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An open letter to the Manly players

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Matabele, Aug 21, 2005.

  1. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    I think I speak on behalf of most of the fans when I say that we are shell-shocked after the result against Cronulla today. I know we might be dismissed as arm chair critics but I also know most of us will have to endure a day of endless jibes at our places of work because we identify with Manly. I know we're not doing the hard yards on the field but many of us have invested so much of ourselves in the club over the years and the hurt that we feel at our current circumstances can almost be felt physically.

    I think the main reason I struggle with results like Saturday night is because of what I see my little six-year old son invest in Manly each day of every week. We bought him a Manly jumper last year and it's the first thing he reaches for each morning. We literally have to peel it off him at the end of every few days to get it in the wash and he frets for the time that he doesn't have it.

    Each night I have to sit next to a line drawn on our carpet, dressed in blue, pretending to be a "yucky Bulldog". We play a game called "Sea Eagle" which involves him nominating each of the current players in turn and, face screwed up in effort, fists and knees pumping, he launches himself across our lounge room to crash into me as hard as possible, striving to get an imaginary ball over the line to score another try for his beloved Manly.

    He has last year’s Daily Telegraph card pack in pristine condition, except for the dog eared and tattered Manly cards which he has endlessly shown around to visitors naming players as though they're dearly beloved relatives.

    In a hard core Rugby League Country town he is the only boy that he knows of that supports the Sea Eagles. Despite his best attempts at recruitment, the other little boys his age have generally jumped onto one of the band wagons of one of the more successful clubs of the modern era, mainly the Dragons, the Roosters and the Eels.

    I've never seen my boy take a backward step in pouring bile and virulent scorn on their choice of club, generally telling them every real and imagined sin the club has committed in the past and in particular taking great club in informing them which club has won the most premierships since 1970. Suffice to say that his passion and disdain for the other clubs has seen him shed blood and sustain bruises for the cause. Yes, even at six Manly fans are disliked and he's copped the fisticuffs for his loyalty.

    I think you get the picture. His commitment and passion for the club is total, even at six years of age. When we journeyed to Brookvale earlier this year for his first “pilgrimage� to “hallowed ground� it was for the game against the Cowboys. At the conclusion of the game he was in tears, sitting at my legs on the Hill, pounding my calves and screaming in frustration “why didn’t we win Daddy?�

    Imagine how hard it is to tell the little guy that Manly have lost again this week. My most dreaded question in all the world is "what was the score Daddy?" What am I going to tell him today? I haven't had the heart to tell him about the magnitude of today’s loss. Telling the crest fallen little bloke, with his bottom lip quivering in disappointment that we've conceded another 50+ point score-line is no easy task.

    At least against the Cowboys we were competitive. How do I explain to him that professional footballers, many on six figure salaries, seemed to be as disinterested as you were today? How can I explain that one of our props (our so-called yardage men) didn’t make one hit-up that counted in the official statistics for the entire match?

    Would I be doing it if you had showed a similar love, passion and commitment that my little boy has for the club?

    I never played football to the level of the NRL so I'm sure that I have no idea of the rigours and demands placed on you week in and week out. However, it is exceedingly frustrating to see our strong start to the season frittered away so needlessly over the last two months.

    We can all cop a loss if we can look at our kids and tell them that the players did their very best and that we are still proud of them. Tomorrow we’ll probably be avoiding eye contact with them, mumbling something about next year, all the time knowing that we might, just might, have pulled off a win if the fire in the belly was as strong in the bellies of some of our players as it is in my little mate.

    Today I question whether 15 of you even turned up to play. With a semi-final spot on the line, it seemed as though you were hell-bent on a meek capitulation from the very moment you ran on the field. Where is the fire in the belly? Where is the pride in your own personal performance?

    Where is the loyalty to a jersey that today represented a decade that this fine club won four premierships, populated by players that would sooner die than surrender as meekly as you did today? What is happening when a captain stands glibly behind the posts after conceding yet another try and doesn’t even try to lift his side?

    In short, where in the hell was your intensity? Where is the kind of passion, commitment and integrity that pushes men to cover for each other, to get back into the line when legs are cramping and lungs screaming for air, to move up together in the line, using the last gasp of air to scream at the team mate next to you and exhort him to greater effort? The sort of thing that the "Queenslander" call has produced in that other famous maroon and white jumper over the past twenty-five years.

    We MUST win one of our last two games to secure a berth in the finals. And if we do make the finals we MUST do all that it takes to ensure that we are not a complete embarrassment – the final proof that the Final 8 is a flawed concept. Neither game will be an easy assignment.

    For the next two weeks I hope against all hope that you players can adopt a "Sea Eagles" call, and that you can find enough pride in each other and this fine club that when you hear it, you push yourselves beyond what you think you’re capable of.

    The sort of call that goes out and helps you to forget the lead in your legs and instead feel the fire in the belly and the lump in the throat that comes from the sort of love, passion and commitment that a little boy has for the club at six years of age.
     
  2. Ryan

    Ryan Well-Known Member

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    I honestly don't know why you'd bother Matabele. The club doesn't give a toss what its fans think.The commentators said it today, that the players don't trust each other. They said we are an unbalanced side, and are all playing like induviduals. (Funny how I said that last week eh).

    This club we support, is a club that looks after itself foremost. The players play for themselves and nothing more. A team of induviduals.

    I think the players & espescially the club take its paying loyal fans for granted. Look at the way media spoke to that person on the official site last week!

    The players have no pride in their jersey. No pride in each other. It's obvious by the results. Des Hasler is leading us to record loss after record loss.

    Until they put their bodies on the line for each other, for us, then we will always be a team of induviduals going nowhere.

    Look at Nth Qld, The Tigers, The Dragons. Real family clubs.

    Our blokes just go out on the town, and booze it up after a demoralising loss, accepting the social coudos that comes with being a footballer.

    It would be great to get this club to listen to something as heart felt as you put in writing Matabele, but "I" believe the club thinks it's far above its fans, and there ae specific examples in writing of this.
     
  3. fLIP

    fLIP UFO Hunter

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    Good letter. And I do remeber a substantial part of that being from the loss to penrith last season.
     
  4. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    It will hurt a little less in the morning Ryan.

    (And in the morning I'll be very glad of staying clear of any alcohol tonight!!!)
     
  5. jamesie

    jamesie Active Member

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    After giving Des and management some time, I am starting to have some serious doubts. Extending Kings contract, Resigning Monas on big $$, NOT singing any forwards.

    If we are anywhere near the salary cap, Management has seriously F***** up and should be accountable.

    Jamesie
     
  6. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    The worst part of it is having to raise it from where I thought it was dead. I'd hoped to never need something like this again.
     
  7. fLIP

    fLIP UFO Hunter

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    If you listen to des earlier this season he is quoted as saying our days of recieving record floggings are over.

    Sadly, I know for a fact that after 2 years now of des in the job, we will not see one change for next week, and we will see another flogging. And in form Warriors would have put 90 on us today.
     
  8. Ryan

    Ryan Well-Known Member

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    This current swathe of apparent players that are in this squad is losing Manly generations of younger supporters. Not only are they screwing the present, but hurting the future too.

    Ok, now this is going to be a bold statement, and I hope you take this for what it is...but (Although I love Manly more than ever) The Bears as a team were never THIS bad.

    Sorry, but that's just howe I feel.
     
  9. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    Sorry Ryan, but the bears were diabolical for much of their history.
     
  10. Utility Player

    Utility Player Well-Known Member

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    The worst part of it is having to raise it from where I thought it was dead. I'd hoped to never need something like this again.

    [/quote]

    And to think Ive just given you and this site a rap of sorts over at OEE, still it's the first time Ive read it and it sounded ****ing brilliant to me
     
  11. Ryan

    Ryan Well-Known Member

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    Never in such a concurrent manner. In the last 10 years of The Bears being in the comp, they made the semi's on 7 occassions. This will be Manly's 2nd in 10 IF we make it, and it would only be to make up the numbers, and we would be relying on other results to get us there.

    The Bears even entertained HOME finals. Imagine that my friends. The last being when the dirty Bulldogs beat the Bears at Bear Park on a Saturday night to kick us out in our last year in the comp.

    I'd absolutely LOVE to see manly playing someone @ Brooky in the finals.
     
  12. CC_Eagle

    CC_Eagle Member

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    Bittersweet reading there Mata...

    It's great to see an individual snatch the opinions and feelings of myself and all Manly supporters and turn them into words.

    But like yourself, I never want to read anything like it again.
     
  13. ChuckWood

    ChuckWood Active Member

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    Well said Mata !!

    I was at Penrith Stadium last year & experienced what I though would be the lowest of lows as a footy fan . That was until I ventured out to Shark Park yesterday for another "history making flogging " . Very disappointing to say the least. It's obvious to say that our forwards were soft & shattering to say that Brett Stewart was our best back ( even if injured early in the match ). Hicks & Stephenson were absolutely hopeless !! A friend of mine is keen to travel down to Canberra for the Rd # 26 match against the Raiders. I've now told him that I'll only go down there , if the Eagles defeat the Warriors next Saturday night.
     
  14. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    Erm Ryan. Exactly how many Grand Finals did they appear in during that period? Manly made 3 and won 1. I believe the last Bear premiership was 1922?
     
  15. Ryan

    Ryan Well-Known Member

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    I understand that Mata - but the process to get there was never this bad. That's what I'm saying.

    I'd rather a consistent year, to be beaten in the finals in a tough match, than record floggings, year on year.
     
  16. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    Ryan, you don't know much about Bears history then, do you?

    You statement was "the Bears were never this bad".

    Actually, at times they were worse.
     
  17. Guest

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    Ryan, it is supporters like you that give Manly a bad name. Wouldn't be surprised if you were a Bears or even a sharks supporter in previous seasons. Players put their careers on hold and damage their bodies to make a living, sometimes loyality can be hard to find. On the other hand you as a supporter, you get no financial payment from the club. So stick with a team and stay with them for life. Don't just jump on the bandwagon when your team is winning. A true supporter should be there when the team is down.

    You always crap on that you live 10 minutes away from brookvale. Maybe you should go there and watch a few games instead of watching manly on fox.
     
  18. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    He was a Bears fan that has supported Manly through thick and thin (mainly thin since the JV).

    He gets to most games when he can Bear it.

    He is also involved in things with the club that he cannot speak of. But his credentials as a "ture supporter" are completely vindicated by these actions.
     
  19. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    True supporter? I heard the true supporter line quoted on AE. Lol it is quite clear who ashman is now!.

    Just come in under your known monickers why hide?
     
  20. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    Who is ashman? AJ?
     

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