There are a few truths in life: gravity, puppies are cute, Justin Bieber is a dickhead, a few other unimportant things, and everybody who doesn’t support the Manly Sea Eagles hates them. And I mean really hate. Cersei Lannister hate. Maggie Simpson/baby with the monobrow hate.
Yet the wider Rugby League community (and yes I’m including myself in that), has been surprisingly reserved in their assessment of the goings on at Manly. There has been much chitter-chatter, but very little merrymaking.
Well I am going to step up on behalf on The Public Apology, and I imagine quite a few others, and scream from the top of the hill, “Fuck yeah!!! Fuck them!”
I am taking great joy in watching them implode. Great joy! I know it is usually considered poor form to revel in another’s misfortune, but Manly and their supporters have been anything but good winners during their years of success. They love the fact they are hated, encourage it even, and continually talk down to everybody and anything around them. I once saw a drunk Manly fan gloating to a cat, true story.*
They are actually very much like the Lannisters in Game of Thrones, when you think about it, and like the Lannisters, sadly, they win more often than not. Fuck me, Geoff Toovey even looks a bit like Joffrey! But (SPOILER ALERT!!!) the king is dead motherfucker!!! And karma is a bitch!**
I want to make it abundantly clear, mainly for any Manly supporters who might read this, this is not a Tall Poppy thing. I do not begrudge success. I usually admire it. This is a fuck you, you arrogant shits, welcome to reality and learn some common decency, thing.
One of my favourite sporting memories is the 1997 Grand Final. Most will remember it well, Newcastle Knights fan or not (yes, I’m a Knights fan, thus good-hearted, salt-of-the-earth and possessing an unerring ability to make both man, woman and beast climax with a single look). A wounded Joey Johns scooted down the blindside, like a real-life Hans Solo, and set up a young Darren Albert, AKA Luke Skywalker, and took down the empire. There was joy in the streets! Evil had been defeated! The good guy had won!
I can’t think of any other Star Wars references, but Toovey is obviously Darren Albert’s father (paternity test unnecessary, AKA Darth Vader) and Robbie O’Davis, R2D2, in this analogy.
The reason I mention this, is to not bask in former fanboy glory, although that was fun, but to highlight the … ok, it was just a fanboy thing, but Manly losing in the final minute made it extra special.
Now it seems Manly even hate themselves, which is wonderful. They’ve lost their two halves – arguably the best halves pairing in the comp and most likeable blokes in their team – most of their top line forwards and are coming off a shellacking from the team who have ironically benefited most from their demise.
Sure they signed Willie Mason, the most charismatic motherfucker to ever grace a football field, but that’s not enough, even Big Willie can’t fill that gaping hole.
If they offload Dale Cherry-Evans early, the man with this silliest name in the NRL, to the Titans, you can almost guarantee them the wooden spoon.
Wouldn’t that be wonderful? The north shore of Sydney overrun with the spoons of citizenry who actually do send wooden spoons in the post and don’t just talk about it. Hundreds of confused people shuffling through their second drawer completely unaware that the implement they are looking for is being used to violently strike Geoff Toovey upon the buttocks.
“Last, Geoffrey!? LAST!?”
“It was the referees, Bob! It’s a conspiracy!”
“Repent, boy! REPENT!”
Oh the sweet unending joy of it! I want pictures of a naked Geoff Toovey, curled up in the foetal position, in a bathtub full of a wooden spoons at the end of this season. That is art motherfucker.
That is sweet cosmic shit. That is justice. And I will not rest until it has been done.
I also blame Des Hasler for everything, because I am starting to hate the Bulldogs. Anyone else?
By Al McClintock
* This is a lie.
** Also a stripper who owes me six bucks.