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Who would be a Sharks Fan??

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by The Wheel, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. The Wheel

    The Wheel Well-Known Member

    +2,756 /88
    Found this today, it is a long read but it says a lot about them, hopefully we can thrash them on the weekend so this clown can add another paragraph.

    Eulogizing The Season From Hell
    By Jardian Ormsby
    25th August 2009
    The Sports Neo

    Note: I convinced my editors to dump my regular 1,500 word limit, just this once. So, before you even attempt to read this, fetch yourself a coffee, Red Bull, V, or whatever gets you through a long haul. Trust me; you’re going to need it. In fact, I’ll wait for you to do that before we get started.



    Alright, let’s go...

    Ever wondered what it’s like to be a Cronulla Sharks fan?

    Imagine trying to climb to the summit of Mount Everest, investing countless time and money into preparing yourself for the conquest. Imagine having grown up with a bunch of friends who had all been to the summit before and who have told you time, and time (and time) again about what it’s like to reach the top -- the view, the emotions, the general “I can’t believe I climbed Mount Freaking Everest” euphoria -- partly because they still can’t believe they’ve done it themselves, and partly because they just want to be pricks because they’ve been there and you haven’t.

    Imagine that you trained for years just so that you could accomplish the same thing as them, eventually setting out from the foot of the mountain with a tour group that included: a condescending guy that’s making his umpteenth summit-trip (and is a complete jerk to everyone else who hasn’t been there), a young kid straight out of high school that’s just happy to be there and doesn’t really care about whether he makes it to the top or not (and there’s a good chance he’s just there for a few gloat-worthy snaps for his facebook page), and a fat kid that can’t walk thirty metres without craving a cheeseburger (and somehow sneaks one in without anyone else noticing).

    Imagine getting half way up the mountain and beginning to sense things going terribly wrong. You ignore it, continually convincing yourself that you’re closer to the summit than you really are. You look around; everyone else around you seems to be cruising along fine. Everyone except the fat kid sneaking cheeseburgers, that is. Somehow you keep going, all the time the condescending guy mocks you from the front of the group because he knows you’re not going to make it, and he is. You keep pushing and pushing. Small exasperating step after small exasperating step. It’s right there. You know it. Everyone else around you knows it. Everyone pushes a little harder to make it. And then...


    You’re whole body gives way. It’s over. All the hard work that went into it gets thrown out the window in one swoop. Everyone else in your group keeps moving along. The condescending guy, the young guy, the fat kid - all of them. But you stay there, eventually coming back down with everyone else on the return leg, listening to them hoot on about the exhilaration of reaching the top, secretly gritting your teeth that even the fat kid made it there before you did.

    Now, make that an annual thing, swap a few of the characters around here and there – THAT’S what it’s like to be a Cronulla Sharks fan. No joke. We prep, we train, we give it our best, we end up in the same crummy place: listening to other people telling us how great it is to be at the top.

    The people who care about us keep trying to convince us to abandon ship. We ignore them. That’s who we are. It’s a viscous cycle of always trying to climb a mountain that seems to have no summit. It’s like playing that old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Nintendo game that was bugged and literally impossible to finish. No matter how much you cruised through the first few levels, there’s always that one part later in the game that’s impossible to pass. That’s the video game equivalent to our lives as Sharks fans. One way or another, it ends up at the same dead end.

    So when I sat down to write my annual Cronulla Sharks season ending eulogy, I figured I’d draw on things from eulogies past. After all, it always ends the same way for us, doesn’t it? Couldn’t I just re-use old stuff and change the date to present-time?

    Not this year.

    You see, this wasn’t like any other Sharks season that tends to end in heartbreaking fashion and makes you question the meaning of life. No. This was worse. Way, way worse. We dealt with things this season that others had never dreamed of. This wasn’t just a crappy year by our small, measly standards. This was a crappy year by anyone’s standards. This wasn’t a season of highs and lows. It was a season of lows and lower lows.

    And although there isn’t a timeline in the world that could fully capture just how bad this year was, well...I tried:

    (I’m including links just to show you that I didn’t make any of this stuff up. Amazingly, it all happened in a six-month span)
    Pre-Season (Win-Loss Record)
    • Regular first team utility Fraser Anderson quits the club in preference of Japanese Rugby outfit Kobe, signing a contract worth $200,000 per year leading to this dime from Sharks CEO Tony Zappia “We were actually in the process of negotiating to extend Fraser’s contract when his agent came to us with this request”, like they were EVER going to come anywhere near that figure in trying to extend Anderson.
    March (1-2)
    • Brett Kearney and Ben Ross (two pivotal playmakers from the back and front lines respectively) both go down for the season in the very first game of the year, a dire 18-10 victory over the Penrith Panthers. In hindsight, I think we’d all have been more surprised if Brett Kearney didn’t get injured this season. Making matters worse, David Simmons gets the nod to replace Kearney at fullback. Apparently Will Smith and the rest of the ‘Men in Black’ used a Neuralizer on Ricky Stuart, making him forget just how crummy Simmons was at fullback a year earlier. Apparently.

    • Starting halfback Brett Seymour is stood down by the Sharks, banned for two matches, and fined $20,000 after being ejected from the popular “2230 Bar and Restaurant” and ending up in a garden bed in a Cronulla Mall. Soon after, video footage of Seymour falling over a blonde woman after leaving the club emerges on Channel Nine. You know how that footage ended up in Nine’s possession? Some ex-Hooters chick sold it to them for $3,000. Even the skeeziest people owned us!

    • Cronulla is identified by the Daily Telegraph as being one of the two teams in serious financial peril, and tantalizingly close relocation, as if we hadn’t already sold our souls by moving our Round 6 game against the North Queensland Cowboys to Adelaide in order to “raise awareness” of the club in South Australia.

    • The Sharks get shelled by the Newcastle Knights (the other team identified to be in financial danger) at home in a game so incredibly painful to watch that the NRL included this in their official match report: “Had To Be Seen To Be Believed...In the 15th minute, perhaps the softest, least-contested scrum in the ignoble recent history of non-contested scrums. In a game as hard and physical as rugby league, the soft “breather” ritual of the scrum is a joke and a blight on the great game of rugby league. From this perspective, scrums need to become a contest or just done away with completely. Does any other sport have an element in which players purposely don’t try?” Trust the Sharks to make something already befuddling about 10-15 times worse.

    • Trent Barrett gets stretchered out of the local derby against the St. George-Illawarra Dragons in the 50th minute. The Sharks end up losing the game 10-6 as the “Great To See We Still Can’t Play Offense” debate rages all over popular Sharks fan forums.
    April (0-4)
    • Phil Gould makes a slew of scathing remarks aimed at Sharks coach Ricky Stuart. The pearler’s include "I just said he needs help. I never said he would listen to anyone. He has always needed help with coaching attacking football. He needs to swallow his pride and ask someone for assistance. It's in the best interests of the club, his team and his players whose careers depend so much on his coaching. He needs to get it through his head that seeking help is not a sign of weakness. Everyone can do with some help from time to time." Although we’re all standing behind Stuart at the time, we secretly hope he takes on some of Gould’s advice.

    • After an abysmal start to the season, the entire Cronulla squad turn to God for help and attend the East Coast City Church. Everyone except Ricky Stuart, that is. Paul Stevens, the club chaplain, organises the get together in a bid to “lift the spirits” of the (at that point) wooden spoon favourites. He goes on the record to say that “God definitely wants to help Cronulla”. A day later, club captain Paul Gallen gets charged for a high tackle on Craig Wing in his first game back after a two week suspension for striking Bulldogs five-eighth Ben Roberts. At this point, we officially knew it was going to be a long, long, long season.
    (Shining light: Gallen dodged a bullet by escaping suspension for the Wing-hit as the “We Really, Really Hate Cronulla” bandwagon gains more and more momentum. Again, we’re idiots for ever thinking that hope was a good thing.)
    • On the field, the Sharks roll off four straight losses in the month of April, including a demoralising 34-10 loss against the Cowboys in Adelaide. In case you missed it, the Sharks moved their home game from Toyota Park to Adelaide in order to raise club awareness with the locals. How many people turned up? 8,547. Well done, Sharks management.
    (Associated sidenote: my buddy Ray -- a diehard Cowboys fan -- travelled to the game with a posse of Townsville folk and swore that most of the people at the game were rooting for the Cowboys anyways. Talk about your marketing backfire!)
    May (1-3)
    • The whole Matthew Johns Group Sex Scandal breaks out. I was in England -- at a time when the Premier League Season was reaching its climax, no less -- when the story broke, so I missed the media storm that followed the story. My unbiased opinion: What a moron! My biased opinion: this seemed a little fishy.
    • Back-rower Reni Maitua fails a drug test by testing positive to the banned performance enhancing drug, Clenbuterol, leading to a bajillion sarcastic “that must be the worst performance enhancing drug ever” jokes from bitter Sharks fans who watched Maitua stink out the joint during the opening half of the season.
    • A day after the failed Maitua drug test, the ‘$20,000 Punch’ story emerges, alleging Sharks CEO Tony Zappia paid $20k to a female employee for accidentally hitting her in the face during a “shadow boxing” session, leaving her bruised and traumatized. League HQ runs the story with the title “The Punch That Cost The Sharks $20,000”. To make matters worse...
    • On the same day, Cronulla loses their almost decade-long sponsors (LG) who announce that they would not renew their contract with the Sharks at the end of the season in the wake of the clubs controversies. In the official announcement, LG’s marketing director slings this at the Shire-based club "While the recent controversies around the NRL, and the Sharks in particular, were certainly a significant element in our decision we also considered the direction of our company and where we want to take the LG brand." For those interested, LG’s major sponsorship was worth $700,000 per season. Yikes!
    • The Sharks get walloped at home by arch rivals St. George Illawarra Dragons 26-4 (another “fannnntastic” showing by the Cronulla offense). Making matters worse, club captain Paul Gallen gets slapped with a $10,000 fine from the NRL for disturbing racist slurs directed to popular Dragons forward Mickey Paea, where Gallen allegedly called him a “black c***”. The remarks are so degrading that even Anthony Mundine comes up with a semi-civil argument, even though he’s the same guy that said the U.S. “deserved it” after the September 11 attacks. Anyway, at this point our club captain is shown to be: injury prone, a regular visitor to the judiciary, and a racist. He hasn’t captained the Sharks since.
    June (3-1)
    • After 20 years at the Sharkies, Chairman Barry Pierce quits only a week after being re-elected unopposed and handed life-membership of the Sharks Leagues Club. He announces his resignation to be effective at the end of the month.
    • CEO Tony Zappia is pressured into resigning after new details of his alleged “shadow boxing” incident comes to the fore, in which recordings of Zappia offering Jenny Hall (the female employee hit in the face by Zappia) the opportunity to “spank” him. NRL Chief David Gallop quickly fires a dart directly at the Sharks board left behind: “If the tape is a faithful recording, it would be difficult to see how the club could not take the strongest action possible."
    • The Daily Telegraph website runs a story on its front page referring to a terminally ill Sharks fan whose dying wish was to see his favourite club become the inheritor of his alleged multi-million dollar estate in life insurance benefits. A day later, 27-year-old Clint Elford is revealed to be a fraudster who forged documents to obtain health insurance. Inflaming the situation, it’s revealed that Elford had already donated $30,000 to former CEO Tony Zappia who insanely decided to keep the donations his little secret, leaving the rest of the board in the dark. Both Elford and his mother are arrested. In retaliation, Elford plots to have Zappia bashed by a Rebel bike. Of course, who comes out of the whole ordeal smelling like a turd sandwich: us, of course! The bloody Sharks. Ugh!
    • Former club, state and national star Greg Bird is sentenced to 16 months jail (with a non-parole period of eight months) for “recklessly” wounding his girlfriend, Kate Milligan, with a broken glass.
    (Random note: There aren’t too many more underrated subplots in the “Cronulla Just Can’t Win A Premiership” novel than the B-I-G-H-G-I (Bird Insanely Glassing His Girlfriend Incident). We were cruising through 2008 with the kind of swagger premiers roll with. Then the B-I-G-H-G-I happened and it all slowly unravelled from there. Even though we seemed to gain momentum as we inched closer to final hurdle, true Sharks fans knew we were done without Bird. By the time the Preliminary Final rolled in -- in which the Storm obliterated the Sharks 28-zip -- we all had our fingers crossed Bird would somehow come out of this mess with a chance of rebuilding his career. The lesson, as always: never pin your hopes on someone selfish enough to use his friend as the fall guy for his own mistakes)
    July (0-3)
    • After embarking on a tidy four-game winning streak, the Sharks go through their second win-less month of the season. Somehow, they manage to score 26 points in a game (against Manly in Round 19) but still lose because it’s impossible for them to play good offense and good defence on the same day.
    • Rookie half back Scott Porter, one of the few bright spots for the Sharks during the season from hell, suddenly loses his mother to depression. At this stage, we’re completely convinced this is the worst season in our club’s history.
    • As the Sharks get smoked 30-10 by the Melbourne Storm at Olympic Park, star recruit Trent Barrett goes down for the season after fracturing a cheekbone and eye socket. Ricky Stuart promptly goes on the record to describe 2009 as the “worst season I have seen”. Somewhere, Gus Gould secretly lights a celebratory cigar after reading Sticky’s article.
    August (0-4)
    • On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, the Sharks get pummeled at home 30-0 by a revitalised Parramatta Eels outfit. I knew we wouldn’t make it through the season without eventually getting shut out.
    • The Sharks follow up their home debacle against the Eels by returning to Toyota Park a fortnight later and being demoralised by Benji Marshall and the Wests Tigers 56-10. The best part of all that? We still weren’t the worst team of the round. That honour went to the Panthers.
    • The Gold Coast Titans roast the Sharks at Skilled Park 20-10, leaving Cronulla on the verge of their third win-less month of the season (and second straight) with a combined For and Against of 30-136 in the month of August (to date).
    You know what the saddest part of that whole timeline is? It’s that I could’ve easily thrown in a handful of other things that went wrong during the season. If anything, that’s an abridged timeline of the season from hell. In fact, that’s the perfect way to describe this season: The Season From Hell. In many ways, it had become the ultimate litmus test for the Cronulla faithful. If you could survive this season without committing fan-hood suicide, you could survive any season.
    Which leads to a question my buddy Scottie asked me straight after the Tigers drubbing: What do we do now?
    It’s one of those definitive questions Sharks fans ask themselves every September. What happens now? Do we come back next year and try climbing the mountain again? Do we take a year off, and invest ourselves into something with better odds of working out?
    Here’s what I did: I got my paws on a Sharks Heritage Jersey that was signed by each of the players involved in the Season From Hell. I’m going to frame that sucker and mount it on my office wall next to all my other sports memorabilia from across the years, with a plaque that reads like this:
    Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
    The Season From Hell

    I don’t care how stupid it looks, I’m going to do it. When all my buddies come over, I’m going to make them all look at it - especially if they support another club and don’t appreciate what they have. It’ll be amusing and confusing all at the same time.
    I’m going to leave a blank space next to that jersey, and when the Sharks eventually DO win their first ever Premiership -- you know, assuming it ever happens in my lifetime -- I'll buy that jersey and it’ll take its rightful place next to the Season From Hell jersey, with some sort of redemptive plaque nailed to it.
    And that’s when seasons like this will feel like it was all worth it. Fingers crossed.
    Jardian Ormsby writes the Sports Neo column at SportsNeo.com. He also authors the popular “Fantasy Killed My HSC” blog.
  2. Kiwi Eagle

    Kiwi Eagle Moderator Staff Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +3,866 /65
    It gets worse for the poor buggers too, all the best to John Mannah

    Cronulla prop Johnny Mannah will undergo treatment for lymphoma after a biopsy on his troubled back returned a positive result for the condition.
    The Sharks released a statement on Thursday addressing the 19-year-old's health and said Mannah would begin treatment next week.
    Lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the immune system.
    "The Sharks can confirm that a biopsy result for Johnny Mannah has come back positive for lymphoma, with Johnny to begin treatment next week," the statement said.
    "At this stage the club is unable to make further comment or give more detail.
    "We would request that the privacy of Johnny and his family is respected while he attempts to deal with this condition and begin his recovery."
    Johnny's older brother Tim Mannah, 21, plays with Parramatta, where the pair played Toyota Cup together.
    Australian schoolboys representative Johnny moved to the Sharks from the Eels at the start of the season to seek more first grade opportunities, and still lives with his brother in the family home in Sydney's south-west.
  3. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

    +972 /7
    When the shire scum pay us back the money they owe us, they get rid of Sticky and make a host of other improvements, then this is all they deserve:

  4. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member

    +215 /5
    Could someone that read that summarise it into two sentences please. I assume it says that being a Shark's fan sucks and everything that could go wrong has?

    Big fall from grace from being equal on points with last years big two, to the cellar!!! :) :) :)
  5. DSM5

    DSM5 Well-Known Member

    +516 /0
    Who cares about that lot.  Off to Adelaide.  Good read though.
  6. eagle_predator

    eagle_predator Active Member

    +0 /0
    Agree KE, All the very best to John Mannah man that's sad news.
  7. Kiwi Eagle

    Kiwi Eagle Moderator Staff Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +3,866 /65
    It is EP, because he and his brother were on the Footy Show a wee while back, and both seemed like top blokes, excitedly living their dream
  8. Chip and Chase

    Chip and Chase True Supporter Staff Member Administrator Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +8,573 /80
    Boo farkin hoo. Suck it up buddy, that's what you get for supporting a perennial underachieving team like Cronulla.
  9. eagle_predator

    eagle_predator Active Member

    +0 /0
    Yeah i watched that show to KE, they were sitting in crowd and I agree mate they seem like top blokes, and now this bomb shell wow i can't even begin to think what their family must be going through right at this time not good.
  10. QldEagle01

    QldEagle01 Active Member

    +37 /0
    The day Cronulla win a premiership ill stop supporting league, it wont happen tho its like leavingthe porch light on for harrold holt
  11. The Wheel

    The Wheel Well-Known Member

    +2,756 /88
    It is vaguely familar to one of matabele's epics
  12. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

    +516 /14
    Can you imagine the carping dribble this fellow will write this week?  Does anyone know if the author is Covell or Stuart?
  13. The Wheel

    The Wheel Well-Known Member

    +2,756 /88
    Yes another couple of paragraphs whining about referees and bad luck.
  14. ConcernedSupporter

    ConcernedSupporter Member

    +2 /0

    Too many big words for Covell
  15. ads

    ads Well-Known Member

    +29 /1
    Not enough profanities for Stuart.
  16. Arko-admirer

    Arko-admirer Active Member

    +62 /0
    It was reported in the Sun Herald that the new Cronulla bosses are considering fessing up to the NRL all the off the books payments to players put in place by the old regime because they figure they can then renege on this money still owed at the cost of a fine, that will be of a lesser amount.

    Cronulla are a shoddy excuse for a football club run by low rent individuals who of course revealed their innate lack of character by doing the Super League dirty on the ARL that had kept them afloat financially.

    I was embarrassed by Sunday's win but the immediate consolation was the thought of all those blood vessels bursting on Ricky's forehead. I was at the ground and made the prescient call for security to get up the away coach's box immediately to prevent furniture/windows being smashed.

    To hear Stuart's bitter wallow in self pity afterwards, with its vague insinuations that Bailey should have got up though concussed, and his half regrets that his own players didn't cheat by staying down was again to find some joy in a deflating afternoon.

    Feel sorry for Cronulla supporters? It's like feeling sorry for supporters of dog poo on public walkways.
  17. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

    +516 /14
    Noone's feeling sorry for them are they?
  18. nita

    nita Member

    +2 /0
    I hate Ricky Stuart as much as everyone.. Though i felt bad about the win yesterday, I felt less bad with the thought of Stuart spewing.

    I feel sorry for the supporters, not the club. Poor fans, they have no premiership, risky Stuart as their coach, and more and more awful things as the article outlines.
  19. Arko-admirer

    Arko-admirer Active Member

    +62 /0
    Despite everything I said on Sunday I did feel moved to tell a Sharkies supporter on the way out of Brookie that they should have won.

    And their players showed heart to play to the edge of their very poor abilities.

    So I did feel a bit of pity for them. Thanks to Ricky for letting me get over that.

    And you know in the end I don't think they should have won even if Manly deserved to lose on that performance.

    I disagree we were gifted the win, in say the way the Titans were, the try still had to be scored and it was.

    Manly had an unjust send-off of Cuthbertson early in a game last year and we still put away the Raiders.
  20. eagle_predator

    eagle_predator Active Member

    +0 /0
    Ricky Stuart having a hissyfit after the game Gold  ;D

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