Dugan isn’t injury prone!”
“Andrew Fifita is misunderstood!”
“Damian Keogh was set-up!”
“The Panthers sold us a dud in Matt Moylan!”
Cronulla fans are quality whingers – a perennial top-four team in this department.
St George Illawarra fans are a bit stiff to not even crack the top two. They bring the thunder every single week. For sheer consistency alone, you would have thought they would finish higher than third spot.
When one of your own fans writes an article proclaiming Dragons supporters are the biggest complainers, you have to take notice.
What the hell is in the water in Newcastle? These guys would complain if they won the comp!
Well, I’m guessing they might. It’s hard to definitively say, seeming as they haven’t been in a grand final since *checks the numbers again* 2001.
To be fair, the Knights were wooden spooners in 2015, 2016 and 2017. They just sacked their coach. And Nathan Tinkler’s foul stench stills hangs over the club.
Hmmm, upon review, fair enough, Novocastrians – whinge away.
1. Wests Tigers
I need to tread carefully here, as all my beloved in-laws are Tigers tragics. However, I’m only going off the responses I got to my tweet last Saturday.
I’m thinking of re-doing the NRL ladder, but ranked on club’s fans “whinge-ability” (ie: which team’s supporters whinge the most?). My word, it would be hotly contested, but I feel like one team might just run away with top spot…
— Ryan O'Connell (@RyanOak) August 16, 2019
The replies overwhelmingly had the Tigers taking our top spot on the Whinging Ladder, and who am I to argue with Twitter? It’s always been an environment where rational, intelligent and balanced conversations occur.
I will add that there is absolutely no truth to the rumour that the team I had in mind as I wrote that tweet was the Tigers. None whatsoever. Zero. Zilch.