All these players complaining about being tired after one round of footy need a healthy dose of perspective.
They should be sent for national service or a season supporting the Tigers.
This will help them understand that relentlessly exerting yourself for 80 minutes to the point of clinical exhaustion is a cakewalk when compared to more strenuous pursuits such as military training or spending six months a year convincing yourself this is definitely Luke Brooks’ season.
Even after one round, Tigers fans are already steeling themselves for another gruelling 26 rounds of naïve optimism and inevitable defeatism, all spread across nine home grounds and 13 honesty sessions.
As Sunday’s loss attested, starting the season was an unfortunate development for supporters, especially after the usual dread of a new campaign was soothingly drowned out by rule changes and Joseph Suaalii.
But despite the negativity of another futile season, all is not lost. The club is eyeing-off a highly-coveted milestone this year – ticking over the coveted ten-year mark on their finals drought.
Make no mistake, this would be an achievement befitting the joint venture’s unbroken run of anguish stretching across five coaches, two Benjis and 17 failed development proposals for Rozelle Leagues.
Following the side’s trademark ill-disciplined defeat to Canberra, fans are full of belief this watershed mark can be surpassed, thus taking them one step closer to a lifetime without a premiership that isn’t only available in SD.
Coach Michael Maguire – one of the league’s most notorious drill sergeants – is the man charged with avoiding this ignominy by somehow rinsing the Tigers jersey of its depraved powers.
As we all know, many handy players have come and gone from the club over the years, some even paid at their appropriate market value and not deep into their 40s.
But from the moment a player dons any one of the club’s 245 famous stripes, he morphs from a footballer into a source of sheer frustration. While a rare few can withstand, most ultimately seek respite in reserve grade or Cronulla.
This is why COVID was actually warmly welcomed last year by Tigers fans, as they enjoyed the fresh change of having their season stalled by something other than their own cursed apparel. In light of this, we can all agree on one thing – none of this ongoing tragedy would’ve happened if the joint venture had avoided the catastrophe of winning the 2005 premiership.
After years of imbuing the Tigers community with euphoria, this title now only brings lingering anger for all involved. Robbie Farah was cranky for years, the fans have never recovered and after the weekend, it’s apparent even Todd Payten is still shirty.
Is there any point for Tigers fans in 2021? Should they hold genuine hope, or just blame Ivan Cleary?
Whatever occurs, there is one major consolation – at least shining light Luciano Leilua should be good for at least ten Dally M votes.
Not only will this offset losses incurred by brother Joey, but also trigger a $2.1m upgrade in Luciano’s deal.