New South Wales health officials are urgently investigating a worrying outbreak of tolerance for the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles detected outside of the Northern Beaches of Sydney.
The psycho-emotional trend started to emerge in early August, when thousands of people reportedly experienced an involuntary loss of their lifelong hostility towards the Manly-Warringah club.
A 61-year-old Western Suburbs Magpies/Tigers fan from Guildford is thought to have been patient zero for the condition. The patient described the initial alarming symptoms he felt during the Storm-Sea Eagles clash in Round 19, saying, “After dinner, I switched on the tele to look at the Silvertails game against the Storm.
“Early on, about 15 minutes in, I start to feel very uneasy, and this awful feeling came into my head like I’d never felt before in my 61 years.
“I can only describe it as a hope that Manly might win the match. You can imagine how scared and sick I felt.”
His condition deteriorated further at the conclusion of the match, when Manly’s Trbojevic brothers were interviewed on Fox Sports.
“Instead of my usual reaction of throwing the remote control at the TV and yelling abuse because they were, you know, Manly players, I stopped to listen,” he said.
“And despite trying with all my mental strength to conjure up my usual Sea Eagles malice, instead these involuntary thoughts came into my head that I couldn’t control: that they seem like pretty good fellas and this Tommy kid is a pretty special talent.”
The terrified man immediately screamed out to his wife to call an ambulance. After he was rushed to Auburn Hospital and assessed, quick-thinking doctors immediately administered an emergency face-slapping session on the 61-year-old, copying a technique they found on YouTube of Tommy Raudonikis’s 1978 Magpies in their Lidcombe Oval dressing rooms.
The technique having stabilised his condition, he then spent several days in intensive care, where he was further treated with replays of brawls between the Magpies and the Sea Eagles from the 1980s and pictures of Magpies defectors Les Boyd, John Dorahy and Ray Brown in Manly-Warringah jerseys. He is now considered to be out of danger and is expected to make a full recovery to normal levels of animosity towards the Sea Eagles.
But similar symptoms were soon reported in a significant number of other New South Wales residents, most recently in a lifetime Eels club member, who suffered an episode just two days after his second COVID vaccination.
The episode has sparked fears it could be an unintended side-effect of the vaccine. The theory is as yet untested, but the link is thought to be plausible given the disorder’s emergence roughly coinciding with the rise in vaccination rates in NSW. The Telopea resident first knew something was very wrong while shopping at Rydalmere Woolworths on Friday.
“I’m in the frozen food aisle in my Parra jersey grabbing some Four’n Twenty pies and I seen this bloke near the frozen vegetables section wearing a Sea Eagles cap.
“As has always been my practice, I head over intending to knock his cap off his head, yell some insults and tell him to get out of Eels territory, but as my hand goes out to slap his cap off, I lose control of my whole arm and instead grab his hand to shake it!
“At that point a strange voice come out of my mouth, and though it sounds like me, it’s not me. And the voice says, ‘Hey, man, good luck against the Roosters tonight! Hope Turbo has a good game!’.
“It’s then that I realise something very bad is going on, and I feel sick in the guts!”
The shaken 48-year-old rushed outside to ring his GP straight away. He was immediately directed to self-isolate at home, where he was instructed to watch old Tooheys commercials and a replay of Manly’s infamous seven-tackle try awarded by referee Greg Hartley in the 1978 final against Parramatta.
One group of Sea Eagles supporters is convinced of a conspiracy to derail Manly’s campaign. Former Sea Eagles coach and legendary halfback Geoff Toovey articulated the group’s suspicions, saying, “Just think about who’s in charge of the vaccine rollout: it’s the fella from down there in the shire! Sorry, can’t remember his name!
“But he’s a Sharks tragic, and like everyone, he knows that Manly can only win premierships when everyone hates us. Take away our siege mentality and we’ll fall flat.
“It already started to affect us last week against Melbourne. It’s ridiculous! There needs to be an investigation! Someone has to be held accountable!”
But others point to the club’s roster as contributing to the outbreak of non-hatred, as expressed by a rival club official.
“It’s their own fault, having these humble, decent and talented young men who are difficult to detest, like the Trbojevics or that guy in the centres with the reggae hair and mouth brow, or the tall fast guy with the Swedish car brand name,” said the official, “People are even struggling to hate DCE!
“They need to get back to the good old days where they had people like a Les Boyd, Terry Hill or Anthony Watmough, who the public could easily dislike.”
The NSW Department of Health is desperately hoping to get to the bottom of the unexplained medical affliction, but there are already fears that it could morph into something even more sinister, like neutralising hatred of the Melbourne Storm or Sydney Roosters.