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 yearÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢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 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“pilgrimageÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? to ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“hallowed groundÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? 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 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“why didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t we win Daddy?ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? 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 todayÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢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) didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢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 weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢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 doesnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢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 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â€Âœ 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 youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢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.