Half of NRL supporters have reached that part of the season where, in the hope of maintaining interest in the finals series, we can choose another team to follow.
The problem is, that is never an easy decision.
We could get behind a club to prove the effectiveness of the salary cap, but the Storm and the Roosters are doing their best to crush the latter argument, so no one outside of those two clubs would ever consider supporting them – unless, of course, they were playing Manly.
The Broncos are another financially favoured team that most are happy to see fail. Certainly no one from Sydney wants Brisbane to win, but if it were Broncos vs Roosters in the finale, even as a Sydney boy, I would be hoping for a giant crack to open up in the middle of the field and swallow both teams rather than see either lift the trophy.
What about the Bunnies? I mean, they have already had their fairy-tale premiership, against the Dogs, at a time when the Burgess boys were loved and respected by most fans. Now most people just see the Burgii as thugs who have gone too far too often. They should never have had 13 players on the field against the Broncos a few weeks ago.
Certainly I would support Souths over the aforementioned teams, but much in the way that I support paying taxes – I understand the need but I’m not going to be leaping up out of my chair when my money goes.
As a Dogs fan old enough to have seen the 1980s rivalry, it would be blasphemous to even consider supporting the Eels. Yet there are five teams I am even less interested in. Plus it has been such a long time between Parramatta grand final wins, and it would be a phenomenal story to have improved so much in just one season, giving us all hope for the future.
That leaves the Sharks and the Raiders. There was the pain of the 1994 grand final, which is partly alleviated by my team’s 1995 win. I guess I could give a semi excited “woo” if Canberra put the Storm down in Week 1.
As for Cronulla, they’ve had their fairytale recently enough, but they are from Sydney and I’ve never had anything against them despite the scandals in recent years.
So, I guess, go the Sharks?
(Try not to be overwhelmed by my enthusiasm.)