The trials of loving Brown: It is a scenario that we often see played out in suburbia. Son or daughter arrives on the doorstep with new partner and stars in their eyes, declaring ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“this is the oneÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? to be met by family wearing blank stares that betray open bemusement or even outright hostility. These people donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t want to be rude, but they do want the best for their offspring and the person theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ve just presented as the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“love of their lifeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? is, for varying reasons, patently incompatible, inappropriate or even downright dangerous. However, have you ever tried to explain reason or logic to someone in the first flushes of love? Anyone that has been in that situation will attest that it is not an easy task. The raging flames of early passion and hormonal attraction burn fiercely against the cold ice of long term thinking and principles such as compatibility. As the Dragons slump to four losses and the pressure continues to mount upon coach Nathan Brown, it does beg that the question be asked. Have the Dragons been similarly blinded by ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹ÂœloveÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢? When Nathan Brown was appointed to the head coaching position at St George it seemed, at best, a bold gamble. Brown had always been something of a larrikin and discipline had not seemed to be a hallmark of his playing career. Would the Dragons have taken such a bold gamble had he been a player with another club or not viewed as a ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹Âœfavourite sonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢? He had precious little coaching experience behind him but peddled the clichÃƒÂƒÃ‚Â© to the media that he had served under some great coaches and learned much off them. These being the same coaches that St George had seen fit to sack over the years! Still in his twenties, Brown was also placed in the position of having to coach men who had been his peers only a few years previous. Brown did not appear to be the type of hard-nosed character with the resolve required to instil discipline and dedication. Would he be taken seriously when doling out wisdom of chiding men who had been team mates and drinking buddies to that point? In his favour was the inheritance of a playing roster that was the envy of every other club in the NRL. If it can be said that the likes of Wayne Bennet and Bob Fulton owed their success as coaches to the quality of their playing roster, then surely Brown would be a walk up start to similar accolade? It hasnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t happened. Whilst representative sides have bristled with Dragons players at the peak of their powers these same players under Brown have never managed to translate representative prowess to the club level when it really matters. Worse has been the tell-tale signs emerging from the Dragons camp indicating a lack of the kind of authoritative leadership required for success. Captains (Thompson) arriving drunk for training, representative stars wanting time away from the game (Gasnier) and a seemingly endless stream of ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹ÂœminorÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ incidents seem to betray a lack of the focus and intensity demanded for positive results. Surely BrownÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s extra-curricular activities in horse racing and the tote also detract from the single-minded devotion required to be successful in the coaching game? Harsh? Yes, but professional sport is a harsh business and the price of success is high. As a fan of another club IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢m not a shareholder in the St George franchise but if I were IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢d be demanding answers from those who courted Brown and continue to keep him in the fold. This brings me back to my original illustration. When confronted with the genuine concerns of loved ones star-struck lovers generally take one of two approaches. They either step back and evaluate the advice and act accordingly, presuming thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s a kernel of truth. Or they adopt a bunker-like attitude that sees them doggedly act against the advice of those that know them well. Generally this ends in tears and regret at ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“not taking good adviceÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? being expressed years later. It is hard to know exactly what is going on in the St George bunker. However, one thing remains sure. Whilst people external to the club cannot speak with all of the facts, there is much that can be gained seeking the kernel of truth in their criticism. An external perspective can be invaluable, especially when under achievement becomes chronic and institutionalised. How much longer can the Dragons continue the love affair and pay the price by under achieving?